You are currently viewing UK bread watchdog debates the marketing rules for ‘half and half’

According to Campaign coordinator Chris Young, numerous products on shelves today are allegedly in contravention of UK law.

Young noted guidance from Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) guidance states “Bread labelled or advertised as ‘wholemeal’ must contain 100% wholemeal flour”.

Section 6 of The Bread and Flour Regulations 1998 also says “There shall not be used in the labelling or advertising of bread, as part of the name of the bread, whether or not qualified by other words […] the word ‘wholemeal’ unless all the flour used as an ingredient in the preparation of the bread is wholemeal”.

He added the Regulations go on to require that “no person shall sell or advertise for sale any bread in contravention of this regulation”.

What is half and half?

Half and half bread is made from 50% wholemeal flour and 50% refined white flour.

The concept was first introduced in the UK by Warburtons in 2012 to make it easier for busy families to add more fibre to their diet, along with the added benefit of a third of their daily intake of vitamin D and calcium. It also provides a useful way to get fussy-eaters and children to consume more fibre, as the bread is softer and more palatable than pure wholemeal.

But it was also a strategy to pump up a declining bread category.

According to the British Nutrition Foundation, a downward trend had been observed since the 1940s, with adult consumption slipping to around 87g of bread per day (2.5 slices) compared to 243g (seven slices) in the 1940s – a whopping 64% decrease.