Guest Article

NCA president: When it comes to candy, consumers are embracing moderation

By John H. Downs, president & CEO of the NCA

- Last updated on GMT

Policy proposals targeting candy have not gotten traction in the US, writes John H. Downs
Policy proposals targeting candy have not gotten traction in the US, writes John H. Downs

Related tags Candy Confectionery

National Confectioners Association president and CEO John H. Downs responds to suggestions candy could be the next target of national and state sugar taxes.

A recent Confectionery News opinion piece​ was a missed opportunity to educate readers on the way that people are consuming candy and accurately characterize the food policy environment in the United States. 

Less than 50 calories a day

Candy is a special treat that has played an important role in cultural traditions, seasonal celebrations and family occasions here in the United States and around the world for generations.

Consumers understand the unique role that chocolate, candy, gum and mints can play in a happy, balanced lifestyle. 

Most Americans enjoy candy about twice per week, averaging less than 50 calories per day and about one teaspoon of added sugar per day from confectionery items. In fact, candy accounts for less than two percent of the average American’s overall caloric intake.

John H. Downs is the president and CEO of the National Confectioners Association, the trade group representing more than 600 companies engaged in the business of confectionery.

US people do not support candy taxes

That said, there is no denying the ongoing conversation about food and nutrition policy in this country. 

Many consumers have questions about sugar, as well as other ingredients in what they eat and drink. And a few lawmakers are seeking budget solutions.

But policy proposals that target chocolate, candy, gum and mints have gotten no traction in the United States, mostly because people do not support them – but also because no one is surprised to learn that there is sugar in candy. After all, candy is an honest, affordable, transparent and fun treat.

Transparent confections

We recently launched YourCandyYourQuestions​ to help consumers understand what ingredients we use to make the products they know and love, and why we use those ingredients. 

We created this digital information base to provide consumers with the information and support they need to make the choices that are right for them and their families.

With our front-of-pack labeling program, confectionery companies are putting calorie information right at consumers’ fingertips. And, of course, the companies make a wide variety of options — available in packages ranging from fun size to share size – that can bring a little enjoyment to any occasion.

Whether consumers purchase chocolate, candy, gum or mints in the center of the store or at retail checkout, they are choosing to enjoy them in moderation.

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