Policy, Progress and Public Health

08:15 - 08:55

Registration and Coffee

08:55 - 09:00

Welcome from the Chair


09:00 - 09:15

Improving health – what’s missing from current Policies on childhood obesity and what issues need to be addressed?


Government has indicated additional legislation will be introduced if insufficient progress is achieved – what does Parliament consider “insufficient progress” and when will this be evaluated?

09:15 - 09:30

How are consumer concerns about sugar, and the PHE sugar reduction programme impacting on sugar quantities in consumer shopping baskets? Is there an impact on calories and fat purchased?


  • Cathy Capelin Strategic Insight Director Nutrition - Kantar Worldpanel
09:30 - 09:45

PHE’s Sugar Reduction Programme: Potential for Change and Progress to Date


Euromonitor International has analysed the sugar content and nutrient sales from the categories highlighted in Public Health England’s guidelines on sugar reduction.

09:45 - 10:00

Is PHE’s sugar reduction programme resulting in calorie reduction?


10:00 - 10:15

The most unhealthy sugar policy in the world – and how to fix it


10:15 - 10:45

Panel debate: 12 months on – is PHE’s sugar reduction programme on target and are calorie reductions being achieved?

  • 12 months on – is the Childhood Obesity Plan’s key tactic of reducing sugar creating the reductions in calories required to begin to effect change in levels of obesity?
  • Is the sugar reduction programme blowing in the wind against upselling, promotions, junk food advertising?
  • Is there any focus on reducing sweetness in the diet, not just sugar?
  • What substitutions are consumers making, what unintended consequences are occurring?
    With the soft drinks industry levy being hailed a success in driving reformulation – should this programme be extended to additional categories?
    What is being achieved in out-of-home?
  • Government has indicated additional legislation will be introduced if insufficient progress is achieved – what will demark “insufficient progress” and when will this be evaluated?
  • How can agricultural policy and health policy be better aligned?

10:40 - 11:00

Morning Break


Science & Evidence: Sweeteners and Sweetness

11:00 - 11:15

An overview of recent science and evidence on low calorie sweeteners, and their translation in the media


Despite rigorous safety assessments and comprehensive reviews attesting their safety, news headlines continue to connect sweeteners to a host of health issues including higher risk of stroke, dementia and glucose intolerance. Aspartame has long been shadowed by safety controversy and concerns have been raised about the carcinogenicity of stevia  -what is the science behind the headlines and what are the challenges, opportunities and new developments for research in this area?

11:15 - 11:30

Do sweeteners have an image problem? New evidence on consumer perceptions and consumer behaviours


Dr Hardman will present new evidence on consumer perceptions of sweeteners, which identifies polarized attitudes towards diet beverages and key psychological determinants of consumption

11:30 - 11:45

New evidence on the impact of sweetness


Sweet taste exposure – does dietary exposure to sweetness impact on intake and preference?  Do we need to reduce sweetness in the diet to create healthier nutrient intakes – what does the science and evidence say?

11:45 - 12:00

Do sweeteners affect the gut microbiome?


What does the science and evidence tell us?

  • Dr. Alexandra Lobach Manager, Toxicology, Chemistry & Regulatory Affairs - Food & Nutrition - Intertek
12:00 - 12:15

Gut microbiome and the bitter truth about sweetness


  • Professor Tim Spector Professor of Genetic Epidemiology, Director of the Twins UK Registry - Kings College, London
12:15 - 12:45

Panel Debate: What role for sweeteners in sugar reduction?

  • Scientific evidence attests the safety of sweeteners – but are they  healthier?
  • Should we be reducing exposure to sweetness in the diet, rather than replacing it?
  • Why do sweeteners have an image problem and what needs to change?
  • Who is driving the “clean label” agenda – Consumers? Retailers? Manufacturers?
  • What can we learn from soft drinks, where sweeteners are widely accepted?
  • Should sweeteners be more widely endorsed as a sugar-reduction strategy?
  • Natural versus synthetic sweeteners –does it matter to consumers?
  • Does regulation around use of sweeteners in categories need to change - and is anyone pushing this agenda?

New Innovations in Sugar Reduction

13:35 - 13:50

New forms of sugar and new innovations in sweetness: maintaining taste is critical to consumer acceptance and, therefore, commercial viability – what are the options for reducing sugar without compromising on taste, and how do you achieve reduction in a sustainable and commercially viable way? A look at some of the new options

13:35 - 13:50

The practicalities of sugar reduction and what is achievable


Given the technical challenges of reducing sugar, what can we expect to be achievable and what trends are we seeing develop in replacing or removing sugar in manufacturing?    For manufacturers looking to make unobtrusive, incremental changes that consumers won’t notice – what sort of reductions are possible?  What is sugar being replaced with and what is the calorie impact?  How is reducing sugar changing the nutritional profile of foods –what trends are we seeing?

