The present study was funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, its aim being to identify the technical barriers to the development of reduced-fat alternatives for bakery products. Using National Food Survey (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, 1998) statistics on dietary consumption within the home, biscuits, cakes and pastries were identified as contributing significant amounts of fat to the population's dietary intake. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with contacts in the technical community of the baking industry, who were usually working in technical and new-product development functions. A discussion guide was developed to cover the main lines of enquiry. The companies selected were ingredient suppliers (eight), manufacturers (twelve) and retailers (four) and so represented each step of the food supply chain. In brief, results showed that current labelling rules were too stringent, and constrained development of reduced-fat bakery products. Products with lower fat levels are harder to make due to altered handling and processing properties. Their quality is usually poorer than standard products, particularly for flavour, texture and mouthfeel. The perception of freshness is reduced and product shelf-life may consequently be shorter. For the product developer, there are relatively few ingredients that can be used in place of fat, and knowledge of how they work is limited, which inhibits product development. There is no identifiable source of technical knowledge in this field. Consumers perceive reduced-fat bakery products to be of lower quality and are generally unwilling to pay higher prices than for standard products.