The brands include Mars Chocolate, Wrigley, Nestlé USA, Ferrero, Lindt, Ghirardelli, Russell Stover and Ferrara Candy Company. The organizations are redoubling their efforts to create more options in innovative packaging, and educate consumers about how unique products like chocolate and candy can play a role in a happy, balanced lifestyle, the National Confectioners Association said in a news release.
The companies made the announcement May 11 at the Partnership for a Healthier America Building a Healthier Future Summit.
"Chocolate and candy have always been a treat, and this is a big commitment by the participating companies to keep it that way," said John Downs, president and chief executive officer of the association, in the release. "We are proud to make this five-year commitment with The Partnership for a Healthier America, a highly regarded nonprofit organization that will help us track and verify this meaningful initiative. 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."
The participating companies have committed to making half of the individually wrapped products available in sizes that contain 200 calories or less per pack by 2022. Chocolate and candy are currently available in a wide variety of options – packages ranging from fun size to share size. Right now, more than 60 per cent of the 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, the association said.
Within the next five years, 90 per cent of candy and chocolate made by these companies will have calorie information printed on the front of the pack.
"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," Downs said. "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."