Have a question about HERSHEY'S SUGAR FREE?
You'll find the answer here. For more information, visit our general information section at hersheys.com.
Q: Why has The Hershey Company introduced HERSHEY'S SUGAR FREE Candy?
Consumers have been asking for HERSHEY'S SUGAR FREE chocolate for years. After extensive research and product testing, we are thrilled to offer the only SUGAR FREE candies good enough to be called HERSHEY'S. Consumer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with many people telling us that the flavor is as satisfying as the "regular" HERSHEY'S confectionery.
Q: Why did The Hershey Company reformulate the HERSHEY'S SUGAR FREE Chocolate Candies?
A: To deliver to consumers a richer and chocolaty taste and texture.
Q: What makes these products "Sugar Free"?
HERSHEY'S SUGAR FREE items meet FDA regulations for SUGAR FREE Candies, which must contain less than 0.5 grams of sugar per serving. These products contain sugar replacers, called sugar alchohols, like, maltitol, lactitol, and isomalt instead of sugar.
Q: How do HERSHEY'S SUGAR FREE Candies fit into a balanced and healthy lifestyle?
A: Chocolate and confectionery products can be part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle. We believe, as do most nutrition professionals, that chocolate and confectionery products can be enjoyed by almost everyone, but moderation is the key.
Q: Are HERSHEY'S SUGAR FREE Candies lower in calories and/or fat?
A: HERSHEY'S SUGAR FREE Candies are have fewer calories compared to their "regular" counterparts, however because the products vary in composition they range from 11-40% reduced in calories. Check your favorite product’s nutrition information to see the difference between HERSHEY'S SUGAR FREE and their counterparts. (see the specific products for calorie information) It is important to note that HERSHEY'S SUGAR FREE items are not low-calorie or no-calorie foods. They contain about the same level of fat as regular chocolate. HERSHEY'S SUGAR FREE chocolate candies also contain about the same level of caffeine as regular chocolate.
Q: Are HERSHEY'S SUGAR FREE Candies lower in carbohydrates?
A: The nutrition facts panel on HERSHEY'S SUGAR FREE labels will show carbohydrate content that is comparable to regular confectionery counterparts. However, HERSHEY'S SUGAR FREE products use sugar alcohols as a substitute for sugar. The sugar alcohols are absorbed and metabolized by the body in a different way than sugar. As a result, their carbohydrate exchange value is about half that of sugar. Current Food and Drug Administration labeling regulations do not allow the labeling of carbohydrates within the nutrition panel in this way. However, we have reflected the carbohydrate exchange value in the dietary exchanges: 1 carbohydrate unit for HERSHEY'S and REESE'S SUGAR FREE chocolate candy compared to 2 units for regular HERSHEY'S Milk Chocolate Bar.
Q: Are HERSHEY'S SUGAR FREE Candies appropriate for people with diabetes?
HERSHEY'S SUGAR FREE items contain sugar alcohols such as maltitol to replace the sugar. These sugar alcohols are digested more slowly and generally cause a relatively small rise in blood sugar levels. This has been tested in independent laboratories. For people with diabetes, this is preferable to the sharper increase in blood sugar associated with products containing sugar. Regular confectionery products can also be included in a diabetes meal plan, as long as consumers plan carefully for the effect on blood sugar levels. People with diabetes should ask the advice of their diabetes educator or registered dietitian about the role of SUGAR FREE confectionery in their meal plan. For more information about HERSHEY'S SUGAR FREE and diabetes, click here.
Are HERSHEY'S, REESE'S, YORK, TWIZZLERS and JOLLY RANCHER SUGAR FREE Candies free foods?
YORK , JOLLY RANCHER, AND TWIZZLER SUGAR FREE Candies are reduced calorie foods – that is, they provide at least 25% fewer calories than the "regular" candies. However, HERSHEY'S and REESE'S SUGAR FREE Candies are NOT low-calorie or no-calorie free foods that can be eaten in unlimited amounts. Moderation is the key. Overeating these products may cause blood sugar levels to increase more than desired despite their carbohydrate exchange value In addition, excess consumption of them may overload a daily meal plan with calories and fat and may trigger gas production or a laxative effect.
Q: What are sugar alcohols?
Sugar alcohols are sugar replacers, used to take the place of sugar to make a SUGAR FREE Candies. Sugar alcohols used in HERSHEY"S SUGAR FREE candies include maltitol, maltitol syrup, sorbitol, isomalt and lactitol. They have fewer calories than sugar, but still provide a sugar-like taste. Sugar alcohols are digested more slowly than sugar, generally producing a relatively small rise in blood sugar levels after eating. Because sugar alcohols may bypass initial steps in digestion (similar to fiber), excess intake may trigger gas production or a laxative effect.
