sugar smart app

Updating Sugar Smart

Sir, The article ‘Supplier fury at glut of errors on Sugar Smart app’ (15 January p4) infers the app has had a fractious reception and contains many errors. The reality is somewhat different.

We are delighted with how popular the app is with consumers with, so far, a million downloads.

The app is based on a growing database of currently, 80,000 products, collated by our independent data provider. The evolving nature of food and drink manufacture, with regular reformulation and resizing, means no product database will ever be 100% up to date at any given time, even though our data provider has robust processes to update ours.

With this in mind, we have developed a simple process so that manufacturers and retailers can add products to the database, provide up to date nutritional information and correct any inaccuracies. To do this, please email

We are keen to work with manufacturers and retailers to make sure the app is as up to date as it can be, so families are better informed about the sugar in their shopping basket and cupboards.

Sheila Mitchell, director of marketing, PHE

Morrisons’ online task

Sir, As peak trading figures rolled out, many praised Morrisons’ startling 100% online sales increase. However, the sentiment of both the City (its shares rose 9%) and the media has been overzealous. The growth is unlikely to have a significant monetary value as the retailer was late to the e-commerce party, launching just two years ago in 2014.

Given the competition from Lidl, Amazon and Sainsbury’s/Argos, it’s unlikely Morrisons can sustain this performance throughout 2016.

As chief executive David Potts said, there’s still “much more to do” for Morrisons and this certainly applies online. As part of this, it is imperative it makes the most of its points of differentiation. For example its key fresh produce offering is weak online. In this competitive market, Morrisons needs to ensure its online offer is up to scratch.

Ben Latham, director of digital strategy, Summit

Reformulation’s limits

Sir, When it comes to reformulation to remove fat (‘Chewing the Fat,’ 9 January, p26), with low-moisture products the technical challenge is much greater. McVitie’s Digestives significantly reduced satfat only to find its market eroded by own label with higher satfat. The satfat reduction significantly affected the taste/texture and ‘dunkability’. McVitie’s reverted to its original recipe in 2013.

It is in everyone’s interests to offer the best nutritional profile in products, however it has to be achieved with little compromise to final product quality or it is not sustainable.

Consumers must learn it is not possible to have their cake - at current quality standards - and eat it. There has to be a realisation that these items are treats and not something for every day.

Lindsey Bagley, founder of food consultancy Eureka