Category Archives: Candy/Candy Sales

EU Coalition Seeking Ban on Junk Food, Alcohol Ads 18 Hours Daily – 6 AM thru 11 PM

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A coalition of EU health organizations is seeking to ban TV advertising of junk food and alcohol between the hours of 6 A.M. and 11 P.M., describing its plan as “a key opportunity to free Europe’s young people from health-harmful marketing.” Given its way, the coalition no doubt would also like to see all billboard, bus and other outdoor advertising of those products covered up during the same hours.

The campaign was officially launched in the European Parliament on December 2.

A BeverageDaily.com report noted that the action would, if successful, effectively see foreign broadcasts censored to the same EU standards.

Led by Romanian MEP (member of the European Parliament) Daciana Octavia Sarbu, the coalition comprises 10 organizations, including the European Heart Network, the Eurocare Alcohol Policy Alliance, and the European Public Health Alliance. Their aim is to alter the existing Audio-Visual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), EU-wide legislation aimed at protesting children and consumers. It says, in effect, “we know what’s good for you and you need to do what we say.”

Their “What about our kids” campaign has three specific objectives – additions to the AVMSD:

  1. TV advertisements for alcohol and foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) would be banned on all broadcast platforms, including on-demand services and such video-sharing platforms as YouTube.
  2. Product placements for the same products should be banned as being “effective marketing techniques, and should be prohibited alongside those for tobacco and medicinal products.”
  3. Ensure the above rulesare applied equally to all foreign-based broadcasts.

Fiona Godfrey, Policy Director at the European Association for the Study of the Liver, told BeverageDaily that such other rules as those effecting tobacco advertising and marketing “is effective in reducing consumption.”

I’m all for encouraging kids to eat less junk food and to stay away from alcohol until they’re legally entitled to buy and use it, but this approach has too much of a ‘Big Brother’ feel to me.

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The American Heart Assn: Kids Should Consume <25 grams of ‘added sugar’ daily

 

How much “added sugar” is more than enough for children and teens? Any amount exceeding six teaspoons (25 grams), the American Heart Association (AHA) advised this week, in a  scientific statement published August 22 in the AHA journal Circulation.

Children ages 2 to 18 should eat or drink less than six teaspoons of added sugars daily, according to the scientific statement recommending a specific limit on added sugars for children, published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

Six teaspoons of added sugars is equivalent to about 100 calories or 25 grams.

“Our target recommendation is the same for all children between the ages of 2 and 18 to keep it simple for parents and public health advocates,” said Miriam Vos, M.D., Ms.P.H, lead author, nutrition scientist and associate professor of pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.

“For most children, eating no more than six teaspoons of added sugars per day is a healthy and achievable target,” said Vos.

Eating foods high in added sugars throughout childhood is linked to the development of risk factors for heart disease, such as an increased risk of obesity and elevated blood pressure in children and young adults.

“Children who eat foods loaded with added sugars tend to eat fewer healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products that are good for their heart health,” said Vos.

The likelihood of children developing these health problems rises with an increase in the amount of added sugars consumed. Overweight children who continue to take in more added sugars are more likely to be insulin resistant, a precursor to type 2 diabetes, according to the statement.

“There has been a lack of clarity and consensus regarding how much added sugar is considered safe for children, so sugars remain a commonly added ingredient in foods and drinks, and overall consumption by children remains high – the typical American child consumes about triple the recommended amount of added sugars,” said Vos.

The statement was written by a panel of experts who did a comprehensive review of scientific research on the effect of added sugars on children’s health, which presented challenges common to this kind of nutrition research.

“Studies of nutrients such as added sugars are challenging, but over time the number of studies in children has increased,” said Vos. “We believe the scientific evidence for our recommendations is strong and having a specific amount to target will significantly help parents and public health advocates provide the best nutrition possible for our children.”

The expert panel also recommended that added sugars should not be included at all in the diet of children under the age of 2 years. The calorie needs of children in this age group are lower than older children and adults, so there is little room for food and beverages containing added sugars that don’t provide them with good nutrition. In addition, taste preferences begin early in life, so limiting added sugars may help children develop a life-long preference for healthier foods.

Added sugars are any sugars – including table sugar, fructose and honey – either used in processing and preparing foods or beverages, added to foods at the table or eaten separately. Starting in July 2018, food manufacturers will be required to list the amount of added sugars on the Nutrition Facts Panel making it much easier to follow the recommendations in this scientific statement.

