In February 2017, Premier Foods launched a new Viennese Whirl recipe that has significantly reduced sugar levels. Taking a ‘health by stealth’ approach, the food manufacturer has reformulated one of its top 10 selling products, with fantastic results.
Premier Foods produces some of the most popular ‘sweet treat’ products in the UK. The food manufacturer decided to focus its reformulation efforts on its Mr. Kipling Viennese Whirls with the aim of reducing calories, fat, saturated fat and sugar.
Mr. Kipling Viennese Whirls is an iconic product and it was vital that the reformulation activity didn’t change product quality. The new recipe had to deliver the same great taste and texture that consumers know and love.
Research has shown that consumers want to reduce their sugar intake, but it’s very difficult to change behaviour, so the food manufacturer took a ‘health by stealth’ approach to reduce sugar levels. When reformulating products by stealth it’s very important to make gradual changes, taking consumers on a journey, and Premier Foods targeted between a 5% and 10% reduction in total sugar.
THE ACTIONS TAKEN TO RESOLVE IT
Premier Foods went about developing the recipe to reduce sugar in both the biscuit and the crème. The manufacturer also decided to reduce the levels of saturated fat in the crème filling. These actions enabled an overall reduction in calories.
As the recipe was altered it was clear to the technical team what the optimal level of ingredients was to ensure the texture and flavour of the Viennese Whirls. It was important to test this out with consumers and Premier Foods undertook several rounds of consumer sensory testing. In these tests, the new recipe was compared with the old one, helping to ensure product quality.
Using this consumer feedback, final tweaks were made so that Premier Foods was sure the same great taste of its Viennese Whirls had been maintained.
Premier Foods encountered a few technical challenges during the reformulation project but the major one to be tackled was ensuring that shelf life of the product wasn’t affected as the sugar levels changed. The project team continually and thoroughly tested for this issue throughout the product life of a Viennese Whirl.
RESULTS OF THE ACTIONS TAKEN
After over a year of development, trialling and consumer testing, Premier Foods has developed a recipe that met all the quality deliverables using natural ingredients.
Based on previous year’s sales, Premier Foods forecasts the following year-on-year reductions in its Viennese Whirls: