Mondelēz International is reducing the size of certain confectionery products to remove ‘billions of calories’ from the market.
The pledge concerns chocolates and biscuits sold in the UK and Ireland typically bought for children.
Cadbury Mini Fingers and Cadbury Animals will contain less than 100 calories from as early as September 2019. Cadbury bars, Fudge, Curly Wurly, Chomp, and Barny sponge bears will fall under the 100 calorie cap by the end of 2020.
It will take slightly longer for Mondelēz’s Oreo Mini snack pack and Freddo Face Cakes to undergo the modest ‘shrinkification’ process – these products will contain less than 100 calories in 2021.
A Mondelēz International spokesperson told FoodNavigator the decision to modify the size of its products – rather than reformulate – to reduce calorie count comes from its commitment to taste.
“We have taken the decision to slightly decrease the size of the products to achieve the calorie threshold. We are not prepared to change the recipes as we know that taste is the most important thing to customers.”
Regarding packaging design, the spokesperson was unable to reveal whether the under 100 calorie products would be marketed as such. “It’s still early days and we have not finalised our artwork/packaging plans.”
Simplifying ‘treat’ decisions for healthier kids
Mondelēz says the move is in line with its commitment to tackling childhood obesity.
In this instance, the multinational’s strategy lies in portion control. “We hope that people recognise that our ultimate goal is to play our part in tackling childhood obesity and that we are doing this by focussing on the areas where we can make the biggest difference,” the spokesperson said, referencing McKinsey’s report on fighting obesity. The research cites reducing portion sizes and portion control as one of the most effective ways to prevent obesity.
“Added to that, Public Health England’s Change 4 Life programme encourages a portion control approach, advising parents to look for 100-calorie snacks for their kids,” the spokesperson continued.
Elsewhere, Mondelēz has implemented reformulation strategies to lower total calories in its finished products, as observed in its recent launch of Cadbury Dairy Milk with 30% less sugar. Reformulation similarly cut 30% sugar from its Maynards Bassetts Wine Gums.
The confectionery giant hopes calorie reduction will help simplify the decision-making process for adults when purchasing treats for children.
“We fundamentally believe it is important to support parents when they choose to give their children a treat as we understand that it can sometimes be confusing. By introducing this calorie cap we are making it simpler for parents to find a treat under 100 calories for their children.
“We are proud to be making such a significant move and would hope that others will follow,” we were told.