In this entry, we explore the critical role of diet and nutrition, the challenges posed by dietary habits, and Griffith Foods’ commitment to healthier eating. Join us on a journey towards a healthier and more sustainable food future for all.
The Current Health Landscape
The health issues that we currently face in the European population are well documented with around 90% of deaths from non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which are typically caused by lifestyle behaviours rather than spreading through infection (WHO, 2021). Obesity is seen as the 4th most common risk factor for NCDs, and with around 60% of adults and a third of school-aged children in Europe being overweight or obese (WHO, 2022a), the scale of the health challenge is clear. Mental health is also becoming more understood and brings an extra dimension to our understanding of how we address public health. Based on 2019 data, it is estimated that 125 million people in Europe, approximately 13% of the population, suffer from a mental health condition or behavioural disorder (WHO, 2022b).
Causation of health outcomes are very complex and are multi-factored. Many aspects play a role such as activity levels, social environment, socio-economic status, and ultimately individual choices, but diet is a key factor in health, and we know there are established associations between excess intakes of certain nutrients and health risk factors/outcomes, for example excessive sodium intake and hypertension.
In Europe, we on average consume more calories per day (+3000) than what we actually need (2000-2500) (FAO, 2022), and furthermore, the composition of our diet is sub-optimal. We consume too much of ‘nutrients of concern’ such as sugar, salt and saturated fat, and not enough of certain key nutrients and micronutrients. For example 46/53 WHO member states in Europe have an average salt salt consumption of at least 7·5g/day, and 23 countries average +10 g/day – double the WHO recommended level (Kwong et al.2022), whereas the average fibre intake in Europe is between 18-24g per day (Stephen et al.2017)., vs an EFSA recommendation of +25g per/day (EFSA, 2010).
Therefore, it is clear that the food industry has a role to play in contributing towards combatting the health problems we face in Europe and improving consumer health, and at Griffith Foods we feel we can influence consumer health through reducing or increasing the amounts of certain nutrients we are putting into our products. We have ambitions to provide our consumers with healthier choices and are building strategies to improve our contribution to the food system.
How Griffith Foods Will Approach Creating More Nutritious Products
At Griffith Foods we have built a dedicated nutrition team, ensuring we have nutrition expertise in every region globally and using our expertise we will collaborate with our customers to try and bring more nutritious products to market. Our strategy will involve looking at nutrition throughout the whole supply chain, including our raw materials, the products we develop, and our customer’s products that will be sold to consumers.
We also acknowledge the challenge of the current global economic situation and understand that affordable nutrition must be considered in order to bring effective solutions to consumers, and sustainability will underpin everything that we do as a business.
Our current product solutions within nutrition can be viewed through our recent ‘made nutritious’ campaign. Within this, we demonstrate our cross-category solutions for sodium reduction, sugar reduction, nutritional coating systems – either fortified with fibre or protein, or through our fat-reducing never fry coating systems or adding fruit and veg into our sauces.
Whether our products bring flavour to snacks, protein or alternative protein products, or food service/QSR, we can develop accordingly to bring healthier products to market, and we are also working towards developing new innovations focused on offering healthier solutions. Combining our expertise in nutrition, consumer insights, food science, culinary and sensory, we can provide tailored, more nutritious solutions that don’t compromise on organoleptic quality.
We also want to bring solutions beyond our products through nutrition-focused services to our customers. With our team of nutrition experts globally, we use our nutrition expertise to work directly with our customers to help them achieve their nutrition objectives and guide their development to offer healthier products.
Furthermore, the regulatory landscape in Europe is evolving with an amount of uncertainty over the coming years expected with a decision pending on a standardized front of pack label for Europe, HFSS in the UK and the possibility of further advertising restrictions in several European countries. It is therefore important to be aware of upcoming legislation or regulations and be prepared with solutions, and a key part of our proposal will be to support our customers to either create new or reformulate existing products with an improved front of pack score, or to become compliant to local regulations like HFSS.
A focus on better nutrition is going to play an important role in the future of Griffith Foods, alongside our commitments to sustainability, and we are now preparing for this by building our expertise and developing solutions to enable us to provide healthier and more sustainable products.
Please feel free to reach out to find out more about our nutrition offerings and services by contacting Jamie Measor (Regional Nutritionist Europe and Africa at Griffith Foods) via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- European Food Safety Authority (2010). EFSA sets European dietary reference values for nutrient intakes. https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/news/nda100326
- FAO. (2022). World Food and Agriculture − Statistical Pocketbook 2022. Rome. https://doi.org/10.4060/cc2212en
- Kwong, E., Whiting, S., Bunge, A., Leven, Y., Breda, J., Rakovac, I., . . . Wickramasinghe, K. (2022). Population-level salt intake in the WHO European Region in 2022: A systematic review. Public Health Nutrition, 1-14. doi:10.1017/S136898002200218X
- Stephen, A., Champ, M., Cloran, S. et al. (2017). Dietary fibre in Europe: current state of knowledge on definitions, sources, recommendations, intakes and relationships to health. Nutrition Research Reviews, 30 (2): 149–190, Doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/s095442241700004x
- WHO (2021). Monitoring noncommunicable disease commitments in Europe 2021. WHO/EURO:2021-4479-44242-62494,
- WHO (2022a) WHO European Regional Obesity Report (2022). Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe; 2022. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
- WHO (2022b). WHO European framework for action on mental health 2021–2025. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe; 2022. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.