Nestle Discontinues Low-Sugar Chocolate As Manufacturers Face Challenges In Developing Healthy Options

Tuesday, February 11th, 2020 | 842 Views


Two years ago, with no little fanfare, Nestle unveiled the first product it had developed using an ‘innovative sugar-reduction technique’. Milkybar Wowsomes, chocolate bars containing ’30 percent less sugar than similar chocolate products’, went on sale in the UK and Ireland.

The chocolate contained a new type of sugar Nestle had developed, which the company called ‘structured sugar’, describing the ingredient as ‘an amorphous and porous sugar made with all-natural ingredients’. Amorphous sugar dissolves faster in the mouth, Nestle explained, effectively providing more sweetness from a given amount of sugar.

However, Nestle this week admitted it has discontinued Milkybar Wowsomes. There have been rumours of disappointing sales, although Nestle refused to give a reason for its decision to axe the product. The company did point to other low-sugar snacks it still has on sale and insisted it is ‘working on some new and exciting products for the future’.

Nonetheless, the failure of Milkybar Wowsomes will leave something of a bitter after-taste – and highlights the challenges companies face in getting low-sugar snacks to stick. Data may point to a general desire among shoppers to cut their sugar intake but the reality is often different. The taste of low-sugar products may not hit the mark, while there are other structural issues are at play: the snacks category is over-crowded and even brands from companies like Nestle might struggle to gain traction without significant marketing support.

Some consumers could be sceptical when a business the size of Nestle – and with its history in mainstream confectionery – tries to market a healthier snack. In the end, it might also be that snacking habits are still so closely tied – in terms of taste and emotion – to sugar. And that may takes many years to unwind.

Article by Dean Best, Managing Editor, Globaldata

 

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