Jim Jams the UK’s low sugar alternative ‘to you know who’ has just been rolled out across 350 Sainsbury’s stores (Wk.4 November) For many people jams and preserves might well seem like a stubborn, stuck in the past category that’s sadly out of sorts with modern day living. There’s certainly no denying that both breakfast and jam’s most ardent supporter bread are in decline and that this a strong bastion of British manufacturing swagger has crumpled in the face of marauding overseas heavyweights such as Nutella, Bonne Maman and St Dalfour.
And yet just when you thought that this static, stuck-in-its-way category was toast we discover that genuine innovation is firmly afoot.
Jim Jams is a long overdue response to a food aisle that has been reluctant to truly merge healthier eating (a ‘reduced sugar’ revolution) with top drawer taste; a heartfelt husband and wife response to an uncomfortable realization that their children’s (and the nation’s) favourite chocolate spread included the alarming equivalent of 57 sugar cubes.
Seeing that peanut butter was already bringing some much needed appetite appeal to this weary food aisle by realigning itself to a younger, ‘protein hit’ audience, Kellie and Kevin Bath decided that now was the moment to champion an indulgent, ‘guilt-free’ chocolate spread with the taste credentials that could prove less sugar needn’t equate to an inferior flavour profile.
According to co-founder, Kellie Bath, “We felt that there was a genuine opening for a hazelnut chocolate spread with a significantly lighter sugar footprint (83% less sugar than our well-known Italian peer) and honest, non-foggy labelling. We initially tested our thinking in the notoriously finicky health food sector (Holland& Barrett & Boots) knowing that if we could convince them about our health conscious cause, the supermarkets, foodservice and a knowledgeable independent sector would follow suit.
“Jim Jam’s provides an invaluable respite from sugar-laden corporate fayre and budget own label, a health conscious brand that was the 1st food brand to secure Sugarwise’s seal of approval, a Mumsnet accreditation and two Great Taste awards.
“Our chocolate spreads contain maltitol,” concludes Bath, “a harmless sugar alcohol derived from corn or wheat that offers less than half the calories of sugar in addition to being kinder to teeth and diabetic-friendly.”