The BDA and corporate partners are backing an industry campaign aimed at getting UK consumers to boost their fibre intakes.
Fibre intake among the UK population is still too low. Government guidelines say that we should be getting 30g a day – but most adults are only taking about 20g. Encouragingly, the BDA’s Fibre food fact sheet remains in our top 10 most popular on the BDA website, with a 16% increase in views since this time last year.
This February, the food industry is also talking fibre and we summarise some of the key activities below.
The UK Flour Millers is once again running its Fibre February campaign to support the UK government public health target that everyone over 16 years of age consumes at least 30g of fibre a day.
Priya Nicholas, Head of Communications at UK Flour Millers said: “Fibre February is my favourite campaign. So often public health messaging seems to focus on controlling intake or eating less of something. With Fibre February we get to showcase a whole range of delicious food and for the most part get to tell people – knock your socks off, eat as much as you want!”
To demonstrate that delicious food can be a good source of fibre, the UK Flour Millers asked their recipe development team to come up with an easy-to-make cookie that contains at least 6g of fibre. This year’s Fibre February recipe is a single serve, air-fryer-friendly sticky toffee cookie.
The full batch makes six cookies, and once portioned it is simple to freeze and then bake cookies, straight from frozen, at a later date. This helps people stay mindful not only of gut health during Fibre February, but also of food waste and portion size. It’s a winning recipe on so many levels.
It is crucial in all communications outreach to ensure that today’s goals have longevity and are adopted by the next generation. To help achieve this UK Flour Millers has been working closely with Food a Fact of Life, an education programme run by the British Nutrition Foundation, which provides curriculum-linked teaching resources for schools throughout all four nations of the UK. A dedicated Fibre pack with teacher’s information, classroom activities as well as games and lesson plans has been published and is free to access.
The campaign includes a Toast to Fibre where we celebrate the many different types of bread that can be toasted – all of which include fibre, even white bread. Consumers can get involved in the campaign via social media competitions which ask people to share their favourite high-fibre toast combo – which could include anything from beans on toast to almond nut butter and figs. To join the conversations follow UK Flour Millers on Instagram or Facebook.
Action on Fibre is an ongoing focus from the Food and Drink Federation (FDF). FDF members signed up to this initiative are helping to ‘bridge the gap’ between fibre intakes and the dietary recommendation. This will be achieved by making higher fibre diets more appealing, normal and easy for the population.
The FDF is hosting a webinar on Wednesday 22 February from 10.30am till 12pm on Reformulation, innovation and targeted initiatives to help bridge the fibre gap in lower socioeconomic groups. You can find out more and register here. It is free to attend and open to all; you just need to create an account to register.
BDA corporate members Quorn Foods is part of the Food & Drink Federation member initiative. Its nutrition team has developed a fibre focus meal planner to help people understand how to incorporate fibre across meals to reach the government dietary recommendation of 30g per day.
The cereal manufacturer is also part of the FDF member initiative. With a long legacy of promoting fibre intake since the introduction of All-Bran in the 1920s, Kellogg’s has hosted a parliamentary reception to share new consumer research.
Research carried out for Kellogg’s by YouGov in September 2022 found that:
This event brought together key parliamentarians and policy makers alongside leading experts on nutrition to discuss how industry and Government can work together to reduce the ‘fibre gap’ as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
In the latest issue of Dietetics Today, the dietitian at BDA project partner, KIND Snacks discusses a recent round table meeting we hosted jointly on the food policy landscape (see page 28, February 2023 issue). We discussed how UK food policy can be transformed and/or optimised to increase the intake of recommended foods, thereby supporting the population in meeting dietary guidelines. We found that there are clear areas of opportunity to strengthen the execution of policy to meet intended goals.
The roundtable discussion concluded that partnerships between the food industry, nutrition policy, academic, and clinical experts are critical for success.