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How our favourite treats are getting healthier

Author: Jake Holyoak
by Jake Holyoak
Posted: Aug 30, 2017

If you have a sweet tooth, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to the UK’s selection of sweet treats. From chocolate bars to jelly sweets, there’s something to tempt every taste bud.

As we move towards healthier eating, many of our best-loved brands are following suit, tweaking their recipes to suit our changing tastes. The latest sweet treat to make the change is Milkybar. Nestlé recently unveiled plans to make milk the main ingredient of the chocolate bar — up to 37.5% from 26% — and reducing the amount of sugar by 9%.

The move will see Nestlé remove 350 tonnes of sugar and 130 million calories from UK diets—but they aren’t the first to change their recipes to meet public demand. Here, supplier of paper cups Inn Supplies takes a look at some of the famous brands who have made their treats healthier:


Us Brits are attached to our treats, so when Nestlé replaced the blue Smartie with a white version, the brand faced a public backlash — with almost 20,000 people campaigning for the sweet’s safe return.

The blue sweet was swapped as part of Nestle’s reformulation of Smarties’ ingredients, in an attempt to remove artificial colours and flavours. Blue was difficult to replicate without artificial colours, hence the introduction of the white sweet.

However, in response to public demand, the blue sweet made its return in 2008, after Nestlé found a way of extracting the blue colouring from Spirulina seaweed. This helped the brand strike the balance between natural colours and the much-loved Smartie blue.


Part of Nestle’s mission to reduce sugar across their products, the KitKat has underwent a recipe change. As the refreshed packaging boldly states, the new bars now have more milk and cocoa than their predecessors.

However, the changes made are relatively minor — calories in the four-finger bars have dropped to 209 from 213, while sugar is just 0.7g less. Regardless, the move is still a step towards healthier snacks for consumers, without compromising on size or taste.


Back in 2007, Mars made a shock decision to alter their recipes to include animal extracts. After facing a huge backlash from vegetarians, who were unable to eat the products following the change, Mars reversed the decision, admitting they had made a mistake.

However, despite returning the recipe back to normal, vegetarians were still excluded from their favourite treats for some time. Mars didn’t recall any of the products containing animal extracts, meaning many of the treats remained in circulation for some time.

Size matters

Some brands have decided to reduce the sugar in their treats by reducing the size of them, rather than changing their recipes. If you’ve been to your local newsagent or supermarket recently, you’ll have likely noticed the dwindling dimensions of our favourites.

According to a report by The Times, Nestlé, Mars and Mondalez — the owner of Cadbury’s — are set to shrink the size of their snacks by up to 20%, meaning Mars and Dairy Milk bars could all look a lot different.

We’re already witnessing the changes — the standard Snickers bar now weighs 48g, down from its previous 58g. Likewise, we have seen a 14 per cent reduction in Twix biscuits, down to 50g from 58g, while Malteaser pouches are 15% lighter at 121g.

One of the biggest scandals for consumers is the shrinking size of tins of sweets, usually available around Christmas time. Quality Street, for example, reduced the size of their standard tin from the original 1kg to 780g by 2015.

While some consumers may be disgruntled by this type of change, manufacturers are doing to so meet the government’s new recommendations on sugar. We may want more for our money, but it’s clear that the reduced sizes have our health in mind, without facing public backlash as a result of changing the recipes.

About the Author

Jake Holyoak Digital Marketing Executive Mediaworks

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Author: Jake Holyoak

Jake Holyoak

Member since: Aug 23, 2017
Published articles: 25

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