Kia-Ora sweets claim slammed

Cadbury Schweppes’ launch of a range of vitamin-packed fruit sweets which are claimed to protect children’s health has been slammed by a pressure group because it says they contain too much sugar.

The Kia-Ora fruit pastilles brand was developed by Cadbury Schweppes pharmaceutical subsidiary Ernest Jackson. The product will be available through newsagents and pharmacies.

Although 85 per cent of the product is sugar, it is being marketed as a healthier alternative to other confectionery brands. TV advertisements starting next year will push the brand’s real fruit juice and vitamin C, E and Beta-carotene content.

“You are very, very unlikely to be able to keep your kids off sweets. This is at least one step better,” says a spokeswoman for the brand.

However, pressure group Action & Information on Sugars says Cadbury Schweppes is wrong to use a “health” label. Chairman Jack Winkler says: “Sugar has a known demonstrable risk to oral health. Adding vitamins is part of a worrying trend to give risky products a halo of virtue and perceived benefits.”

Kia-Ora’s “health” stance contrasts with press headlines in July last year when its fruit juice range was criticised by independent body the Food Commission for only containing five per cent fruit.

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