Nestlé’s billion-dollar brand is cutting down on sugar for your kids to boost its own sales

Sweet dreams are made of this.
Sweet dreams are made of this.
Image: AP Photo/Paul Sakuma
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Health conscious parents across the US will be glad to learn their children’s Nesquik chocolate milk will soon have less sugar.

Nestlé is counting on sugar reduction in its food and drinks to boost sales in the ongoing fight against sugary products, the Wall Street Journal reports. Several years ago, Nestle executives said they did not believe their strategy with Nesquik, one of the company’s “billionaire brands” (those with sales exceeding $1 billion) was sustainable.

The company has already introduced the new Nesquik formula in Europe and plans to launch it in the US next year.

The announcement comes as part of a company-wide overhaul to create healthier products. Nestlé, known for chocolates, ice cream, and most of the pizzas and meals found in supermarket freezer sections, began tackling the problem in 2015 by reducing sodium and sugar as well as phasing out trans fats and artificial flavors.

The Swiss food giant also wants to take better advantage of the $2 billion it spends each year on research and development at 40 facilities across the globe.

Nestlé, with $88.8 billion in annual revenue, has missed its goals for revenue growth for four consecutive years. Last September, Nestlé gave the health-trend a go with a protein-packed chocolate milk drink for “adults young at heart.”

A few months later, the company announced it found out a way to cut by almost half the amount of sugar used in its products without changing the taste. The sugar cut allows Nestlé to respond to growing pressure by public health groups and government health agencies to get people to reduce sugar in their diets. It will also allow Nestlé to manage sweetness in its foods without turning to artificial sweeteners—such as aspartame—which have proven controversial.

Nestlé’s announcement also includes a new advertising strategy that will reduce the appeal to children by making the Nesquik bunny smaller and less apparent on packaging.