Tighter regulations in the candy industry are coming, and packaging labels will continue to improve
At the recent annual meeting of the European Confectionery and Biscuit Association (CAOBISCO) in Brussels, representatives of candy manufacturers such as Mars, Ferrero, Yizi, Nestle, and the European Commission discussed the role of the candy industry in health issues. The European Consumer Organization (BEUC) said that for candy companies, what consumers want is to restrict the children's market.
Starting from curbing obesity
According to data from the World Health Organization, one-third of children in Europe are overweight or obese, and their intake of sugar, salt, and saturated fatty acids is significantly higher than dietary recommendations. In other regions, this issue cannot be ignored and must receive attention.
Put restrictions on advertising
According to data from the American Psychological Association, children are influenced by television advertisements to choose unhealthy foods, which is a very critical factor in causing obesity.
The data shows that children who watch more TV every day consume more total calories, as well as fast food and sugary beverages.
Therefore, BEUC requires candy food and beverage manufacturers to reduce the addition of sugar, salt, and saturated fatty acids, while increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables, nuts, and healthy proteins. For candy manufacturers, the first thing to do is to reduce the market.
In 2010, CAOBISCO recommended that member companies join the European Union's declaration, requiring a ban on advertising to children under the age of 12. Mars, Ferrero, Yizi, and Nestle all announced compliance with the declaration.
Declaration of Accession to the European Union
The EU declaration has certain limitations. Today's children still receive a large amount of information that encourages them to choose unhealthy foods, such as candy and cookies with cartoon characters printed on their packaging.
Advertising by member companies of the EU Declaration accounts for 80% of the EU food and beverage industry. Pauline Castres, a food policy officer at BEUC, said that candy manufacturers should reflect on health issues, and government departments should also play a role in setting goals.
Currently, food companies have voluntarily joined the EU Declaration, and various food companies have made improvement policies for the children's market.
Tighter regulations are coming soon
The British Advertising Commission (CAP) is currently introducing a policy requiring a complete ban on advertising for high fat, salt, and sugar foods (HFSS), which is an extension of the current requirements for non broadcast media, such as online platforms.
Although many member companies have restructured their products, adjusting the packaging size is still the measure of many large companies.
Control package weight
Castres very much agrees with the request of CAOBISCO to reduce the packaging size of candy products, but also points out that the price of small packaged foods should also be appropriately reduced to make them affordable for consumers. She said, "Small size packaging will cost more than twice as much as other size packaging, which is not affordable for low-income families."
In addition, Castres believes that the size of each serving labeled on the trademark should truly reflect how much consumers actually eat.
The amount of sugar added will be indicated
BEUC stated that the EU has enacted legislation on "Food Information to Consumers (FIC)", which means that from December 13, 2016, food companies will have the obligation to provide product nutrition information.
Such labels will not become a major issue for candy companies, and consumers will not be shocked by the sugar they eat in chocolate. Relatively speaking, it may have more impact on other categories, such as consumers who see a lot of sugar in a self perceived healthy milk cocktail breakfast, or when they see a lot of sugar in a healthy cereal bar, they are usually surprised.
In the United States, Mars Chocolate supports the labeling of added sugar levels, and the National Candy Association has stated that the nutritional table of the product needs further changes.
BEUC supports the introduction of a traffic light signal label system in the European Union. Castres said that the traffic light signal label will not only address the issue of obesity, but will help consumers identify high levels of sugar and saturated fatty acids in products that claim to be very healthy.