No More King-Size Candy Bars? Consumers React

While the announcement that Mars is ending production on king-size candy bars might have some people running to the store to stock-up on these extra large snacks, I am personally thrilled to hear this announcement. Mars will be manufacturing candy bars that have fewer than 250 calories per bar, a considerable reduction to the 500-plus calories present in most king-size candy sizes. Instead of a single serving packing such a sugary punch, the company will be releasing bags of two or four serving portions to “enable sharing or saving a portion for later,” a company spokesperson told NPR.

Reuters first reported the news Wednesday but word that king-size Twix would be gone by the end of 2013 didn’t begin to fully circulate on Twitter and Facebook until Saturday morning. With the phrase “king-size candy” reaching the top 10 trends on Yahoo! that same afternoon, it was easy to see that many people were reacting very strongly to the news.

“This actually pleases me,” tweeted Christie D’Zurilla (@dzurillaville), a blogger for the Los Angeles Times. Anthony Adragna (@aadragna) had a similar reaction: “RIP King Sized Candy Bars. Really great decision.” Nicole Beemsterboar (@nprnicole) chimed in with an excellent point, tweeting that “it’s pretty incredible that it’ll take us until 2013 to recognize that [a] king size Snickers isn’t worth it.”

But not everyone seems quite so pleased with the announcement. “Laying Whitney Houston and the King-Sized Snickers Bar to rest today; Not a great day for my childhood,” tweeted Matt Warshauer (@HelloWarshauer) while the news was trending on Yahoo!. Even L.A. Weekly chimed in: “Mars to eliminate King Size candy bars, making it harder than ever to eat your feelings.”

I can’t help feeling that with childhood obesity on the rise — it has more than tripled in the last 30 years — and the compelling advertising campaigns marketing king-sized candy bars (and other junk food) to the American population, that the efforts being made by various companies to reduce calories in serving sizes is a step in the right direction. Many consumers don’t realize – or don’t care – that just because something comes in a single package or container, it can actually contain 1-3 servings. And while I have a sweet tooth I occasionally treat, less availability of sugary snacks with over 500 calories per container seems like a great idea to me, especially with impressionable kids and teenagers going through check-out lines full of the vibrant packages.

If only a few more companies would follow suit, consumers might find it that much easier to indulge in a single serving and to begin “saving a portion for later.”

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