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Sugar rush: how dates went from rare luxury to healthfood sensation

Once an occasional treat in the UK, dates are now a staple of ‘healthy’ eating. But can something that is 80% sugar really be good for us?

Strawberry sundae, carrot cake, lemon drizzle, berry delight … You can have any flavour of Nakd bar you like, as long as you like dates. Squished together into a caramelly goo, before being mixed with chopped nuts and dried fruit, flavoured with spices and shaped into bars, dates are the backbone of every product in the range. “We do actually call it date goo,” says the brand’s development manager, Mirka Butalova, holding an enormous log of it in her hands.

We are at the company’s head offices, in a Buckinghamshire business park. On the table before us is an assortment of bars, all containing between 40% and 55% dates. Nakd is one of the biggest consumers in the UK, purchasing 2,000 tonnes of the dried fruit yearly.

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