Mars shrinks chocolate bars; Nestle braces for tough 2012

Those king-size Mars and Snickers bars in vending machines are about to shrink to a more princely size.

By the end of 2013, confectionery giant Mars Inc. will sell only chocolate bars that are 250 calories or less, according to NPR. A full king-size Snickers bar contains more than 500 calories, according to Mars’ website.

But many of Mars’ other chocolate confections, including king-size 3 Musketeers and Milky Way bars already clock in under the 250-calorie mark.

In other sugary news, Swiss food Goliath Nestle SA said that while it managed strong growth all over the world in 2011, repeating the trick in 2012 might be difficult.

The world’s largest food and beverage producer, which makes Nescafe and Haagen-Dazs and more, was tossed around by high commodity prices and the effects of the strong Swiss franc.

Nestle’s business grew more in emerging markets (13.3%) than it did in developed markets (4.3%).

Sales for 2011 rose 7.5%, though absolute revenue slumped 4.8% to $89.9 billion when Nestle’s sale of its Alcon eye care company is removed from the equation. Net income was up 8.1% to about $10.3 billion.

In North America, brands such as DiGiorno pizza and Haagen-Dazs and Skinny Cow ice cream did well.

“It was a challenging year, and we do not expect 2012 to be any easier,” said Chief Executive Paul Bulcke in a statement

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