Children's health and food Collaboration for Healthier Lives

Creating healthier snacking options by reducing sugar and adding fibre content

Our case study with Unilever, as part of our CHL progress update.


Inspired by customer research which identified temptation from sugary snacks as a key health concern, Unilever’s healthy snacking brand graze redeveloped its cereal bars to reduce sugar and add fibre. 


Several different tactics for sugar reduction were explored, bringing together new product development, R&D and process teams. Each solution used natural ingredients, adhering to graze’s brand promise to never use artificial components. Extensive testing found chicory root fibre delivered the texture and sweetness customers demanded, while removing up to 60% of the sugar used in the original recipes. This natural ingredient has the added benefit of meeting a secondary dietary need in increasing the fibre content of cereal bars by up to 100%.  

Development was followed by robust batch trials and shelf-life testing. Blind taste testing with 368 existing graze customers familiar with the best-selling Cocoa Vanilla Flapjack found that people actively preferred the reduced sugar version, giving confidence that the healthier range would sell.  

The new product range was rolled out backed by a promotional campaign, which included social media and digital marketing and the distribution of hundreds of thousands of free samples. This activity clearly signposted the new range as a healthier snacking option for customers, containing up to 50% less sugar than the average cereal bar. 

What’s next?

Lessons learnt from this successful sugar reduction campaign will inform future reformulation work on products across the graze portfolio, including salt and saturated fat reductions. This includes ambitions for the company’s top six bestselling cereal bars to become HFSS compliant by October 2022.   

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