Pack-front Labels Dandy on Candy

In the wake of last week's Sweets & Snacks Expo, another candy manufacturer has announced its plans to help consumers make more informed choices in the confections aisle.

Fairfield, Calif.-based jelly bean powerhouse Jelly Belly will implement voluntary front-of-package nutrition labeling on its most popular packaged products. To begin appearing on shelves this fall, the new front label will highlight information such as calories and fat content.

By providing the information up front, Jelly Belly joins the National Confectioners Association (NCA) and other manufacturers (including Hershey) in support of adopting a method that helps consumers easily access information necessary to make decisions about their diets.

“Front-of-package labeling is the future of our industry and Jelly Belly is committed to being an early adopter of this movement,” said Bob Simpson, Jelly Belly's president and COO, who's also the current NCA chairman. “Transparency and clear communication on the part of the manufacturer allow consumers to make informed choices when the moment for a sweet treat strikes.”

Though Jelly Bellies are only 4 calories per bean, it's unlikely most consumers confine themselves to one (an average serving size is about 140 calories).

With all the heat - some deserved, much of it not - the food industry takes for making people fat, it's nice to see yet another example of providing information to help consumers decide on their own what and how much they'd like to eat.

For many among the self-anointed food police, candy is dandy but fear-driven food bans are quicker. Of course, such tactics are not hallmarks of a free society in which an occasional indulgence makes life all the more sweet.

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