  • Jenny Arthur Director of Nutrition and Innovation - Leatherhead Food Research
13:50 - 14:05

When less tastes more; reducing sugar by upto 40% by making it taste sweeter


Advances in technology mean it is possible to allow transport of flavor ingredients to receptors, achieving greater efficiency in tasting sugar. Therefore, enabling the reduction of sugar and calories whilst maintaining taste- without sugar alternatives!

Ronit will share details of DouxMatok’s proprietary break-through technology and will discuss implementation in various final applications of reduced sugar content, and compensating for the reduced sugar weight.

14:05 - 14:20

The importance of developing a commercially viable sugar reduction solution


Bayn are independent experts in sensory profiling who have specialised in helping their customers create profitable platforms for sugar reduction - what lessons have they learnt about making sugar reduction strategies commercially viable?

14:20 - 14:35

Stevia: latest developments update


Fermented stevia has been hailed as a game changer for stevia, but what is its significance and what does it change?  How will it be labelled and how does Cargill anticipate consumers will react to it?  When will it be available in Europe?

  • Marta Baffigo Director Scientific and Regulatory Affairs EMEA - Cargill
14:35 - 14:50

New forms of sugar – allulose


At just 5% of the calories of sucrose and 70% as sweet, allulose is an innovative ingredient that could help manufacturers reduce calories – when will it be available in Europe, what are the benefits and challenges?

14:50 - 15:15

Panel Debate: Sugar’s role in foods goes beyond sweetness – how successful are new innovations at replacing the vital secondary characteristics of sugar?

  • What are the key technical challenges facing retailers and manufacturers?
  • How do lower calorie sugars fit into PHE’s sugar reduction programme?
  • What’s next for stevia - is the arrival of “fermented” stevia going to change anything?  Does it undermine its natural credentials and popularity?
  • How are manufacturers getting sugar out of products? What is it being replaced with and what impact is this having on calories?

15:15 - 15:35

Afternoon Break



15:35 - 15:50

What is being achieved? Sugar reduction case studies and best practice


IGD are in a unique position to combine data and insight on consumer needs, with industry analysis.  As part of their “Healthy Eating” programme, IGD are developing an array of tools and best practice guidance for SME’s and other industry to help them achieve reductions in sugar. Hear about some of the case studies IGD have been collecting, showcasing great examples of how reductions have been achieved

15:50 - 16:05

What isn’t being achieved? New evidence on the impact of multi-buys, upselling and promotions on HFSS foods


What does the data and evidence tell us about the impact of marketing on our diets and what Policy changes are Cancer Research UK campaigning for, to improve health

16:05 - 16:20

Smart PR for reformulation success and a smart transition


  • Tanya Haffner Dietitian and Director of Public Health and Nutrition Affairs - Nutrilicious
16:20 - 16:35

Marketing to the shopper on auto-pilot


Some brands are putting their sugar reduction commitment at the heart of their marketing activities, whilst others are removing sugar unobtrusively.  But consumers shop on auto-pilot, using quick mental shortcuts to decide between options – what’s the best way to design your marketing for the shopper on auto-pilot, what are the pitfalls to be avoided and what does all this mean for sugar reduction?

16:35 - 17:15

Panel debate: Are PHE’s sugar reduction targets achievable?

  • What would help manufacturer’s achieve more – what’s working and what are the challenges?
  • Is sugar reduction resulting in calorie reduction?
  • Is there any activity to reduce sweetness, not just sugar?
  • Are lower sugar choices sufficiently visible and available in Retail and Out of Home?
  • What needs to be done to restrict unhealthy promotions and prevent upselling?
  • Has the sugar reduction agenda created a new market – reduced sugar but not diet products?
  • How much of an issue is “clean” labelling – consumers say they want “clean”, but purchasing data suggests it’s not a major influencer – to what extent is manufacturing and retail influencing or driving "clean" labels?
  • How are consumers responding to portion size changes?

  • Kate Halliwell Nutrition and Health Manager - Food and Drink Federation
  • Dr. Jyotsna Vohra Head of Policy Reearch Centre for Prevention - Cancer Research UK
  • Orlando Wood Chief Innovation Officer - System1
  • Rachel Bradford Nutrition and Scientific Affairs - IGD
  • Kate Nicholls Chief Executive - Association Licenced Multiple Retailers (ALMR)
  • Tanya Haffner Dietitian and Director of Public Health and Nutrition Affairs - Nutrilicious
17:15 - 18:00

The Sugar Reduction Awards and Networking Drinks


Last year’s programme can be viewed here:

2016 Programme