Always A Treat initiative, candy manufacturers commit to more choices


Sweet or sour, soft or crunchy? Candy is an indulgence enjoyed by all. The Always A Treat initiative shows leading candy manufacturers commitment to more transparency.

According to the National Confectioners Association (NCA), “most people in the U.S. enjoy chocolate and candy 2-3 times a week.” From the snack size candy bar to the movie size boxes, candy is enjoyed in many occasions. Celebrations, pick me ups and just because are all reasons people choose to have a treat. Regardless of the calories in the package, we crave those treats. The Always A Treat initiative helps consumers better understand the size and calories of their favorite candy.

Over the years, the food industry has made people more aware of daily caloric intake, food ingredients and food choices. Even with all this information, everyone wants their favorite piece of candy. Whether it’s overflowing Halloween bags or Valentine’s Day hearts, candy has been and will be part of everyone’s lives.

Always A Treat Initiative announced at Sweets and Expo 2017

At the 2017 Sweets and Snacks Expo, the leading candy manufacturers announced the Always A Treat Initiative. The purpose of this program is to give consumers informed choices. People are going to eat candy. Now, everyone will understand how much they are eating.

According to the announcements, candy manufacturers are increasing the transparency on their offerings. By 2022, the leading candy manufacturers will offer front of package labeling, new package sizes and more snacking information. All of these changes allow consumers to have an informed decision.

While this initiative is forward thinking, it isn’t going to please everyone. Some people will continue to want all sugar, candy, treats and snacks to be gone from all store shelves. This scenario is unrealistic. Some people don’t want to eat just fruits and vegetables all day, every day. Indulgence is and should continue to be a part of life.

Recently, the restaurant industry has been adding calories to menus. The caloric number doesn’t dissuade everyone from ordering the 2,000 calorie dessert or the 800 calorie soda. Or maybe, a person orders a diet soda with that 5,000 calorie plate of nachos. More information doesn’t mean that a person will always choose a salad over a pizza. But, everyone makes an informed choice.

The Always A Treat program is a good tool for the candy industry and the National Confectioners Association. The program shows their commitment to their consumers and the constantly changing food industry. Giving the consumer more options can benefit both companies and consumers.

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Will this new initiative change my candy eating habits? Personally, I believe life is too short not to enjoy my favorite treats. The almost empty bowl of Jelly Belly on my desk is a testament to that belief.