Kellogg's said it is to cut the amount of sugar in its three top-sellers - Coco Pops, Rice Krispies and Rice Krispies Multi-Grain Shapes - by 20-40%. It’s also told the world last week will also stop selling Ricicles and end on-pack promotions aimed at children on Frosties.
The move comes amid pressure on food firms to cut sugar levels to combat obesity, which will be music to the ears of management of one of AIM’s most innovative companies: OptiBiotix Health plc (LON:OPTI).
It is developing natural sweet prebiotics that can be used to replace sugar in food and drinks. These may be classified as dietary fibres, which from an industry and consumer perspective, creates the prospect of substituting high-calorie sugars with sweet, healthy fibres.
Growing interest in natural sweeteners
Chief executive Stephen O’Hara told Proactive: “With growing consumer interest in healthy lifestyles public interest and political concerns over traditional sugars and artificial sweeteners OptiBiotix is leading research in an area of growing industry interest.”
The company is a pioneer in the human microbiome, which is essentially the bacteria that inhabits the gut and skin.
It has found, for instance, small changes to the gut flora can affect the way the human body processes food.
With this in mind, it is developing compounds to tackle obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes.
SkinBioTherapeutics spun off
After spinning off its SkinBio business as a separately listed entity earlier this year, the group is now focused on three development areas.
They are OptiScreen, which is developing gut bacteria to help in lowering cholesterol; OptiBiotics which is developing SweetBiotix, its natural sweet fibre to help with diabetes control; and Slimbiome, its weight management product.
The current year has been one of significant commercial progress, including product launches and sales agreements.
In November it inked a deal with an offshoot of Premier Foods that makes Birds Custard.
Knighton Foods will improve the formulation of Opti’s SlimBiome weight loss product so it tastes better and dissolves more easily. This will tap the product into the firm’s network of customers, which includes the major supermarket chains.
Opti also has an alliance with Tata Chemicals to develop weight management products containing its SlimBiome additive for the Indian market.
LPLDL is another of its innovations that is gaining market traction.
OptiBiotix struck a profit-sharing deal with Italian firm Sacco to manufacture and supply cholesterol-reducing compound and the first sales of the product were made to HLH BioPharma Vertriebs·
At the same time it has a non-exclusive agreement with Nutrilinea for the production and commercialisation of products containing the LPLDL in Europe.
Having created value from the SkinBio demerger recently, CEO O’Hara recently told Proactive Investors that his target is to build each of the three divisions into separate legal entities and possibly list each separately on London’s AIM market.
With the market for its innovations expanding by the day, this looks like a very smart idea. Or as Tony the Tiger, the smiling cartoon on the front of every Frosties box might say, ‘it’s Grrrrreat’.