The move, being considered by household names such as Mars, Nestle and the owner of Cadbury’s, US food giant Mondelez, are considering the change in an attempt to avoid being named and shamed in a series of Public Health England (PHE) reports on childhood obesity.
The first report is due next month.
Chocolate bars in the UK could be reduced by 20 percent by the big manufacturers
Public Health England (PHE) wants manufacturers to reduce sugar content in a range of foods by 20 per cent by 2020, and by five per cent in the first year. The two options for achieving this are either by lowering the amount of sugar in the food or by reducing the portion size.
One option being considered is for manufacturers to use artificial sweeteners but this is said to ruin the taste of the chocolate.
A child tucks into a bar of chocolate (image posed by model)
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Companies are yet to say whether or not they will cut the price of their bars at the same time.
Both Mars – who make Snickers, Milky Way and Twix – and Mondelez declined to comment.
Nestle, manufacturer of Aero, Crunch, KitKat and Smarties, said reducing product size was “an effective way to reduce sugar”.
Nestle produce the popular KitKat chocolate bar
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PHE wants to reduce the amount of sugar in chocolate bars (image posed by model)
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Consumers have already suffered from chocolate shrinkage recently as a result of the rising costs of ingredients.
The government body has said progress will be measured either in average sugar content per 100g of product, or by reductions in portion sizes.
The Mars bar is a perennial favourite for chocolate lovers
Key chocolate manufacturers are looking to reduce the size of their chocolate bars by 20 percent
Beginning in 2018, the Soft Drinks Levy promises to tax companies which make and sell sugary drinks almost £1.5 billion over the first three years.
The initiative is intended to put financial pressure on manufacturers to reformulate soft drinks in favour of sweeteners rather than sugar, as well as to raise money for school fitness programmes.
Consumer group Which? last year identified several products such as chocolate biscuits and toilet paper which were getting smaller but remained the same price, leaving people short changed.
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