KitKat cocoa content upped 13% in sugar reduction push

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

KitKat sugar content cut 5.6% by adding more cocoa and milk. Photo: Nestlé
KitKat sugar content cut 5.6% by adding more cocoa and milk. Photo: Nestlé

Related tags Chocolate Photosynthesis Rowntree's Kitkat

Nestlé UK & Ireland has upped the cocoa and milk content of KitKat in its bid to cut sugar by 10% across its confectionery range.

The company says the overall portion size and taste will remain unchanged.

Nestlé has redesigned KitKat packs to include ‘Extra Milk & Cocoa’ signage. The new packs will appear on shelves from early April.

Cocoa content increases 13%

Fiona Kendrick, chairman and CEO of Nestlé UK and Ireland, said: “I’m pleased to say that these products are the same size as the ones they are replacing and taste just as good.”

She said people may have been expecting a reduced portion size or added artificial ingredients, but Nestlé opted for more of the existing, natural ingredients.

A Nestlé spokesperson told ConfectioneryNews: “We have increased the cocoa content in KitKat by 13% and milk by 20%.”

Milk chocolate KitKat two-finger has gone from 54 g of sugar per 100 g to 51 g per 100 g, while milk chocolate KitKat four-finger has 51 g per 100 g compared to 52.7g per 100 g.

Price unchanged

Nestlé UK & Ireland earlier this month​ pledged to reduce sugar in its confectionery portfolio 10% by 2018.

It came soon after Nestlé moved to patent technology for a fast-dissolving sugar that has the potential to reduce total sugar content by up to 40% in chocolate.

“The sugar reduction in KitKat has been achieved however through other means [adding more cocoa and sugar],”​ said Nestlé’s spokesperson.

"Retailers set the final price but the new KitKat Extra Milk & Cocoa range will hit shelves next week with the same RRPs (recommended retail prices) as the products they are replacing.”

UK’s voluntary sugar reduction push

Confectionery escaped a UK sugar tax levied on sugar-sweetened beverages agreed last year, which will enter force from April 2018.

However, Public Health England (PHE) will soon publish baseline sugar levels for confectionery and eight other categories singled out to lead a voluntary push to reduce sugar 20% by 2020.

Nestlé said it is working on further improvements towards PHEs goal.

It recently introduced 30% reduced sugar versions​ of two of its best-selling Rowntree’s products: Fruit Pastilles and Randoms.

Nestlé will promote its ‘Extra Milk & Cocoa’ KitKats with a TV, cinema, social and in-store marketing campaigns.

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