Q: Are there other products made with sugar alcohols?
Many low calorie and/or sugar free candies are sweetened with sugar alcohols. A few other products that are made with sugar alcohols include Jelly Belly™ jelly beans (maltitol), Glucerna™ snack bars (maltitol, lactitol), Atkins Endulge bar (isomalt, maltitol), Nips SUGAR FREE candy (maltitol, maltitol syrup), Russell Stover SUGAR FREE candy (maltitol, maltitol syrup, isomalt, erythritol), and Ben&Jerry’s No Sugar Added Ice Cream (lactitol, maltitol, erythritol)
Q: How do sugar alcohols compare to other artificial sweeteners such as saccharin and aspartame?
A. Sugar alcohols not only provide sweetness, but also replace the bulk of regular sugar. Saccharin and aspartame are low calorie sweeteners that are hundreds of times sweeter than sugar. So only a very small amount is used. They are most commonly found in diet drinks. We do have a low calorie sweetener -- sucralose -- in our products. Sucralose is derived from sugar, but is 600 times sweeter and has no calories. In our products, it is used to round out the sweetness level, as sugar alcohols generally are less sweet than sugar.
Q: Do sugar alcohols alter the chocolate taste? Is there any aftertaste?
Our consumer research indicated that most consumers did not find that our SUGAR FREE Candies had an unpleasant aftertaste.
Q: Do sugar alcohols have any digestive side effects?
When consumed in moderation, sugar alcohols should not cause any digestive side effects. However, some people are more sensitive and may experience some side effects at lower levels. One of the reasons that sugar alcohols are lower in calories and carbohydrates compared to sugar is that they are digested and absorbed in a different way. Sugar is digested in the small intestine by enzymes, however most sugar alcohols are digested in the large intestine by normally occurring bacteria. In the process of digesting sugar alcohols, some digestive side effects can occur, including flatulence (gas), colic, and diarrhea. Severity of the side effects will vary based on the individual, and the amount of product that is eaten. These side effects are generally similar for all sugar alcohols. Due to the presence of sugar alcohols in our products, we have included a warning statement on the package indicating that individuals sensitive to sugar substitutes may experience a laxative effect.
Q: Can eating too much sugar alcohols be harmful?
A: We use sugar alcohols permitted for use in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration. They have been used in foods around the world for many years.
Q: What is the safety record of the sugar substitutes used in HERSHEY'S SUGAR FREE?
A: We use sugar alcohols permitted for use in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration. Most of these have been used in many different types of food products for many years. Sucralose was approved for use in the U.S. by the FDA in 1999, and has been safely used in many different types of foods and beverages, as well as a popular dietetic tabletop sweetener (Splenda™ brand). Sucralose has been used safely for many years in Canada and many parts of Europe.
Q: Will any other HERSHEY'S SUGAR FREE items be added to the product line?
The initial HERSHEY'S SUGAR FREE line consisted of four products—HERSHEY'S Chocolate, HERSHEY'S Chocolate with Almonds, HERSHEY'S Dark Chocolate, and REESE'S Peanut Butter Cups. In 2004, we added YORK SUGAR FREE peppermint patties, and JOLLY RANCHER SUGAR FREE candies. In 2005, we added TWIZZLERS SUGAR FREE candies and White REESE’S SUGAR FREE peanut butter cups as well as introduced SUGAR FREE candies in the single serve packtype for both REESE'S and HERSHEY'S chocolate varieties. In the future, other brands products may be added to the line.
Q: Do HERSHEY'S SUGAR FREE Candies carry any warning labels or information statements?
Yes. Due to the presence of sugar alcohols in our products, we have included a warning statement on the package indicated that individuals sensitive to sugar substitutes may experience gas or a laxative effect.
Q: Are HERSHEY'S SUGAR FREE Candies appropriate for children?
A: Children over two years of age can consume HERSHEY'S SUGAR FREE Candies in moderation. Because of their smaller body size and their more sensitive digestive systems, children may experience the laxative effects of sugar alcohols in smaller quantities than adults, and their total consumption should be limited.
Q: Can HERSHEY'S and REESE'S SUGAR FREE chocolates be used in baking?
Yes. Although our products are SUGAR FREE, they can be used as ingredients in baking (e.g. cookies) and will behave about the same as regular chocolate candy. For recipes, visit our recipe page. We will also be adding some SUGAR FREE Baking items to our product line.
Q: Where can I buy HERSHEY'S SUGAR FREE Candies?
A: HERSHEY'S SUGAR FREE Candies are available wherever regular HERSHEY'S confectionery products are sold.