Oatcakes hit health niche

By Catherine Boal

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

Scottish snack company Paterson's has become the latest business to
target the growing trend towards healthier and more traditional
snacking with a new addition to its own-brand range of flavoured
oatcakes.

In a bid to lure in health-conscious consumers, the new cheese and mild chilli oatcakes, which are baked rather than fried, are being marketed as a low GI food with reduced levels of sugar and fat.

As the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets wanes and the obesity epidemic grows, consumers are increasingly turning to low GI foods, such as oats, as a means of controlling weight.

The glycaemic index (GI) ranks foods based on their effect on blood glucose levels. Foods with a high GI (70 and above) are digested and metabolised rapidly, triggering large fluctuations of blood glucose levels and insulin demand, while low- or medium-GI foods (40-69) are digested and absorbed more slowly, giving a slower and sustained release of energy and contributing to longer-lasting feelings of satiety.

Paterson's cheese and mild chilli oatcakes have a GI rating of 46.

In a statement, Paterson's marketing manager Debbie Balloch said: "Oats are a well-known, nutritious, low GI food, making them an ideal snack for those watching their waistline."

According to Paterson's, its oatcake range is the fastest growing brand in the UK oatcake market which grew by 24.7 per cent last year.

The company recently switched its recipe formulation to eliminate the ingredient palm oil in favour of olive oil, strengthening the brand's image as a healthy snacking option.

Balloch said: "The introduction of olive oil across the Paterson's range has further improved the health credentials of our range by reducing the saturated fat content by over 50 per cent."

The new cheese and mild chilli oatcakes will be sold by UK retailers Sainsburys, Morrisons and Waitrose and priced 0.99p (€1.47) per packet.

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