Five years ago, confectionery brands — including Mars Wrigley, Ferrero, Ferrara Candy Company, Lindt, Ghirardelli Chocolate, and Russell Stover Chocolates — made a commitment to Partnership for a Healthier America to improve product transparency, portion guidance, and consumer education.
According to the latest progress report, the participating companies have officially met or exceeded the goals of this commitment:
- Half of their individually wrapped products are now available in packs containing 200 calories or less (up from 38.3% in 2016). This progress means that, including multipacks of smaller packages, 85% of chocolate and candy is currently sold in sizes with 200 calories or less per pack.
- Nearly 95% of their best-selling treats now have front-of-pack calorie labels — this is up from 53.7% in 2016 and surpasses the set goal of 90%. Currently, almost all (98%) chocolate and candy products at retail checkout now have front-of-pack calorie labels.
To discuss these results, National Confectioners Association and Partnership for a Healthier America hosted a virtual press conference on September 8.
“It’s a proud day for the industry,” said John Downs, President and CEO of National Confectioners Association. The participating companies, he said, are providing directional alignment for other confectionery brands. And while there aren’t any specific plans for the future of this initiative, the industry will continue this consumer-centric approach to packaging and product innovation.
Nancy Roman, President and CEO of Partnership for a Healthier America, said her organization has long recognized the need to promote healthier treat consumption habits. She explained that added sugars are more of a problem in non-treat items than in treats, but “the biggest and more important challenge is portion sizes.” Leadership from big name brands in the industry, she added, is “what we need if we want the landscape to be healthier across the board.”