Washington — This afternoon the four biggest global confectionery companies and America’s largest non-chocolate candy company, in cooperation with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), revealed details of a voluntary industry commitment to provide consumers with information, options and support as they enjoy their favorite treats.
This level of commitment, never before seen in the industry, brings together companies that are well-known and respected around the globe — Mars Chocolate North America, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., Inc., Nestlé USA, Inc., Ferrara Candy Co., Inc., Ferrero U.S.A., Inc., Lindt & Sprüngli (USA), Inc., Ghirardelli Chocolate Co., and Russell Stover Candies, Inc., noted NCA President and CEO John Downs, who introduced the initiative at PHA’s Building A Healthy Future Summit.
The event, attended by nonprofit, academic and government leaders, is dedicated to addressing the issue of childhood obesity and other societal challenges. Downs presented details of the commitment during a special briefing, where he was accompanied by the CEOs from the participating companies.
Joining NCA’s chief exec at the event were Mars Chocolate President Tracy Massey; Paul Chibe, president and CEO of Ferrero North America; Paul Bakus, president of corporate affairs for Nestlé; NCA Chairman Michael Rosenberg, of The Promotion In Motion Cos., Inc.; and Jill Manchester, senior vice-president of marketing and brand strategy for Ferrara Candy.
“Chocolate and candy have always been a treat, and this is a big commitment by the participating companies to keep it that way,” Downs said. “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 they feel empowered to make informed choices.”
Going forward, NCA will facilitate the leadership commitment, Downs told Candy & Snack TODAY leading up to the announcement, helping ensure the great efforts of the participating companies and their brands are captured and reported. “We will serve as the hub for this group of dynamic companies to come together and successfully execute this important industry initiative during the next five years.”
Progress of the commitment will be monitored and reported by PHA in conjunction with the Hudson Institute, a nonpartisan policy research organization.
Downs also offers deeper insights into the three pillars that make up the initiative.
More Options In Small Pack Sizes
In his remarks, Downs explained that by 2022, one-half of the individually wrapped products made by the participating companies will be available in sizes that contain 200 calories or less per pack.
Chocolate and candy are currently available in a wide variety of options — packages ranging from fun size to share size — that can bring a little enjoyment to any occasion.
Right now, more than 60 percent of the participating companies’ individually wrapped products contain less than 250 calories per pack. In the next few years, consumers will see more options in smaller sizes — and innovative new products, as well.
Transparency & Information
Within the next five years, 90 percent of the best-selling treats made by these companies will have calorie information printed on the front of the pack. This puts calories for the entire package at consumers’ fingertips, according to the Association, helping them feel empowered when they choose their favorite treat.
Support In Making Informed Choices
Consumers are faced with countless choices when it comes to confectionery treats. To help them make more informed decisions, the manufacturers leading the initiative will develop easy-to-understand information and educational tools that can be accessed online and via social media.
Recognizing most people in the U.S. enjoy candy two to three times per week, averaging about 40 calories and about one teaspoon of added sugar per day from confectionery items, the newly established AlwaysATreat.com is intended to evolve into a digital resource full of easy-to-use information for consumers to better understand the unique role confections can play in a happy, balanced lifestyle. NCA’s “Your Candy, Your Questions” will be housed on the site so consumers can understand firsthand what their favorite treat is made with.
Downs explained that each company will use its own digital properties and brand assets to convey this information. Consumers will be able to join the conversation surrounding the leadership commitment using the #AlwaysATreat hashtag across all social media platforms, Downs adds.
“During the next five years, the participating chocolate and candy companies will help consumers better understand the unique role confections can play in a happy, balanced lifestyle,” Downs told Candy & Snack TODAY. “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.”