North East Connected

Are our favourite treats getting healthier?

Pop into any newsagent or local supermarket and you’ll find a paradise of tempting chocolates and sweets — perfect if you have a sweet tooth! However, are our favourite treats changing? Paper cups retailer, Inn Supplies examines the changes:


Recent times have seen a shift towards healthier lifestyles and it seems that many of our favourite sweet treats are following suit. Recently, Nestlé unveiled plans to make milk the main ingredient of Milkybar — up to 37.5% from 26% — and reducing the amount of sugar by 9%. In total, it is anticipated that the change will eliminate 350 tonnes of sugar and 130 million calories from our diets.


KitKat bars were not immune from Nestlé’s crusade to reduce the amount of sugar in their products either. As the refreshed packaging boldly states, the new bars now have more milk and cocoa than their predecessors.

The impact on consumers is relatively low, however. Calories in the typical KitKat have reduced to 209 from 213, while sugar is just 0.7g less. Regardless, the move is still a step towards healthier snacks for consumers, without compromising on size or taste.


Remember when Nestlé replaced our beloved blue Smartie with a white version that was free of artificial colours and flavours? The moved triggered a public backlash and a campaign for the return of the blue Smartie that was supported by almost 20,000 people.

Blue was difficult to replicate without artificial colours but, in 2008, the sweet was eventually returned as Nestlé was able to extract the blue colouring from Spirulina seaweed. This helped the brand strike the balance between natural colours and the much-loved Smartie blue.


In 2007, Mars altered their recipes to include animal extracts. After facing a huge backlash from vegetarians, who were unable to eat the products following the change, Mars reversed the decision, admitting they had made a mistake.

Even after the retraction, vegetarians were unable from eating the products for some time. Mars didn’t recall any of the products containing animal extracts, meaning many of the treats remained in circulation for a while.

Size matters

Instead of changing their recipes, some brands have chosen to reduce the sugar in their treats by simply reducing their size. In fact, you’ll have likely noticed the dwindling dimensions of our favourites.

Reports from The Times suggest that some of our favourite brands of chocolate — including Nestlé, Mars and Mondalez, the owner of Cadbury’s — are all set to reduce the size of their snacks by up to 20%.

The changes are already taking effect, with the popular Snickers bar now weighing 48g compared to its previous 58g. Likewise, we have seen a 14 per cent reduction in Twix biscuits, down to 50g from 58g, while Malteaser pouches are 15% lighter at 121g.

As Christmas approaches, the sizes of our favourite tins of sweets are also shrinking. Quality Street, for example, reduced the size of their standard tin from the original 1kg to 780g in 2015.

These changes are born out of necessity, in order to meet the government’s new recommendations on sugar. We may want more for our money, but it’s clear that the reduced sizes have our health in mind, without facing public backlash as a result of changing the recipes.

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