Ready meals with more sugar than a chocolate bar

New Which? research reveals the supermarket ready meals that are high in added sugar, with some containing 50g of sugar – your entire recommended daily allowance.

We looked at 17 ready meals and found:

  • Sainsbury’s Sweet and Sour with Chicken and Rice contained 50.7g of sugar, the equivalent of around 10 teaspoons per pack and almost double that of a standard size Dairy Milk chocolate bar which contains 25.5g of sugar.
  • Tesco Thai Chicken Pad Thai with Rice Noodles may seem a healthy option but contained 37.8g of sugar, which is more than a can of Coca-Cola
  • Tesco Everyday Value Sweet and Sour Chicken with Rice was also high in sugar, containing 48.4g per pack.
  • Added sugar is the third or fourth ingredient in all of these meals and the main source of sugar.

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said:

“With rising obesity rates, it is shocking to find that ready meals contain more sugar than a chocolate bar. We want the Government to set clear targets for calorie reduction as part of the Responsibility Deal with food businesses.”

Notes to editors

1.    We looked at 17 ready meals and the added sugar in them:

Brand and Meal

Pack size

Sugar per 100g (g)

Sugar per pack (g)

Sainsbury’s Sweet & Sour Chicken with Rice

450g

11.8g

50.7

Tesco Everyday Value Sweet & Sour Chicken with Rice

400g

12.1g

48.4

Sainsbury’s Crispy Sweet & Sour Chicken with Rice

400g

9.3g

37.3

Tesco Thai Chicken Pad Thai with Rice Noodles

350g

10.8g

37.8

Waitrose Sweet & Sour Chicken with Rice

400g

9.73g

38.92

Marks & Spencer Cantonese Sweet & Sour Chicken with Rice

400g

8.4g

33.6

Morrisons Kitchen Oriental Sweet & Sour Chicken & Egg Fried Rice

450g

7.4g

31

Asda Sweet and Sour Chicken and Egg Fried Rice

450g

6.7g

30.2

Uncle Ben’s Rice Time Sweet and Sour

300g

9.4g

28

Tesco Healthy Living Duck & Hoisin Noodles

350g

7.3g

23.4

Weight Watchers Heinz Signature Recipes Sweet Chilli Chicken

320g

7 g

22.5

Sharwoods Sweet and Sour Chicken

375g

5.9g

22.13

Tesco Ken Homs Kung Po Chicken & Rice

500g

4.4g

22

Uncle Bens Rice Time Cantonese

300g

7.1g

21.3

Asda Reduced Calorie Sweet Chilli Chicken Noodles

350g

5.6g

19.6

Weight Watchers Sweet and Sour Chicken

320g

5g

18.9

Tesco Healthy Living Sweet Chilli Chicken Noodle

350g

5.2g

16.2

2.  Standard size Dairy Milk has 25.5g of sugar

3.  Standard can of Coca-Cola has 35g of sugar​

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