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Survey Reports Candy Companies Providing Deeper Transparency

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America’s chocolate and candy companies are providing more transparency, choice, and portion guidance options for consumers, according to a report issued Sept. 8 by Partnership for a Healthier America and the National Confectioners Association.

The report found that leading chocolate and candy companies – Mars Wrigley, Ferrero, Ferrara Candy Company, Lindt, Ghirardelli Chocolate and Russell Stover Chocolates – met and exceeded the metrics associated with their five-year commitment through PHA to increase the percentage of portion guidance options in their collective product portfolio and increase the percentage of their products that carry front-of-pack calorie labels.  

Key findings include:

  • Half of the individually wrapped products made by the participating companies are available in sizes that contain 200 calories or less per pack. This is up from 38.3 percent in the 2016 benchmark year.
  • Ninety-five percent of confectionery products have front-of-pack calorie labels, which is up from 53.7 percent in the 2016 benchmark year. This number is even higher at retail checkout: 98 percent of chocolate and candy packaging found at the front of the store have calorie labels printed on the front of the pack.

This partnership has empowered consumers to make informed choices and has driven directional alignment within the broader confectionery industry. Eighty-five percent of chocolate and candy sold today comes in packaging that contains 200 calories or less per pack – whether that’s individually wrapped products or multipacks that contain smaller packages inside.

“The results of this commitment show that companies have the opportunity to impact change while still maintaining their business models and keeping consumers front and center,” said Nancy E. Roman, president and CEO of PHA. “We applaud these companies for stepping up and helping consumers manage their sugar intake through innovation, transparency, and education.”

In 2017, Mars Wrigley, Ferrero, Ferrara Candy Company, Lindt, Ghirardelli Chocolate and Russell Stover Chocolates joined forces in a commitment to Partnership for a Healthier America. These companies set a goal to provide more transparency, create more portion guidance options in innovative packaging and educate consumers about how products like chocolate and candy can be an occasional treat in a balanced lifestyle.

“The scale of these major global competitors and their ability to collaborate and drive meaningful change related to offering more transparency, portion guidance options, and educational tools for consumers seeking to manage their sugar intake is unmatched,” said John Downs, president and CEO of the NCA. “We are proud of the results of our commitment to PHA; and our industry is continuing to focus on innovation in packaging and products to meet our consumers and retail partners’ needs and desires for great-tasting treats.”

As with all of PHA’s partners, each of the commitment elements have been verified by a third party and are reported in PHA’s annual progress report. This commitment was monitored and reported by verifiers with Georgetown University.

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