The National Confectioners’ Association — the lobby group representing candymakers such as Mars, Mondelez International, Nestle, and Hershey — is preparing a $2 million PR budget to fight the idea that candy has played a role in the American obesity crisis, according to Ad Age.
The immediate threat they’re hoping to stave off is FDA regulation of sugar:
… the Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a petition asking the FDA to establishing a recommended safe level of added sugars, particularly in beverages. While the FDA has recommended daily allowances for sodium and fat, it has no such measure for sugar.
More broadly, Big Candy has encouraged an interesting effort to persuade companies to move the calorie count label to the front of candy packaging. That seems like a good thing — consumers should get more info about the food they’re eating. But what Ad Age doesn’t mention is that the calorie labels are printed in green, and — by amazing coincidence! — consumers have a tendency to believe that green food labeling means the food is healthier.
Big Candy is also locked in a lobbying war with their raw ingredient suppliers, Big Sugar. (I’m not making this up, this is actually how the two industries refer to each other.) Big Sugar has secured a loan guarantee program from Congress, which has funneled $862 million to farmers, and kept the price of sugar artificially high.
Big Candy wants to drive down sugar prices via the free market. That would make candy cheaper of course, and therefore easier for consumers to buy.
No doubt the NCA’s PR effort will explain how that won’t contribute to obesity either.
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