Cadbury sets story straight on low-cal products

By Karen Willmer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition

Cadbury has denied the claims of newspaper stories this week
that it was developing low-calorie versions of its chocolate

Euromonitor claims the low-sugar chocolate market has increased by 52 per cent in the past five years, and so confectionery firms have shown a keeness to jump on this bandwagon. However, Rowan Green, a Cadbury spokesperson, told that the UK press had the story "badly wrong"​ and that the company was not developing low-calorie chocolate bars. However, she claimed the company was interested in following the well-being trend in the market, with the release of their Maynard's Wine Gums Light this week. The new line of Wine Gums will contain half the sugar of the normal product, with 30 per cent less calories. "We are keen to follow the well being trend but it's not just about taking things out or reducing,"​ Green said. "We're also interested in organic products or fortification, such as added vitamin C."​ Cadbury also plans to release a low-calorie version of Bassets Allsorts later this year, with natural flavourings and fewer calories. This follows their release of the Cadbury Highlights brand last year, with 160 calories compared to the standard 255 calories found in Dairy Milk. "We're following five or six of the main consumer trends and this is one of the -- using science and technology to focus on the well being category,"​ Green said.​ The low-sugar confectionery market has been booming due to pressure from health groups about the rise in child obesity levels. The British Health Select Committee estimated the cost of obesity to the NHS at between £3.3bn to £3.7bn per year, plus an extra £6.6bn to £7.4bn for treating overweight patients. The Department of Health forecasts 19 per cent of boys and 22 per cent of girls aged 2 to 15 will be obese by 2010. The figures has led to a regulatory pressure on food companies to produce healthier products. And the companies have been responding to the pressure. Last week for example, Kellogg announced that it would change its marketing practices towards children.

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