Nothing if not trendy, Mars has introduced three vegan versions of its mainstream chocolate brand, Galaxy (Report, 13 November). At twice the price of normal Galaxy.
But there is no sign of a sugar-free Galaxy, even in response the UK’s world-leading policies to reduce sugar consumption and obesity. The problem is not technical, it is timidity. Sugar-free chocolate has been technically feasible for decades. It is widely available in Spain, Germany and Singapore. But Britain’s big three chocolate makers – Nestlé, Cadbury and Mars – are frightened that introducing sugar-free chocolate here might endanger sales of their dominant brands.
Chocolate confectionery is now the single largest source of sugar in the UK diet. It is also the worst-performing product category among the 10 sweet foods in Public Health England’s sugar reduction programme. Vegan chocolate at £3 a bar is not going to do anything of reduce Britain’s obesity problem. But the margins must be magnificent. Chocolatiers are evading their responsibilities for action on the nation’s number one public health problem.
They are putting their bottom line before the nation’s waistline.
Prof Jack Winkler
Emeritus Professor of Nutrition Policy, London Metropolitan University
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