M&S teams up with Scottish nutritional scientists on unique diet range

Marks & Spencer has been seeking expert advice from the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health to create a first-of-its-kind diet range that will launch in M&S stores across the UK in January.

The new ‘Simply Fuller Longer’ range will be the latest addition to M&S’s current healthy eating range. It has been developed with expert advice based on scientific research from the Rowett Institute, spearheaded by Dr Alexandra Johnstone, one of Scotland’s leading experts on diet control.

The Rowett Institute is renowned for its ground-breaking research on effective weight-loss and Dr Johnstone’s work has shown that diets higher in protein result in more effective weight loss*. The Institute has provided scientific advice that has enabled M&S over the past year to create an innovative new range with a higher protein content, to help control hunger.

The range will offer a wide selection of meals, salads and lunch options rich in protein, helping people to control their food intake and diet without the usual hunger pangs.

Dr Alexandra Johnstone, explains: “My published studies have indicated that meals rich in protein help to satisfy volunteers' appetites to allow them to lose weight and not feel hungry. These new meals are based on this principle and therefore should help to satisfy hunger.” 

Glasgow-born M&S Nutritionist Claire Hughes, adds: “Losing weight should be simple as basically you need to eat fewer calories than you use. But, as we all know, it’s not that easy in practice – a lot of diets fail as people feel hungry or deprived, so quickly give up and go back to their old habits. Our Simply Fuller Longer diet is based on the principle that protein keeps us feeling fuller for longer than carbohydrates or fat, thus reducing the temptation to snack after meals.”

M&S’s product developers and nutritional team has worked with scientists at the Rowett Institute to ensure that, unlike other high protein diets, carbohydrates are not excluded from the plan. Customers are encouraged to eat extra vegetables and fruit if they feel in need of a snack. 

Dr Alexandra Johnstone, continues: “Providing consumers with choice in achieving a healthy lifestyle, yet also embracing enjoyment of food and eating, are important components to promote positive eating habits.”

“This is an exciting collaboration between Marks & Spencer and the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health that brings together the scientific understanding and knowledge of academia with the design of new food choices by the food industry to provide a new range of calorie-counted options.”

The Rowett Institute is funded by the Scottish Government’s Rural Affairs and Environment department and the link with M&S is being supported by Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Food, Richard Lochhead.

He said: “Our research institutes are world-renowned for the quality of their work and this is another feather in the cap for the Rowett. Their cutting-edge work on nutrition, funded by the Scottish Government’s £10 million-a-year grant, will make a major contribution to one of our key objectives – to make Scotland a healthier place.”

The new M&S range includes a wide selection of ready prepared meals, sandwiches and salads, such as Chargrilled Chicken & Vegetable Noodles with Savoury Miso Dressing and Peppered Salmon, King Prawn & Cous Cous Salad.

The retailer will also be launching a new health website to support the range which will have facilities to enable customers to assess their lifestyle and diet. For example, consumers will be able to work out their BMI, recommended daily calorie intake to lose weight, and find out about the calorie content of their favourite foods (please see further details below).

* As part of a calorie controlled diet