Premier Foods brands fortify 6 classic sauces for school caterers

Premier Foods has today released new insight into the attitudes of UK parents and children towards nutrition, coinciding with the relaunch of its new range of fortified Sharwood’s and Homepride sauces.

The report, Talking Nutrition, was developed using nationwide research, which asked 1,000 parents and 500 primary school children about vitamins, nutrition and their importance in their everyday lives.

Analysed alongside government guidelines by leading nutritionist Juliette Kellow, with tips from culinary advisor Louise Wagstaffe, the report provides insight on parental concerns, children’s food preferences, and nutritional focus areas for primary school children.

The findings revealed 76% of parents worry their child’s diet isn’t healthy enough, with 40% concerned their child doesn’t get enough vitamin C, and 45% insufficient vitamin D.

Alongside this, many of the children that responded said they disliked foods rich in these vitamins – such as oily fish (60%), which is rich in vitamin D, and spinach (55%) and cabbage (52%), both rich in vitamin C.

Juliette Kellow, Registered Dietitian said, “Fruit and vegetables are the main sources of vitamin C in the diet, so if children eat their 5-a-day, chances are they’ll get enough of this nutrient.

'But we know from our research that getting children to eat enough fruit and veg is a struggle for many parents – in fact, 72% said they sometimes struggle or find it virtually impossible. Foods fortified with vitamin C can help ensure children who are low consumers of fruit and veg get enough.”

Kellow continued, “A lack of vitamin D in babies and children can cause rickets, where bones become painful, soft and weak, leading to deformities of the skeleton such as bowed legs. The condition mostly disappeared during the early 20th century, but according to the NHS, there’s been an increase in cases in the UK in recent years.

'Earlier this year, the government launched a consultation, seeking views on how to improve the vitamin D status of people in England. One of the areas being looked at is improving this through diet, including fortified foods and biofortification.”

Although national studies report that 86% of 4-10 years olds are not getting enough fibre, parental understanding of benefits were low, with 70% being unaware it helps to fill us up. In addition, many children who responded said they disliked high fibre foods such as brown rice (47%), lentils (46%) and brown pasta (44%).

The first to market to be fortified with vitamins C and D, Premier Foods has re-launched six classic sauces from its Sharwood’s and Homepride ranges. Easy to use, plant-based4 and delicious, the sauces contain added fibre and are ideal for gluten-free and vegetarian diets. Available from September 2022, the range includes Sharwood’s Korma, Tikka Masala and Sweet and Sour; and Homepride Tomato & Basil, Bolognese and Chargrilled Vegetables.

Sarah Robb, MCIM, Foodservice Marketing Manager, Premier Foods, said, “Our new Sharwood’s and Homepride sauces fit within school nutritional guidelines and are loved by kids. But on top of providing delicious products that meet caterer needs when it comes to flavour, consistency and ease of use, we’re passionate about making a positive impact on health.

In the current cost-of-living crisis, school meals have become more vital than ever, representing a crucial source of nutrition for school children. Furthermore, expert consensus is that many school children are now deficient in certain key nutrients.

We know it’s tough, making sure that children get the right amount of nutrients in their food. By adding nutrients that are particularly difficult to incorporate in tasty Theschool meals – such as fibre and vitamin D – our aim is to help caterers serve school children daily nutrients in an easy, consistent, tasty way.”

The new range of fortified sauces will be available for school caterers from September 2022 in 2.25kg fully recyclable bottles and lids.

The research was conducted by 3Gem and surveyed 1000 parents and 500 primary school children between 6-12 June 2022, across the UK.