Mondelez move for HFSS confectionery ranges sets a high bar for industry reformulation

The past week has seen some particularly notable product development news with Mondelez unveiling plans for eight series designed to comply with high fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) regulations within the UK.

As the company revealed, it is set to launch new belVita Soft Bakes Apricot Filled, a line extension to existing non-HFSS product Soft Bakes Strawberry Filled, available from UK & Ireland retailers this month.

Furthermore, it will also introduce a new belVita Fruit Crunch Range, launching Apple & Pear 30% less Sugar and 70% less sat fat, as well and Raisin & Currant 70% less sat fat compared to the average market of sweet adult biscuits, which the business believes is meeting strong consumer demand.

Clearly, the business has seen the value in engaging with consumers in offering ranges that have a healthier profile, which became a consistent theme of the pandemic, as people looked for products within the wellbeing space as their opportunities to continue their previous health and fitness routines were severely disrupted amid the Covid-19 crisis.

While the pandemic is yet to be officially declared over on a global level, there are many indicators that show the world is slowly returning to something approaching normality, which can only be a good sign. Interestingly, the desire for those healthier option products has seemingly remained strong.

Interestingly, Mondelez in highlighting its latest series of releases, stated that reformulating chocolate was challenging, given the prominent role of sugar in many ranges – with the company correspondingly pursuing a policy of portion reduction in some instances rather than taking on the seemingly more daunting prospect of reducing sugar levels in ranges. Perhaps the one exception to this was the introduction a while back of the 30% reduced sugar Dairy Milk series – but in truth, I can’t recall the last time I saw these bars on the shelf, and it would be interesting to see the sales figures for them. They may be surprising.

As Confectionery Production has previously reported, there is in fact a market for reduced sugar ranges, and as recent site visits including to Cargill’s House of Chocolate in Belgium revealed, there remains a lot of potential for delivering confectionery in this category, but it’s clear that the public will need to be won over in order for it to truly succeed.

Neill Barston, editor, Confectionery Production

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