May 11, 2017

3 Min Read
Group of U.S. Candy Firms Vow to Cut Calories in Products
Some of the top U.S. candy firms pledged to cut calories in their products by 2022. Image courtesy of Flickr user ginnerobot

Several prominent confectionery and chocolate makers made a public pledge Thursday to reduce the sugar contents of some of the firms’ products sold in the United States by 2022 amid changing consumer preferences toward healthier options and growing concerns over the sugar and caloric contents of candy.

Announced in conjunction with the trade group National Confectioners Association and non profit organization Partnership for a Healthier America, sweets manufacturers Ghirardelli, Russel Stover, Ferrara, Lindt, Nestle, Wrigley, and Mars committed to making half of the individually wrapped products they produce contain 200 calories or less by 2022. Currently, about 60% of individually wrapped products produced by the companies contain 250 calories or less by package.

“Over the next five years, the participating chocolate and candy companies will help consumers better understand the unique role that confections can play in a happy, balanced lifestyle,” said John Downs, president and chief executive officer of the National Confectioners Association, in a press release announcing the effort. “As we focus and leverage the companies’ expertise in marketing, innovation, and distribution, our goal is to reinforce for consumers that chocolate and candy are treats.”

The National Confectioners Association said consumers will have greater variety of size options for sweets in the coming years, as well as new product offerings. During the next five years, participating firms will ensure that 90% of their “best-selling treats” will include calorie information on the front of packaging, the National Confectioners Association release said. A digital portal, AlwaysATreat.com, was also created under the effort as a resource for consumers on confectionery products.

The move comes as U.S. consumers are trending toward buying less candy, with packaged confectionery retail sales in the country dropping 1.9% from 2011 to 2016, while the savory snacks category grew by 9.5% during the same timeframe, a Reuters report said, citing data from Euromonitor International.

Some U.S. confectionery firms have already individually made commitments to reduce sugar or calories in their firms’ products. Reuters noted that Hershey Co., which announced a similar initiative this spring, was not included in the announcement Thursday.

“This is the first step on our journey to recruit other companies to join us as we work to help consumers manage their sugar intake and ensure that they feel empowered to make informed choices,” said Downs.

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