Thursday, 13 February 2020

Government-approved chocolate fails to sell

We barely knew thee

This is becoming a familiar story.

In December 2016, the confectionery company Nestlé announced... 

Nestlé’s groundbreaking material science makes less sugar taste just as good

Imagine if your favourite chocolate bar tasted just as good, but with much less sugar. This could soon be a reality, thanks to a major breakthrough by Nestlé scientists.

Using only natural ingredients, researchers have found a way to structure sugar differently. So even when much less is used in chocolate, your tongue perceives an almost identical sweetness to before.

The discovery will enable Nestlé to significantly decrease the total sugar in its confectionery products, while maintaining a natural taste.

“This truly groundbreaking research is inspired by nature and has the potential to reduce total sugar by up to 40% in our confectionery,” said Stefan Catsicas, Nestlé Chief Technology Officer.

“Our scientists have discovered a completely new way to use a traditional, natural ingredient.”

.. The research will accelerate Nestlé’s efforts to meet its continued public commitment to reducing sugar in its products.

In March 2018, the Guardian reported...

Nestlé says it has harnessed science to reduce the sugar in chocolate

Company claims that Milkybar Wowsomes contain 30% less sugar than regular Milkybars

Nestlé is claiming a world first by “restructuring” the sugar it uses in its confectionery to produce a white chocolate bar with 30% less sugar than its usual Milkybar brand.

Nestlé is the world’s leading producer of packaged foods, but the new “structured sugar” is being produced in its factory in Dalston in Cumbria, a result of UK government pressure on food companies to cut the sugar to help curb childhood obesity.

Chocolate and confectionery companies are thought to have an uphill task, because sugar is intrinsic to their products.

This was all done to help the company meet Public Health England's target of cutting sugar across the board by 20 per cent. As often happens with food reformulated with less sugar, the new product - Milkybar Wowsomes - was barely less calorific than the original, with 529 calories per 100g as opposed to 543 calories per 100g in a standard Milkybar. Nevertheless, PHE's Alison Tedstone praised the company's 'leadership'...

PHE’s chief nutritionist, Dr Alison Tedstone, was enthusiastic about the new reduced sugar chocolate bar. “This latest announcement shows innovation has a role to play in making everyday foods healthier and Nestlé’s leadership in this area should be applauded,” she said.
“We hope this announcement will encourage other companies to explore the use of technology to make significant reductions and produce healthier products to meet the government’s 20% target by 2020.”

Alas, and not for the first time, the public didn't share PHE's enthusiasm for food designed to suit targets rather than tastes, and today came some more news...

Nestle axes low sugar chocolate due to weak sales

Nestle has axed its range of chocolate that used a new low-sugar technique, less than two years after it was launched.

The Swiss food giant said demand for its Milkybar Wowsomes had been "underwhelming".

.. The announcement highlights a major issue facing the world's big processed food producers. While governments and many consumers have called for lower-sugar products, most people have yet to warm to less sweet alternatives.

To put it mildly. And it is overwhelmingly governments, not consumers, who are calling for such products.

At the time of the launch Stefano Agostini, Nestle's chief executive for UK and Ireland, said: "A new product like Milkybar Wowsomes introduces greater choice and allows parents to treat their children with chocolate that tastes great but has less sugar.

"We are demonstrating how we can, and will, contribute to a healthier future and that we take our public health responsibilities very seriously," he added.

The company makes sweets and chocolate. It doesn't have any 'public health responsibilities'. If you want to lose weight, don't eat chocolate. That is the start and end of the conversation.

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