Washington, DC — Highlighting innovation in chocolate, candy, gum and mints, and spotlighting the men and women who make confectionery products are at the heart of NCA’s National Candy Month celebrations this month. The planned events follow closely on the announcement by several of America’s leading confectionery companies that they are formalizing their commitments to educate consumers on the unique role chocolate and candy can play in a balanced lifestyle.
“National Candy Month is a time to celebrate the sweeter side of life and reflect on a classic American manufacturing success story that includes strong leadership from America’s leading chocolate and candy companies when it comes to helping people manage their sugar intake,” John Downs, NCA president and CEO, said.
Chocolate and candy companies provide 55,000 American manufacturing jobs, creating a direct economic impact of $35 billion, according to NCA. And for every one job the industry creates in manufacturing, another seven are supported in related fields, including retail, agriculture and shipping – totaling 465,000 jobs that rely in part on the sale of confections, the Association states.
Recognizing the role confectionery plays in the lives of consumers, last month five global chocolate and candy companies unveiled a program in conjunction with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) to provide consumers with information, options and support as they enjoy their favorite treats, NCA explains. The companies participating are Mars Chocolate North America/Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.; Nestlé USA, Inc.; Ferrero USA, Inc.; Russell Stover Candies, Inc.; Lindt & Sprungli USA Inc.; Ghirardelli Chocolate Co.; and Ferrara Candy Co., Inc. Independent, third-party verification of the commitment will be tracked, and progress will be monitored by PHA in conjunction with Hudson Institute.
“Chocolate and candy have always been a treat, and this is a big commitment by the participating companies to satisfy consumers changing tastes and desires,” Downs tells CST. “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 during National Candy Month and all year long.”
Commitment details include:
- By 2022, half of the individually wrapped products made by the participating companies will be available in sizes that contain 200 calories or less per pack. Currently, more than 60 percent of the companies’ individually wrapped products contain less than 250 calories per pack, the Association points out.
- Within the next five years, 90 percent of the products made by these companies will have calorie information printed on the front of the pack.
- During the next five years, the newly established AlwaysATreat.com will evolve into a digital resource of easy-to-use information for consumers to better understand the unique role confections can play in a balanced lifestyle.
“Most people in the U.S. enjoy chocolate and candy two to three times per week, averaging about 40 calories and about one teaspoon of added sugar per day,” Downs says. “Our groundbreaking commitment with the Partnership for a Healthier America helps reaffirm that chocolate and candy are treats, and empower consumers with the tools they need to make informed decisions.”
NCA suggests consumers, retailers and manufacturers engage during National Candy Month by celebrating all things chocolate and candy through social media and by performing “Random Acts of Sweetness.”
The Association is encouraging everyone to join conversation using the tag #NationalCandyMonth, and following its Twitter (@CandyUSA), Instagram (@CandyUSA), Snapchat (CandyNCA), and Facebook (NationalConfectionersAssociation) feeds for news on National Candy Month. In addition, NCA is handing out chocolate, candy, gum and mints at locations in Washington, DC throughout the month.