“Until then, the best way to avoid added sugars in your child’s diet is to serve mostly foods that are high in nutrition, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean meat, poultry and fish, and to limit foods with little nutritional value,” said Vos.

Estimated calories needed by children range from 1,000 a day for a sedentary 2-year-old to 2,400 for an active 14–18-year-old girl and 3,200 for an active 16–18-year-old boy.

“If your child is eating the right amount of calories to achieve or maintain a healthy body weight, there isn’t much room in their food “budget” for low-value junk foods, which is where most added sugars are found,” said Vos.

The statement notes that one of the most common sources of added sugars is sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda, fruit-flavored and sports drinks, sweetened teas and energy drinks.

“Children should not drink more than one 8-ounce sugar-sweetened drink a week yet they are currently drinking their age in sugary drink servings each and every week,” said Vos.

Because of the lack of research for or against the routine use of non-nutritive sweeteners, such as aspartame, saccharine and sucralose in the diets of children, the authors felt they could not make a recommendation for or against these no-calorie sweeteners. In addition, it is not known whether the high sugar content in 100 percent fruit juices should cause the same concerns as beverages with added sugars.

Other tips for cutting back on foods with added sugars include avoiding sweet processed foods, which tend to be loaded with added sugars, such as cereal bars, cookies, cakes and many foods marketed specifically to children, like sweet cereals.

Dr. Vos noted that the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the World Health Organization and the Food and Drug Administration recommend that added sugars should make up less than 10 percent of calories, which aligns with these guidelines.

 

Stressed? Bored? Go For Salty Snacks – or Don’t, For Your Health

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Stressed out Americans are driving the US salty snack market to new heights, with 62% of Americans consuming salty snacks as a stress-reliever – up from 16% a year ago—according to new research from Mintel.

The report says more than 30% of consumers eat salty snacks when they are bored – that being, coincidentally, a frequent contributor to stress – and up from 25% eating salty snacks as a boredom-reliever a year earlier.

Where are salty snacks consumers indulging themselves? Mintel reports that 33% of those surveyed eat them away from home, 26% and eat them while at work. As that amounts to only 59% of the study group, one night assume – from the provided information – 41% of salty snack eaters, in this group, anyway, randomly absorb them while so distracted they have no clue where they are at the time they do so.

Smokers similarly report that doing so serves to relieve stress or boredom, or both. In both examples, though, the relief could be cut-short by high blood pressure (in the case of the snacks) and cancer (linked to smoking).

While it more than likely is no longer true that teens who smoke are parented by smokers, it once was largely a given: Non-smoking parents, back in the whimsical ‘day’, often abstained for either religious or deeply-held health reasons.

Still, it is interesting to note, as Mintel did, while 35% of parents indulge in salty snacks apace with their kids, 73% of parents (vs. 55% of non-parents) support the contention that salty snack-eating is a stress reliever.

 

With 94 percent of Americans purchasing salty snacks and 13 percent replacing meals with them, Mintel research reveals that three quarters (74 percent) of consumers are interested in healthier salty snacking options. Along these lines, another three in five (61 percent) agree that salty snacks have too many artificial ingredients, while four in five (79 percent) find it important to be able to recognize the ingredients in salty snacks. What’s more, 58 percent of salty snack purchasers agree that it is important to buy salty snacks that contain only a few ingredients.

Despite interest in healthier options, taste trumps all when choosing salty snacks: three in five (62 percent) consumers agree that taste is more important than how healthy a salty snack is. In fact, a new flavor (38 percent) is the most influential purchasing factor for American salty snackers, along with spicy flavor (30 percent) and limited-edition/seasonal flavor (22 percent). Taste remains a key purchase factor as consumers tend to view snacking as a guilty pleasure (69 percent) and indulge in salty snacking as a way to reward themselves (63 percent).

However, taste and health are not polarizing Americans, as four in five (82 percent) consumers agree that salty snacks can be both healthy and tasty.

“Consumption of salty snacks is largely driven by emotion, including stress and boredom. Consumers are looking for ways to manage their wellbeing, and the impact of food on emotional and mental health is becoming more important. Our research reveals this is especially true among parents, with the majority agreeing that salty snacks relieve stress,” said Amanda Topper, Senior Food Analyst at Mintel. “Not only do parents’ hectic lifestyles force them to snack while on the go, but the majority who buy salty snacks agree that snacking throughout the day is a healthy alternative to regular meals. Brands that highlight health and wellness benefits can appeal to parents that are often buying snacks that can be consumed by themselves and their children.”

