Campaign for healthier food products expanding
Ten Slovenian soft drinks companies, which is some 80% of the market, committed to improving eating habits in September 2015.
They agreed not to advertise soft drinks to children under 12 and to encourage responsible behaviour at schools, introduce information on energy content of their drinks, help reduce energy intake and promote low-sugar drinks.
Last year they were joined by seven dairy companies, covering about half of the market, and the baking sector plans to join in next year.
"Understanding customers' desires and needs will be a key leverage for innovation in the baking sector in the future," Mateja Modic of the bread and pasta maker Žito told the press on Tuesday.
The sector has been drawing up its commitments this year and is expected to have them ready in 2019. The ideas include reducing salt content in certain types of bakery products and increasing the contents of wholegrain flour.
"Our intention is to offer less salty bread to consumers which they will nevertheless happily include in their every-day diet and thus reduce salt intake," Modic said.
Marjeta Recek of the Health Ministry welcomed the campaign, saying it contributed to raising awareness about a healthy diet. She would like all sectors of the food processing industry to take part in reducing the sugar and salt contents in products.
Petra Medved Djurašinović of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GZS) told the press that soft drinks advertisements had disappeared completely from printed media and cinema last year and fewer schools were selling soft drinks in cafeterias.
Soft drinks are no longer advertised at schools and all schools offer free drinking water to students.
Meanwhile, the share of high schools with drinks machines in cafeterias rose from 71% in 2016/17 to 91% last year. The share of schools where soft drinks are advertised remained at 20%.
More non-alcoholic beverage companies have energy content visible on the front side of their packaging and the average energy value of a litre of soft drinks sold has dropped by 2%.
The GZS has also found that the content of added sugar in diary products decreased by 9% last year to 7 grammes per 100 grammes of the product. The average energy value of diary products was 6% lower at 81 calories per 100g.