Inherently, candy bars are not a healthy food. That guilt you feel every time you grab for something chocolatey? That’s your brain’s acceptance of the facts. Still, food giant and sweets icon Nestle believes it can do better. And this week, Nestle UK & Ireland announced plans to “improve these products nutritionally,” specifically pledging to “strip out 10% of sugar from its confectionery range by 2018.” Getting healthier never tasted so less sweet.
Nestle UK says that the move will ax around 7,500 metric tons of sugar across the brand’s slew of products, some of which we know well here across the pond – names like KitKat and Smarties – and others that we aren’t so familiar with (like what is an Animal Bar and why does it sound so scary?) Nestle UK said all that sugar will primarily be replaced by increasing the quantities of existing ingredients or by adding other non-artificial ingredients. Beyond simply cutting sugar, the changes will also help keep calories counts lower, the company pointed out.
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“Our confectionery brands have been enjoyed in the UK for more than a century and we know that if we can improve these products nutritionally, provide more choice and information for the consumer, together with other categories, we can have a significant impact on public health,” Fiona Kendrick, Chairman and CEO of Nestlé UK and Ireland, said in a statement. “Nestlé is at the forefront of efforts to research and develop new technology that makes food products better for our consumers…. Making these improvements to our products is key to us delivering better choices for our consumers while retaining the same great taste that they know and love.”
Additionally, cutting sugar in the UK and Ireland helps advance Nestle’s larger global commitment to reduce the added sugar in its products by 5 percent by 2020. Though allow me to point out that the United Kingdom and Ireland are smaller sized countries. Heck, if Nestle had just cut sugar out of candy entirely in the United States, they could probably make Irish candy twice as sugary and they’d still hit their target.