United Kingdom

Country targets

  • Sodium: No mandatory targets as of 2022; the most recent voluntary sodium targets (pages 7-19, table 1) for packaged food categories were set for 2024. Targets were set as mean and/or max targets for each category.
  • Sugar: No mandatory targets as of 2022; the first voluntary sugar targets (page 23, table 2) were set for 2020. Targets were set based on a percentage reduction from a baseline sales-weighted mean sugar content for each category.
  • Saturated fat: No targets


Packaged Food Sampling

  • Number of packaged food products: 66,344
  • Data collected: 2017-2018
  • Nutrient type: Sodium


Data on packaged food was collected for both the “in home” (food and drink products purchased in retail settings to be prepared and eaten at home) and the “out of home” (food prepared and eaten outside the home) sectors. “In home” food and drink data was purchased from Kantar Worldpanel’s consumer surveys collected over a one-year period between September 2017-2018. Data on commonly purchased and available food products were matched with nutritional values found on labels. “Out of home” product data was collected directly from companies by Public Health England or obtained from company menus and websites. Data on the sales-weighted mean, as well as the minimum and maximum sodium content of the packaged food is reported.

Data source

Salt targets 2017: second progress report,

Citation: Public Health England. Report: the food industry’s progress towards meeting the 2017 salt targets. 2020. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/salt-targets-2017-second-progress-report

Contact: Jo Nicholas

Dietary Data Coordinator, Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, Department of Health and Social Care

[email protected]

Institution(s) leading data collection Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, Department of Health and Social Care


Packaged Food Sample

  • Number of packaged food products: 353
  • Data collected: 2015-2018
  • Nutrient type: Sugar


Data for food products was obtained from a commercial third party, Edge by Ascential. Edge by Ascential collected nutrient composition data from the websites of three leading UK retailers: Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Asda annually. Upon obtaining product level nutrient data, each individual product in the Edge by Ascential database was matched with sales data sourced from Euromonitor, a private market research company that provides sales data collected from primary and secondary data sources, including store audits, interviews with companies, publicly available statistics and company reports. The Euromonitor dataset used in this study includes brands sold through all retail channels, including supermarkets, discount stores, convenience stores, traditional markets and vending machines. Brand-level sales data were matched with product-level nutrient data based on the variables: brand name, company name, category, and year.

Five categories of food (biscuits and cereal bars, breakfast cereals, chocolate confectionery, sugar confectionery, and yoghurt) and their subcategories defined by Public Health England for the sugar reduction targets were included in this study. Sales-weighted mean sugar content (g/100 g of product) and total sugar volume sales in tons were calculated, along with their absolute and percentage changes from 2015 to 2018.

Data source

The sugar content of foods in the UK by category and company: A repeated cross-sectional study, 2015-2018

Citation: Bandy LK, Scarborough P, Harrington RA, Rayner M, Jebb SA. The sugar content of foods in the UK by category and company: A repeated cross-sectional study, 2015-2018. PLoS Med. 2021;18(5):e1003647. Published 2021 May 18. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1003647


No contact information available

Institution leading data collection

Edge by Ascential