Save the red ones for later: Nestle Canada rolls out ‘healthier’ Smarties packaging

The famous Smarties jingle used to ask chocolate lovers if they ate the red ones last. Now, Nestle Canada is asking consumers to consider eating fewer of the candy-coated chocolate treats and save the red ones for later. The company is revamping the packaging of Smarties products to make it easier for consumers to parcel out the candies into healthier portion sizes.

“I think it’s probably no surprise to anybody that we’ve lost a bit of our sense of what an appropriate-size portion is of food,” said Catherine O’Brien, vice-president of corporate affairs at Nestle Canada in Toronto. “What we’re doing is providing a package that really is a tangible way for consumers to be a bit more mindful about their choices when they’re having a treat. It’s a physical disruption to your eating pattern, just to make you think before you overdo it.”

The new Canadian-developed package is slightly smaller –down to 45 grams from 50 –and each box is divided into three compartments. Each compartment contains 15 Smarties, which add up to 70 calories. Those 15 Smarties contain just shy of 11 grams of sugar, or the equivalent of about three cubes’ worth.

“The package is an actual physical separation of portion, with the notion of enjoy some now and enjoy some at another time,” said O’Brien.

The company is discontinuing its king-size Smarties boxes. Bags of Smarties weighing 203 grams are being replaced with recyclable canisters, with lids that double as measuring cups to help consumers pour out a 70-calorie, 15 Smartie portion.

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