This week in RN (out on 3 October), I ask if convenience stores and newsagents can survive yet another attack from the health lo

bby on key FMCG products: this time because of sugar content.

While it’s true that the UK is suffering from an obesity crisis which must be tackled, major suppliers are already investing heavily in product innovation and other health-conscious activity. They are showing themselves to be part of a viable solution. You only have to peek at the confectionery range of any independent retailer to see this in action.

“Mondelez International is incredibly proud of the products it makes.  All of them can be enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced diet and are loved by consumers around the world,” says Susan Nash, trade communications manager at the food giant.

With the UK’s most popular chocolate brand, Cadbury, part of its stable, Mondelez has played a key part in the Department of Health’s responsibility deal. This is an agreement between businesses and the government that pledges the former to look for lower calorie alternatives to ingredients encourage healthy lifestyles and more.

Highlighting what this means in practice, Ms Nash says the company provides “clear nutrition and portion information” on the front of packaging, promotes “healthy lifestyles”, and works to improve “the nutritional profile” of its best-selling lines.

Earlier this year, Mondelez launched a new “global wellbeing strategy”, to focus on the wellbeing of “our planet and of consumers”, she says.

Independent convenience retail A planogram under threat? Retailers will hope not

“This included commitments to reduce sodium and saturated fats by 10% across its product portfolio by 2020 as well as increase the number of portion-controlled products across the range, in order to help consumers better manage their calorie intake.” According to Ms Nash “this focus on portion control is key to Mondelez International’s efforts to help consumers lead healthy lifestyles.”

What does this mean for what happens in stores? There have been changes to formats and products already, according to Ms Nash, which highlight this commitment: “We have introduced resealable packaging across our sharing and larger bars to enable consumers to eat a portion and save the rest for another occasion.”

“As part of its calorie reduction pledge under the Responsibility Deal, Mondelez International has also committed to meet a 250kcal limit for its single serve portion confectionery by the end of 2015, which will see it discontinue the popular Cadbury Dairy Milk Bar and Half product.”

Scrapped products, encouraging healthier lifestyles — it’s clear that suppliers are serious about helping Britons live healthier lives. The question now, however, is whether this is going to be enough to quell the call for restrictive legislation, so-called fat taxes and other punitive measures.

Find out what suppliers, retailers and analysts think, only in RN this week.