The growing threat of obesity and associated diseases

In February 2016 a Roadmap on Food Product Improvement was adopted by 22 EU Member States, which agreed to accelerate action on reducing the intake of energy, salt, saturated fats and added sugars in food products, in an attempt to reduce overweight and obesity rates among adults and children.

The European Natural Soy and Plant-based Food Manufacturers Association (ENSA) recognises the growing obesity threat and the increasing need to provide consumers with healthy choices and nutritionally relevant products.

ENSA Long-standing commitment to healthy products

ENSA was established in 2003 and since then its members have been working to provide consumers with healthy plant-based products. Soy-based foods are nutrient-dense products and sources of high-quality protein that represent a nutritionally equivalent alternative to dairy products for people who choose not to consume animal-based foods for various reasons. Other plant-based foods and beverages (made from nuts, seeds and cereals) are also a source of important nutrients, such as calcium, vitamins B2 and D, and fibres, although they have a lower protein content than soy foods.

Soy and plant-based products are a healthy choice and are often consumed in the same way and at the same moments as dairy products.

Over the last decade, ENSA members have been working intensively to offer consumers a more diverse range of healthy products including unsweetened versions. As a result, plain soy and plant-based drinks manufactured by ENSA members are generally low in sugars. Typically, soy drinks contain less total sugars than comparable dairy products. Other plant-based drinks also typically contain low amounts of sugars.

Commitment of ENSA to help reduce the sugars intake of the EU population

Fully aware of the need to help fight obesity and non-communicable diseases and help consumers switch to healthy options, ENSA members are determined to continue their efforts to provide consumers with healthy and tasty food products that will contribute to a healthy balanced diet.

Therefore, the European Natural Soy and Plant-based Manufacturers Association commits to further reducing the amount of total sugars in its portfolio of soy and plant-based drinks by 5%[1] by 2020 with 2015 as a baseline. ENSA will monitor progress and will report on the results of its sugars reduction commitment on an annual basis.


[1] The members have also agreed that the 5% reduction target is based on the current market outlook for plant-based drinks. Should a significant change in the market and consumer preferences and/or membership composition of ENSA occur, the members reserve the right to reduce or enlarge the reduction target.