How much sugar is packed into your favourite chocolate bars

 ·12 Sep 2021

Most people love chocolate for a host of different reasons, it tastes great, gives us energy, and makes us feel good, even if only for a brief period. More than not, we eat it because we are trying to kill a sugar craving.

Ask anyone what their favourite chocolate bar is, and you’ll get many answers due to its contents, whether it be dark, white, or milk, combined with wafer, caramel, toffee, biscuit, or marshmallow.

As a result, not all chocolate is made equal – and there are certainly those loaded with more sugar per serving than others. We took to the shopping aisle to find out which ones came out on top.

South Africa’s chocolate confectionery market is a multi-billion rand industry, recording R7.84 billion in sales in 2020 – an increase of 6.30% over 2019.

The market registered a positive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.64% between 2015 to 2020, achieving its strongest performance in 2017 when it grew by 7.66% over its previous year.

The local chocolate industry is dominated by three main players – Cadbury owner Mondelēz,  Beacon owner Tiger Brands, and Nestlé – which produce the bulk of our favourite brands. Mars Wrigley (Mars Bar, Bounty, M&M’s etc.) are also becoming more prominent.

We looked at 29 chocolate bars in South Africa to see how much sugar is loaded into each one.

There are many ways to measure which chocolate bar is the most sugar-loaded. Neste’s Bar-One has the most sugar packed into one 55g serving, making up 64% of the total weight. The Bar-One has 35.2 grams of sugar, equal to just over 7 teaspoons.

However, as a portion size, Cadbury’s 5Star and Crunchie are both slightly heavier, at 65% of the bar being sugar. Both bars have approximately 5 teaspoons of sugar.

In terms of energy, it’s the white chocolate TV Bar that comes out on top, with 1,077kJ – this despite only having 18g of sugar.

The table below outlines the sugar content of South Africa’s favourite chocolate bars, as well as the energy value per bar. The numbers have also been standardised to a per 100g basis.

Read: How much sugar is packed into South Africa’s favourite cereals

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