Major candy and chocolate companies, including Mars Chocolate North America, Nestle USA, WM Wrigley Jr Co, Ferrero, Ghiradelli, Russell Stover, Ferrara Candy Co. and Lindt & Spruengli, have committed to half of their individually-wrapped products containing 200 calories or less within the next five years. The FDA, with its overhauled labeling mandates, will require all manufacturers to list added sugars by 2018.
The calorie reduction could be achieved through smaller package sizes or reformulating product or the launch of new products. The manufacturers also have agreed to clearly list the calorie count on 90 percent of their best-selling products. Currently, more than 60 percent of the companies’ individually wrapped products contain less than 250 calories each.
These promises will be monitored by the Partnership for a Healthier America and the Hudson Institute for five years.
The newly established AlwaysATreat.com also will evolve into a digital resource of easy-to-use information for consumers to better understand the unique role that candy plays in a happy, balanced lifestyle.
“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 CEO of the National Confectioners Association. “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.”
Hershey is not one of the five participating in the commitment, but it made a similar announcement on its own last month. It pledged to make 50 percent of its individually-wrapped, standard and king size products contain 200 calories or less by 2022.