Thursday saw a joint commitment between five major candy and Chocolate companies, aiming to reduce the Calories in many treats sold in the U.S. This rare collaboration between companies in such a competitive market is due to the rising distaste for sugar and desire for less calories among more health-conscious consumers.

Larry Soler, president and CEO for Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) said there is going to be less sugar and calories in the food eaten by U.S. consumers. Soler also said confectionery pricing was not a part of the new commitment.

John Downs, president and CEO of the National Confectioners Association, said in a statement that the companies want to ensure they "meet consumers where the consumers wish to be met."

Chocolate giants banding together to reduce sugar consumption

As reported by the New York Post, companies involved in the collaboration include Nestle USA, Mars Chocolate North America LLC, Lindt, WM Wrigley Jr. Co. and Spruengli. Among the popular products to be affected are Jaw Busters and M&M’s. The companies say they have committed to ensuring that 50 percent of their individually wrapped candy products sold in the U.S. will contain a maximum of 200 calories over the next five years. They will be reformulating recipes, as well as launching new products in the sugar-reduction drive.

Reuters reports that Mars Chocolate North America has already launched a new product, the Snickers Crisper, which consists of two 100-calorie treats, featuring crisped rice. As products stand at present, over 60 percent of their individually wrapped treats contain under 250 calories.

Nestle said in December last year that it has come up with new technology with the potential to reduce sugar in some of their products by up to 40 percent, reportedly with no affect on the flavor of the products.

The commitment by candy producers will include a clear statement on 90 percent of their best-selling products as to the calorie count in the products.

PHA will be monitoring the situation for five years, together with the Hudson Institute.

U.S. is the largest candy consumer in the world

With the U.S. being the largest consumer of candy and chocolate in the world, obesity, heart disease and diabetes are listed among the country’s leading health concerns. Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) overhauled rulings related to labeling of packaged foods, requiring manufacturers to clearly list any added sugars on their labels by 2018.

Soda companies also heard the sugar reduction call

Soda companies are also noting the health craze, with PepsiCo Inc and Coca-Cola targeting diet-conscious consumers with products in smaller cans. This turned out to be a good move, as reportedly the companies are making more money on sales of the smaller products as compared to the traditional cans.