Chocolate bars to shrink by 20% in UK's war on sugar

LONDON: Some of Britain's favourite chocolate bars may get smaller as the country launches its war against sugar.

Chocolate bars to shrink by 20% in UK's war on sugar
A KitKat bar. (Photo: AFP/Fabrice Coffrini)

The reduction is part of the Public Health Education's (PHE) action plan released in August this year for combating childhood obesity in the UK. Among the plans was to cut 20 per cent of sugar from a wide range of food and drink products by 2020. 

According to the Times on Sunday (Feb 5), the new sugar targets set by PHE come on top of reductions already made by manufacturers. These targets will be laid out in the first of a series of reports on child obesity coming out next month. 

The newspaper said that progress would be measured in average sugar content per 100 grams of product or by reduction in portion sizes. 

Manufacturers who do not meet the targets may expect to be named – and shamed – in these reports.

According to the Times, Mars, KitKat maker Nestle and Cadbury's Mondelez have been in meetings with PHE officials and suggested reducing the size of their products by 20 per cent.

The Daily Mail quoted a Nestle spokesperson as saying that "while resizing is an effective way to reduce sugar, calories and fat from confectionery, it is certainly not the only choice". 

Some companies have reformulated their high-sugar products with artificial sweeteners, but chocolate makers are concerned that there would be challenges with this method, said the same report. 

Chocolate bars have been shrinking in the UK for years for reasons including the rising costs of material. Among them are Mars, Snickers, Toblerone, Terry's Chocolate Orange and Twix. 

Source CNA/ AFP