NCA’s Downs Talks With Grocery Retailers About The Importance Of Transparency

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John Downs, NCA President & CEO

Washington DC — John Downs, NCA president and CEO, at the GroceryShop conference earlier this week, addressed the need for transparency across the food industry, and outlined ways in which the confectionery industry is empowering consumers to make informed choices.

“Our industry includes some of the best-loved and most trusted brands in the world,” Downs said. “That trust is built on a foundation of transparency. For the food industry, transparency is not an option. Today’s consumers expect it.”

Downs shared examples of recent measures the confectionery industry has taken to increase transparency in chocolate, candy, gum and mints, including a proactive effort to ensure consumers are supported when choosing their favorite treats.

“Consumers want to better understand the role of confections in their lives, and for our industry, that can mean helping consumers manage their sugar intake,” Downs told attendees. “Our Always A Treat Initiative is a commitment by America’s leading chocolate and candy companies to provide consumers with more information, options and support when it comes to enjoying their favorite treats.”

The Always A Treat Initiative was formed through a five-year commitment to the Partnership for a Healthier America, with the industry pledging 90 percent of best-selling treats will have calorie information printed on the front of the pack, and half of individually wrapped products will be available in pack containing 200 calories or less. Additionally, AlwaysATreat.com serves as a resource for transparency around the ingredients used in confectionery.

Downs also highlighted NCA member companies’ efforts around sustainability, setting clear and significant goals for the sources of their ingredients.

“Our companies have analyzed and mapped their supply chains to better understand their social, environmental and economic footprints,” he said. “The majority of their impacts and challenges are in agriculture through the raw materials and commodities they source from around the world. From cage-free eggs to sustainable sources for palm oil and cocoa, our industry is demonstrating leadership in a variety of areas.”

In its inaugural year, GroceryShop reportedly brought together thousands of members of the grocery and consumer packaged goods community to discuss disruption in technology and business.  C&ST