Posts

Eat Balanced wins Commitment to Health at Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards

On the 2nd June ’16, Scotland’s premier food and drink awards, we claimed our first Excellence Award – Commitment to Health.

Having tried four times before, this was our first award at the prestigious Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards.  The winners are chosen by an independent panel of judges from all aspects of the food and drink industry.

Here’s what our lovely Managing Director and myself had to say:

“We are so pleased to win this award, as it’s a very welcome reward and recognition for several tough years trying to get a healthier food company off the ground,” stated Donnie Maclean, Founder and Managing Director.

Sales and Marketing Director, Katie Sillars explained, “We have always had a focus on health, since we began 4 years ago.  However, when the supermarkets didn’t work out for us, we changed our strategy and focused in on the kids market.  This was because we realised the simple fact that people care more about their kid’s health than their own health.”

In the UK, one fifth of children are overweight or obese when they begin school, and this figure increases to one third of children when they leave school.[1]  We are committed to improving these statistics with our products, as well as visits to schools and speaking at conferences throughout the country.

We’ve worked with a leading professor of nutrition, Mike Lean, from University of Glasgow to create a range of pizzas that are as nutritious as the can be without children being able to tell that they are better for them.  The pizzas are sold under the Pizza Power Kids brand.

As well as running our food company, where we provide our healthier pizzas into schools, family restaurants and the leisure industry, Donnie and I hold additional positions which demonstrates our commitment to health.  I am a part of a food reformulation group and part of the Scotland Food & Drink Forum.  Donnie is one of 12 people selected to be on the Scottish Government’s Food Commission, which has a remit to make progress towards Scotland becoming a “Good Food Nation”.

We’re both not only passionate about the healthier food that we sell, we also share a passion for endurance sports.  This summer, we are raising money for various charities.  Both are kayaking the 50 mile perimeter of Loch Ness in one day in early July, with 5 others in the food industry.  In mid August, Donnie is swimming one million metres this year, including the full length (26 miles) of Loch Lomond of a small children’s cancer charity, and I (Katie) am running the Berlin Marathon at the end of September.  Yes, we are both gluttons for punishment!

[1] House of Commons Health Committee, Childhood obesity – brave and bold action, First report of session 2015 – 2016, November 2015

Scottish attitudes to healthy eating

Food Standard’s Scotland (FSS) recently released the survey results on Scottish people’s attitude to diet and health.  The findings will be used to help inform the development of FSS diet policy, including approaches to consumer messaging on healthy eating.   Here’s some of the highlights.

Consumer understanding of healthy eating

When someone says or you see the phrase “healthy eating”, this is what the majority of Scottish people think it means:

  • Having a balanced diet
  • Eating food that is locally sourced
  • More fresh food – like fruit and vegetables
  • Less sugar, fat and salt
  • Less snacking in between meals

The survey findings could suggest that the majority of Scottish people understand what it takes to eat a healthy diet, but are not able to do it in practice.

What makes it difficult to eat healthily?

The survey goes onto suggest some of the reasons as to why Scottish people are struggling with implementing healthy diet into their daily lives:

High Cost

75% would approve taxation of foods high in fat, salt and sugar if it reduced the cost of healthy foods

Availability

Eating a healthy diet outside of the home was viewed as more difficult, as there was a perception of limited availability and convenience of healthy options outside the home

Lack of willpower

The survey found that lack of willpower when it comes to foods high in fat, salt and sugar was a key reason

Snacking culture

Snacking on foods and drinks high in fat, salt and sugar was another reason.   For adults this appeared to be linked to habit (e.g. TV viewing) and emotional factors such as stress and boredom, whilst for children it was more focused on refuelling when hungry.

 Our responsibility as a food producer

With a fifth of children either overweight or obese, we’ve made it our mission, as a food producer, to help children eat a balanced diet.  We’ve taken into account the cost, availability, the fact that kids can be fussy with food and the difficulty with getting kids to eat a full meal.

It’s not been easy, but we now have a solution that offers a popular and tasty balanced meal, that is affordable and available in schools and kids leisure sites.