Confectioners, cake and biscuit makers were celebrating this week after the FSA softened its position on sugar and satfat targets.

The industry has secured an extension of the deadline for the voluntary reformulation of 'non-plain' biscuits and cakes.

When the FSA set out its original proposals last July, it gave a satfat reduction target of 5% by 2012 for all biscuits and cakes. This has now been extended to 2014 for non-plain variants because of the technical difficulties involved, particularly for those with a high chocolate content.

There was also a victory on chocolate bars. Original proposals called for a 10% reduction in satfat in chocolate bars compared with 2008, and a cut in calories.

The industry argued that there was no significant link between satfat and calorie content and that reducing both would be technically extremely difficult.

The new guidelines call for suppliers to reduce calories "unless not technically possible, in which case businesses should look at other opportunities for calorie reduction, for example portion size".

"We are pleased the FSA has recognised the successful work undertaken by food companies and the complexities involved," said FDF director of communications Julian Hunt.