Snack brands blast Which? over ‘lunchbox baddies’ claim

Children’s snack food brands have hit back at a consumer report that says the “healthy impression” given by kids’ lunchbox foods is misleading.

The “Lunchbox Baddies” report from consumer watchdog Which? this week says a child’s lunchbox could contain 12 teaspoons of sugar. It singles out Dairylea Lunchables, Robinsons Fruit Shoot Orange Juice, Kellogg’s Frosties Milk Bars and Nestlé Munch Bunch Double Up Fromage Frais yoghurts.

The products are criticised for containing too much sugar and salt and Which? calls for “robust rules” on the health and nutritional claims that food manufacturers make so that their products appear healthier than they are.

Kellogg blasts the report for not recognising that its cereal bars offer parents a lower calorie and fat alternative to a chocolate bar.

A Kellogg spokesperson says: “Which? doesn’t seem to credit mums and dads with much intelligence if it thinks they’d be surprised to discover a Frosties bar contains sugar.”

A Kraft Foods spokesman says it has already lowered the salt content of its Lunchables ham and cheese snack by 40% since 2002, and adds that salt is necessary for “safety as well as taste”.

Which? is also criticised by Nestle and Robinsons for ignoring the healthy elements of lunchbox foods, such as calcium and protein, and the nutritional information provided on packs to help parents make informed choices.

PepsiCo has been testing PlanetLunch, a “fun and healthy” range of 100% natural snacks for kids in Sainsbury’s stores since August in an effort to help parents choose healthy snacks for children.

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