Now get ready for 'healthy' Starbursts!

Now get ready for ‘healthy’ Starbursts: Version made with 80% ‘real fruit’ that dodges Government’s anti-obesity junk food rules

  • A vegan and high-fibre version of Starburst will be available in UK in two weeks
  • They are made with ‘80% real fruit’ and has fruit mix and tropical mix flavours
  • However, they will cost £1, making them six times more expensive than original

From Mars bars to Snickers, Britain’s best-loved sweet treats have already had a healthy makeover in the past year.

Now Starbursts have joined the ever-growing list of confectionary to have their calorie content slashed.

Starburst Fruit Squares, which are made with ’80 per cent real fruit’, will hit shelves at the end of February.

The snacks, which are vegan, come in two flavours – fruit mix and tropical mix.

The fruit mix version of Starburst is flavoured with apple, strawberry, blackcurrant and orange, while the tropical mix tastes like pineapple, mango, passionfruit and lemon.

Starburst Fruit Squares, which are made with ’80 per cent real fruit’, comes in two flavours – fruit mix and tropical mix. The fruit mix version is flavoured with apple, strawberry, blackcurrant and orange, while the tropical mix option tastes like pineapple, mango, passionfruit and lemon

More than 42million adults in the UK will be overweight or obese by 2040, according to new projections by Cancer Research UK


Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain, according to the NHS

• Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruit and vegetables count

• Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain

• Thirty grams of fibre a day. This is the same as eating all of the following: Five portions of fruit and vegetables, two whole-wheat cereal biscuits, two thick slices of wholemeal bread and a large baked potato with the skin on

• Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks), choosing lower fat and lower sugar options

• Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including two portions of fish every week, one of which should be oily)

• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consuming in small amounts

• Drink six to eight cups/glasses of water a day

• Adults should have less than 6g of salt and 20g of saturated fat for women or 30g for men a day

Source: NHS Eatwell Guide  

Fruit purees and juices, along with corn and citrus fibre, are also ingredients.

However, they will cost £1 for per 25g pack, making them six times more expensive than the original version, which cost 99p for a 152g bag.

The originals are made with glucose syrup, sugar, concentrated fruit juices, which drive up the sugar content. 

Mars Wrigley, which owns Starburst, said the new product has been crafted in response to a growing demand for healthier, innovative confectionary options.

The sweets are not technically classed as high fat, salt and sugar, like their original counterparts.

This means they escape Government rules, brought in in October, which ban junk foods from being sold at check-outs and prominent in-store locations, such as entrances, the end of aisles and checkouts.

They will also dodge rules banning BOGOF and other multi-buy junk food deals that will come into effect this coming October.

The plans have been dubbed ‘nanny state meddling’ by some, while experts say the legislation is a ‘step in the right direction’ for public health.

Around two-thirds of over-16s in England are overweight or obese, while one in three 10 and 11-year-olds are obese.

The obesity epidemic is estimated to take up £6.1billion of the NHS budget each year due to illnesses and disease linked to people’s weight. The figure is set to rise to £9.7billion per year by 2050, as the nation becomes even fatter.

Kerry Cavanaugh, business director at Mars Wrigley UK, said: ‘We’re thrilled to add to our NHFSS product portfolio as we continue to provide choice to consumers.

‘We know that the expectations of us and the industry, to help consumers enjoy our products as part of a healthy and balanced diet are high, and we are committed to stepping up to meet the challenge.

‘Innovation has always been at the forefront of our approach, and our teams have been working hard to create better-for-you alternatives that don’t sacrifice on the great taste we’re known for.

‘Starburst Fruit Squares and Triple Treat are just the start of our journey.’

It comes after Mars Wrigley launched Triple Treat Mars, Galaxy, Snickers and Bounty bars, which contain date paste, nuts and raisins.

They are 75 per cent ‘fruit and nut’, making them less calorific and sugary than the originals.

But they cost up to 20p more and weigh significantly less, which wound up dozens of Britons who labelled the move a ‘nanny state’ scheme that is ‘meddling with personal choice’. 

The company has not yet unveiled which of its other treats are in line for healthy revamp, but it also owns Twix and M&Ms.

It comes after Cadbury launched its 91-calories Delight range last month.

Those chocolate bars, which cost £1.25 for a box of five, are filled with nougat and caramel and coated in chocolate.

They come in orange, hazelnut and salted caramel options, which Cadbury say will meet the growing demand for ‘mindful self-treating’.

Compared to other multi-pack bars sold by Cadbury, the Delight range has up to 108 fewer calories and 61 per cent less sugar.

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