NCA CEO Addresses Importance of Transparency in Food Industry with Grocery Retailers

NCA CEO Addresses Importance of Transparency in Food Industry with Grocery Retailers

WASHINGTON (October 29, 2018)–
John Downs, president and CEO of the National Confectioners Association, today spoke at the GroceryShop conference in Las Vegas, Nev., about the need for transparency across the food industry, and outlined ways in which the confectionery industry is empowering consumers to make informed choices.

“Our industry includes some of the best-loved and most trusted brands in the world,” Downs said. “That trust is built on a foundation of transparency. For the food industry, transparency is not an option. Today’s consumers expect it.”

Downs shared examples of the recent measures the industry has taken to address transparency in chocolate, candy, gum and mints, including a proactive effort to ensure that consumers are supported when choosing their favorite treats.

“Consumers want to better understand the role of confections in their lives, and for our industry, that can mean helping consumers manage their sugar intake,” Downs said. “Our Always A Treat Initiative is a commitment by America’s leading chocolate and candy companies to provide consumers with more information, options and support when it comes to enjoying their favorite treats.”

Through a five-year commitment to the Partnership for a Healthier America, the industry has pledged that 90 percent of best-selling treats will have calorie information printed on the front of the pack, and half of individually wrapped products will be available in package sizes containing 200 calories or less. Additionally, is a robust resource for transparency around the ingredients used in confectionery. For instance, Halloween Central is a brand-new digital resource to give them the tools they need to help reinforce the unique role that chocolate and candy can play at Halloween in particular.

Downs also highlighted NCA member companies’ efforts around sustainability, setting clear and significant goals for the sources of their ingredients.

“Our companies have analyzed and mapped their supply chains to better understand their social, environmental and economic footprints,” Downs said. “The majority of their impacts and challenges are in agriculture through the raw materials and commodities they source from around the world. From cage-free eggs to sustainable sources for palm oil and cocoa, our industry is demonstrating leadership in a variety of areas.”

Billed as a “one-of-a-kind, three-day innovation event” and hosted for the first time this year, GroceryShop brings together thousands of members of the grocery and consumer packaged goods community to discuss disruption in technology and business. Downs’ speech was part of a series of educational sessions organized by the Retail Industry Leaders Association.


About the National Confectioners Association (NCA):
The National Confectioners Association is the trade organization that advances, protects and promotes the unique role of chocolate, candy, gum and mints in a happy, balanced lifestyle and the companies that make these special treats. Through advocacy and regulatory guidance, communications, industry insights and retail and supply chain engagement, NCA helps foster an environment that enables candy makers to thrive. Confections are produced in all 50 states, creating jobs for approximately 54,000 workers in more than 1,300 manufacturing facilities across the country. Learn more at or follow NCA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.