Featured vacancies:

HR Manager - part time
, Cornwall
, £33000
 - £35000
per annum
Site Technical Manager
, Somerset
, £60000
 - £65000
per annum
Process Technologist, food manufacturing
, Norfolk
, £20000
 - £32000
per annum
Operations Manager
, Devon
, £45000
 - £55000
per annum
Foodservice National Account Executive
, Midlands
, £30000
 - £35000
per annum
 + Car or allowance, bonus & benefits (OTE £48K)
Graduate Food Technologist
, London
, £28000
 - £30000
per annum
Food Chains Serving Sugary Desserts

Food Chains Serving Sugary Desserts

Food chains are serving up largely high-calorie desserts on children’s menus, according to a new report.

The sugar, fat, and calorie contents of the food choices are all way above the recommended limits.

Super-sized sweet servings

A new report from the Soil Association has revealed that the leading restaurant and pub chains in the UK are still offering menus which are full of large desserts. They also highlighted concerns about unlimited refills on sugary drinks, which are also very unhealthy.sweet mini dessert pies in casesThe report complains that this undermines government efforts to tackle the obesity crisis, and that not enough is being done by chains who must take responsibility.

Chefs may well be familiar with the uncomfortable truth: we are still serving desserts to children which are far too sugary and calorific. Some of the examples found in the report are eye-popping – and it’s worth remembering that the vital stats of the meals are not listed on the menu.

Hungry Horse serves a popping candy wafer boat, for example, which contains 78g of sugar per serving. This is more 400% of the recommended daily allowance for a child. Harvester sells a Chocolate Cookie pizza which contains 721 calories, which is half of what a seven-year-old should be eating every day. The marshmallow, butterscotch, and chocolate-topped cookie is gone in one sitting, alongside an equally calorific main course.

Nando’s came under fire for the fact that some items on the children’s menu do not include a portion of vegetables, and their bottomless puddings along with unlimited drink refills increase the sugar content hugely.

Out to Lunch campaign

The report was released as part of the Out to Lunch campaign, a long-running cause for the Soil Association. This association is out to promote organic food and farming, and wants to investigate the food which is served to children in restaurants. They aim to increase the awareness amongst those in food jobs, and encourage a change right across the UK in terms of the way chains think about their young customers.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is this year’s champion of the cause, which calls on high street chains to ensure two portions of vegetables in each main course, small puddings, free water, and no more promotion of sugar drinks.

“Given that we’re in the midst of an obesity crisis, and that we’re eating out more than ever before, restaurant chains have to step up and take some responsibility for the health and wellbeing of their customers,” Fearnley-Whittingstall said. “It’s time to be clear with parents about what’s going into their children’s food, to stop pushing endless sugar and lazy combinations of refined carbs, and start promoting healthy veg.”

Jamie’s Italian is one of the top-scoring chains in the report, with the menu even containing one meal which gives all five portions of vegetables for the day. A close second was Wetherspoons, which has replaced all fizzy drinks with organic juice on the children’s menu.

A Nando’s spokesperson said: “We try to give parents and children as much choice as possible so that they can enoy our peri-peri chicken as part of a balanced diet. Our Nandinos menu is aimed at the under-10s and we provide a range of different meat, veggie and dessert options.”

The lowest-scoring chains may come as a surprise to some. While Burger King was right at the bottom, it is followed by Prezzo, TGI Fridays, KFC, Nando’s, Giraffe, and Frankie and Benny’s, amongst others. It’s clear that many chains are still dragging their feet on healthy changes, which will soon make them social pariahs with health food trends on the rise.

About this article

Read time


Latest news

Supply Chain jobs
Supply chain jobs come in all shapes and sizes. We recruit for roles within the Supply Chain function from junior management roles to board level positions. Are you an experienced supply chain specialist looking for an exciting and rewarding career in the food industry? The food industry is a sector with many exciting opportunities for...
sales and marketing jobs light bulbs
The food industry is a fast-paced, constantly evolving sector, which means that working in sales and marketing jobs in this field are incredibly rewarding. The challenging environment allows you to thrive and learn something new every day and the knowledge gained in this sector can be invaluable for your future career. If you’re looking for...
Food inflation below 10% - lady shopping
It’s an exciting time for food industry professionals in the UK The latest news from the British food sector is that there has been an increase in the number of food manufacturing jobs available in the last year. 2023 has been an especially big year for growth and innovation that will shape the future of...
Food finance jobs
Looking at food finance jobs are an excellent choice of career for anyone looking for a job that holds potential to grow and evolve. From major manufacturers to small-scale food producers, there’s a lot of exciting opportunities to explore. The food industry is booming, with sales in the UK reaching record highs in recent years....
Hotel Chocolat founders have agreed a takeover with Mars. Mars will take over the business and have agreed to keep production in the UK. The founders are set to make £280m after an agreed take over of £534m. After the deal was announce shares increased by 160%. Mars currently employs over 140,000 people around the...
Engineering jobs - workers working in a factory
Engineering jobs in the FMCG world are certainly a great option for those that like to fix broken things or think strategically on how they can improve on a process within a manufacturing environment. As an Engineer, within either the FMCG or food industry, you have a unique opportunity to make an impact on the...
Chef jobs are exciting Chef placing food on a plate
Chef jobs in food manufacturing are exciting opportunities! Are you currently looking for Chef Jobs and what opportunities are out there? Joining the food manufacturing industry could be the opportunity you have been waiting for! There is a vast array of Chef jobs you could be interested in. A great industry to move into the...
Food inflation below 10% - lady shopping
Food inflation has finally dropped under the 10% mark for the first time in over a year! This is good news for all Food Businesses and Consumers. This significant dip is a major milestone in the journey towards sustainable economic growth and food security for the UK. Every retailer included in the Kantar report saw...
interviewing for NPD and development jobs
Are you currently interviewing for NPD jobs or Food Development Jobs? Are you on the lookout for a job that challenges, excites and motivates you? There are so many reasons to consider being part of an NPD team. But the main recurring theme with anyone we speak to is that it isn’t just a job;...

Get in touch