Thoughts on Candy and our big National Problem Mary Ellen Kuhn

Thoughts on Candy and our big National Problem Mary Ellen Kuhn

“Sugar and spice and everything nice”… Was it really so long ago that sugar was considered a good thing? It’s beginning to seem that way.
Fast-forwarding to the present, we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of a national obesity crisis and a climate in which there is no longer always a rosy aura surrounding sugar and candy. Now candy, soft drinks and some snack products have become potential targets for the news media and possibly even attorneys hungry for a lucrative judgment against “big food.”
That’s why we decided to zero in on the topic of candy and consumers’ diet/health concerns in a special report in this issue. We titled it “Fitting In” because it examines the way in which candy fits into consumers’ lives today, especially in view of negative media attention, anti-candy legislation and the low-carbohydrate dieting mania.
To get a better perspective on the diet and health issues most relevant to today’s consumers, I interviewed Linda Gilbert, president of HealthFocus International, St. Petersburg, Fla. She’s been tracking consumers’ diet and health concerns for 16 years and is one of the best sources I know on such matters. I was interested to hear that she thinks carb-consciousness is more of a fad than a long-term trend. And even more significantly, she points out that it’s not a long-term solution to the very real public health threat of obesity.
“If we’re saying we want to make meaningful contributions to public health, we have to reach farther than low-carb,” she says. “That’s not going to help solve the public health problem of obesity any more than low-fat did.
“We tell people to eat less fat,” Gilbert continues. “We tell them to eat fewer carbs. None of this is going to solve the obesity problem until we tell them to eat smaller portions.”
One of the food companies that has been devoting considerable time and effort to figuring out a responsible and profitable approach to the current marketplace is Kraft Foods. I think the 100 Calorie Packs featuring versions of some of the most popular Nabisco cookies and crackers are a really bright idea. These new packs make portion control simple for the consumer!
I also love the new Chick Chocolates targeted to women. The packaging is colorful and amusing. And a 1-ounce pack contains three wrapped pieces, so the consumer can choose whether to have one or all three. Even if you go for the latter option, the calorie total is 170 to 180. It’s not a “diet” product, but neither is it an over-the-top caloric investment. It’s simply loads of fun! Products such as these — along with the many new low-carb and sugar-free confections making their debut — give consumers choices, and that’s what it’s all about.
Later this month Confectioner’s parent company, Stagnito Communications, is sponsoring a conference on the topic of obesity and how it will affect the food industry. It’s slated for June 24-25 at the Indian Lakes Resort near Chicago, and it promises to be a provocative forum for the exchange of ideas. For more information, visit and click on Obesity Summit 2004, or call
1-866-265-1975 or 1-212-596-6006.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Candy Industry

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

A Venetian Carnival, a Jelly Belly sculpture and gourmet chocolates! Oh my!

Candy Industry takes you into the French Pastry’s School For the Love of Chocolate event in Chicago, held Feb. 25.

Candy Industry Magazine

candy may 2015

May 2015

Check out the May issue, featuring products from Sweets & Snacks Expo, how Enstrom's rebranding looks promising, and more!
Table Of Contents Subscribe

Healthier Food Options

A recent Nielsen report shows that consumers are calling for healthier options from food manufacturers. Do you think consumers will actually buy healthier versions of their favorite candy and snacks if they’re made available?
View Results Poll Archive

Candy Industry Store

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\Candy Industry\natural-food-flavors-colora.gif
Natural Food Flavors and Colorants

Although many foods are appealing, and even perceived as natural, in spite of containing synthetic additives, consumer increasingly prefer food products which are fully natural.

More Products

Candy Industry's Kettle Awards

Kettle Awards

Since 1946, Candy Industry magazine has recognized leaders in the U.S. confectionery industry with the highest recognition possible, the Kettle Award. The distinguished recipients have captured this most coveted award by not only excelling within their companies, but by contributing to the greater good of the industry. It’s virtually a who’s who of past and present professionals who have left their mark as confectioners and business mavens. Learn more about the voting process as well as the annual Kettle Awards Ceremony by visiting our Kettle Awards Website


fb40   twitter 40    youtube40    linked   Google+

Clear Seas Research

Clear SeasWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.