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Bridging the snack gap

28 August, 2020

Biscuits baked with carrots. Jelly made of juice. Puffs produced with ancient supergrain. 

These are just some of the healthier snacks from the Good Food Fund brands selected to disrupt the food industry and help tackle childhood obesity.

The Good Food Fund is a collaboration between Big Society Capital and Guy’s and St Thomas’s Charity. It aims to provide business support and access to capital for small food and drink challenger brands ready to shake up the market with healthier options.

Some of the snacks might initially leave a strange taste in the mouth. Does the world really need a crispy biscuit that is 40% carrot and sweet potato, for example? Couldn’t we just teach children to eat more vegetables in the traditional way?

But research from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity suggests that information campaigns and parental education alone won’t turn the dial. Childhood obesity disproportionately affects families in deprived areas, where time and spare cognitive bandwidth can be limited. Making it easy and inexpensive to substitute unhealthy choices with healthier ones is more effective than relying purely on education and good intentions.

With one in three children starting secondary school already obese or overweight, we’d argue any progress should be celebrated. And if these challenger brands can reveal the untapped market for healthy, affordable snacks, the rest of the food industry might also want a seat at the table.

By Sarah Howden

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