“Striking a balance between good tasting and good for you is key for salty snack brands. While consumers are concerned about ingredients and express interest in seeing healthier options on shelves, they still want to indulge, and flavor is a highly motivating factor. Brands that focus on products with bold, new flavors that incorporate simple ingredients will offer the best of both worlds to consumers,” continued Topper.

With consumers looking to balance simplicity and indulgence, meat snacks are driving the salty snacks category, comprising 30 percent of retail sales. From 2010-15, sales of meat snacks grew faster than any other segment (55 percent), benefiting from consumers who are looking for fewer ingredients and healthy options. Mintel research indicates that consumers are more likely to look for no artificial ingredients (22%), organic (17 percent) and high protein (33 percent) claims on meat snacks than any other salty snack.

Overall, the salty snacks category grew 29 percent from 2010-15, reaching $10.2 billion, with sales projected to climb an additional 22 percent to $12.4 billion in 2020.

“Recent innovations in flavor and format have helped to spur sales of meat snacks, which are largely perceived as a natural snack food with clean ingredients. Future growth of the burgeoning meat snacks segment, and the salty snacks category overall, will hinge on brands continuing to identify and adapt to consumers’ better-for-you interests and remain transparent in the ingredients they are adding and removing from snacks,” concluded Topper.

 

 

What Came First, Easter or the Egg-Laying Bunny?

 

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Neither (the egg-laying bunny or Easter came first): It was the chocolate-loving British public, which will scarf down chocolate in any form on any occasion – or so some press reports would have you believe.

So how did that public react when Cadbury’s and other candy companies altered their packaging in recent years so the word Easter, once prominent on chocolate egg packaging at this time of year, was either eliminated or relegated to a spot on the back of the pack?

They kept right on buying their chocolate eggs!

But now they have an option to buy one called ‘The Real Easter Egg,’ from Manchester-based  Meaningful Chocolate Company.

An article on The Blaze website says that company “emerged six years ago with the goal of spreading the Christian message through a variety of Easter and Advent products. Instead of politically correct bunnies, flowers and chicks, Meaningful Chocolate Company openly declares Christ as the reason for all of the festivity.”

The Blaze continues:

But since the company first walked onto the Easter candy scene, its founder, David Marshall, said the descriptions on other company’s Easter treats have become more and more bleak.

As an example, the company mentioned Cadbury’s Easter Egg Trail Pack, whose name was changed to “Egg Hunt Pack.” In addition, this season’s label on Nestlé’s Quality Street Easter egg reads: “Large Milk Chocolate Egg.” Another Nestlé product, the Milkybar Easter Egg, now has the blunt name, “Milkybar White Chocolate Egg,” proving that Cadbury is not the only company to blame for the pull.

“It looks like there is a trend,” Marshall told Telegraph.

“A lot of businesses are not comfortable with the religious aspect of the festival,” he continued. “If they want to make their product as attractive to as many people as possible it could well be that they want to remove references to the Christian festival because that will be seen as attaching to one faith tradition.”

A spokesman for Nestlé told Telegraph that there had been “no deliberate decision” to remove the word “Easter” from its holiday products and assured that customers would make an “automatic” connection even if the word was not explicitly mentioned.

“Chocolate eggs have been synonymous with Easter and the Easter story since the beginning of the last century and the association is now an automatic one,” he said. “There has been no deliberate decision to drop the word Easter from our products and the name is still widely used at Nestlé.”

Cadbury has also denied accusations that it has caved to secular pressure and removed Easter from its iconic chocolates, stating that the word “Easter” still appears, if not prominently, on the back of its creme egg wrappers.

A website focused almost entirely on statistics — including some that nobody should want to be aware of! — just published a list of “14 Staggering Easter 2016 Sales Statistics”. Among them: Sales associated with Easter in the UK were expected to be some  £775 million this year. That is, indeed, a ‘staggering’ statistic!

I encourage you to ask your friends, family and colleagues to check out what my two blogs – Food TradeTrends.com and YouSayWhat.info – do in the interest of providing information you might, otherwise, never become aware of. You never know: Some of my research could prove useful, or possibly amusing, to you (and them).

(In the few months these blogs have been published, they’ve been seen, between them, in no fewer than 30 countries! I’m pretty staggered by that statistic!)