Better nutritional values for a more balanced diet

As a retailer, we are well placed to support our customers in making balanced food choices. Given their importance to our health, we are constantly improving the composition and nutritional value of our private label products. This is how we do it ...

This initiative contributes to our objectives regarding

Published on 12/01/2022

Composition analysis

Together with our suppliers and our own production departments, we have been evaluating the nutritional value of our private label products since 2014 and improving their composition where necessary. We do this continuously, for more than 3,500 food products of Boni, Spar, Everyday and the meat products of Colruyt and OKay. Our nutritionists determine the composition standards for each specific product. In doing so, they take into account the reference values set by official organisations such as the Supreme Health Council. And we also compare the product with similar variants from other retailers.

Two Colruyt Group workers with products, the composition of which has been improved in recent years. Ivyn Degeest (nutritionist, left) and Anna Gryseels (project manager R&D&I Food, right) are working on the nutritional improvement of, among others, our breakfast cereals

We take a closer look at these ingredients:

  • We choose to reduce the amount of sugar in our products and to not replace it with sweeteners by default. If we do choose to use sweeteners, it is always clearly stated on the packaging.
  • Where possible, we also reduce the fats in our private label products. Or we choose fats with a better fatty acid composition; with more unsaturated instead of saturated fatty acids, for example. 
  • As most people eat too much salt, we try to reduce the salt content in our products. We do not do this by using flavour enhancers, but by adding spices and aromas.
  • Where possible, we add extra fibre. For example, by increasing the amount of vegetables in our prepared meals.

Less sugar, fat and/or salt, and more fibre. This is a challenge, because these are precisely the ingredients that add taste, texture or shelf life.

How we adjusted the composition of our private label products: 

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228 tonnes

less sugar in 2021

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251 tonnes

less fat in 2021

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34 tonnes

less salt in 2021

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39 tonnes

addtional fibres in 2021

Quality and taste tests

Balanced products are important, but we also want the quality and taste to be excellent. 

  • Our internal quality managers therefore evaluate the quality, composition, taste, etc. of the products.
  • We also invest EUR 2.5 million annually in taste and usage tests certified by the independent monitoring body Quality Control. Our customers and employees blindly compare our own product with similar products from other retailers.
  • If the tests show that an improvement is possible for a certain product, our quality department, buyers and suppliers take the necessary steps. Only when the product scores well with our taste panels, does it make it to the shelves.
Smaak- en gebruikstesten

Constant focus

In the meantime, all Boni and Everyday products have gone through this improvement process several times and we have been able to make quite a few improvements. In the same way, we have also managed to improve the Nutri-Score of many products. We continue to screen each product category every two years and set new targets if necessary.

Anna Gryseels, project manager R&D&I Food
We are also actively looking at innovative alternatives for sugar. With the same properties, taste and structure, but healthier. To be continued!
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240

products with nutritional improvement in 2021

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