CHICAGO -- Nestle USA announced at the National Confectioners Association's Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago on Tuesday that it will source 100% certified, Nestle Cocoa Plan cocoa beans for the entire line of everyday Nestle Crunch bars. The Nestle Cocoa Plan is the company's global initiative to help improve the lives of cocoa farmers and the quality of their products while also assuring a sustainable cocoa supply for years to come.
By the end of 2013, Nestle USA will purchase enough certified Nestle Cocoa Plan beans to produce the entire line of everyday Nestle Crunch bars, the company's 75-year-old flagship confections brand. The beans will be certified by UTZ Certified, an independent organization focused on developing sustainable farming and better opportunities for farmers and their families.
Nestle Crunch everyday bars will showcase this distinction on pack later this summer by featuring the seal of the Nestle Cocoa Plan, along with expanded messaging on the back panel. There will be no increase in price to retailers and no change to the Nestle Crunch bar's taste, the company said.
"Recent surveys have shown that a growing number of consumers are seeking foods made with responsibly sourced ingredients," said Robert Kilmer, president of confections and snacks for Nestle USA. "Actions taken under the Nestle Cocoa Plan help socially aware consumers feel good about benefitting people and communities in other parts of the world."
Nestle USA also announced a commitment to increase the quantity of Nestle Cocoa Plan beans purchased each year for its U.S. confections brands. The company's ultimate goal is to produce its entire confectionery line with Nestle Cocoa Plan cocoa.
At current growth rates, the supply of cocoa will not be able to keep up with increased global demand, said the company. Worldwide cocoa consumption is increasing each year and cocoa farmers are struggling to produce more cocoa from the same land.
The Nestle Cocoa Plan, first launched globally in 2009, is a $120-million effort to help improve cocoa sustainability and the livelihoods of cocoa farmers through a number of innovative social and economic programs. This includes providing education and training to thousands of farmers and their families; distributing millions of higher-yielding plants; improving infrastructure in farming communities, building or refurbishing schools and addressing and eliminating the use of child labor in the cocoa supply chain.
In addition to the United States, the Nestle Cocoa Plan has been adopted in several other major Nestle markets including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ecuador.
Nestle Crunch was invented in Fulton, New York, in 1938. In the 1950s, the bar was sold for 10 cents.
Food and beverage product maker Nestle USA, Glendale, Calif., with 2012 sales of $10 billion, is part of Nestle SA, based in Vevey, Switzerland, with 2012 sales of $98 billion. Other brands include Nestle Toll House and Lean Cuisine.