Dr Heather Hartwell joins radio debate on brands and nutrition

Posted on Friday, April 19 2013

Associate Professor in Food Service and Applied Nutrition at BU Heather Hartwell took part in a Battle of the Brands debate on BBC Radio Solent.

The feature, on Alex Dyke’s mid-morning show, came as research showed that supermarket own-brands now account for 43 per cent of food sales.

Heather told Alex that she believed supermarket brands could more than match up to well-established names in terms of taste and nutritional value.

“Sometimes there’s no difference, but sometimes they are actually better.

“The traditional brands, they do put a little bit more sugar and salt in them, because they taste nicer, and the value brands don’t do that.”

She added that this particularly happened with cereals, and encouraged people to take a closer look at the labels and nutritional information.

“Cereals are some of the labels that people look at most, because they are out on the breakfast table, they’ve got time to look at them. It’s a staple product, so it is worth looking at the nutritional value labelling and comparing it to the own brands.”

“You could be saving yourself a lot of money, and nutritionally they are the same.”

She said that humans are creatures of habit, and could be difficult to steer away from long-established food traditions – adding that she had even resorted to buying own-brand products and putting them in familiar brand packaging so her family didn’t notice!

You can hear the debate in full here.