Credible confectionery logo seals charitable status
which champions the health benefits of sugar-free confectionery,
has announced it has received charitable status for its work -
something which sugar-free confectioners will inevitably be keen to
be associated with, Tom Armitage reports.
The association currently holds the licensing rights to the Happy Tooth label - a sign which is licensed to a number of international confectionery manufacturers for use on the packaging and advertising of products proven to be tooth friendly by a so-called plaque-pH telemetry test (a standard scientific test used to assess tooth decay).
It is this licensing arrangement that provides the bulk of the funding for the Swiss-based association, which claims that its Happy Tooth logo not only gives "value to a brand" but also allows it to achieve its long-term social objectives of raising children's dental health standards.
The association explains that today's consumers are inundated with misleading product labelling, and the generic sugar-free or sugar-less tags often used by manufacturers are starting to have waning credibility.
Kati Leskinen of TSI told ConfectioneryNews.com that "unfortunately some confectionery products display sugar-free logos and labelling but still contain harmful acids and other ingredients which can be equally as detrimental to teeth."
"With the Happy Tooth label consumers are guaranteed products which are tooth-friendly, tested by independent scientific methods and backed by dental associations," she added.
And although TSI's current member associations include branches across Switzerland, Germany and Spain, TSI envisages a wider long-term roll-out across the US and the UK - both of which have expressed a desire to combat rising levels of obesity and dietary-related health problems.
According to TSI, its most successful campaign has been in Switzerland, where a reported 100 per cent of domestic sugar-free confectionery now carries the Happy Tooth logo.
Some UK retailers have already adopted Happy Tooth labelling in an eager bid to appear responsible corporate figures - ailing retailer M&S, for instance, uses it to promote its sugar-free chocolate range, while international confectionery producer Chupa Chups is able to display the Happy Tooth logo across some of its UK products through a global licensing agreement with TSI.
According to market analysts Euromonitor, sugar-free confectionery is one of the fastest growing confectionery categories in the UK. In the last two years alone sales of sugar-free confectionery chocolate have increased by 26 per cent to £229 million (€329 million) at the retail level.
In comparison to its European counterparts, however, the sugar-free confectionery segment is one which holds very little significance for UK manufacturers, accounting for a mere 4 per cent out of a UK confectionery market worth an estimated £5.5 billion (€7.9 billion).
Sugar-free confectionery accounts for an 18 per cent share of the Spanish confectionery market, followed closely by Finland, Norway and Germany, which all show similar statistics.
"Most developed countries already have well established dental associations which selectively endorse their own sugar-free products. But the developing markets, such as eastern Europe where there is enormous potential for sugar-free confectionery, need the labelling to help guide consumers towards healthier, tooth-friendly confectionery," commented Leskinen.
TSI's members include health professionals and food manufacturers from raw material suppliers to high-profile confectionery manufacturers, including Chupa Chups, Cadbury, Haribo, and Nestlé.