The confectionery industry is refusing to reveal whether reductions in sugar prices announced in the European Commission’s reform of the EU sugar regime will filter through to consumers.
Due to be implemented in 2006/07, the regime will cut the minimum price of white sugar by 39% and sugar beet by 42%.
A spokeswoman for Cadbury said that it was “too early to say” whether consumers would benefit, despite analysts estimating that the company could make savings of £70m a year.
“We welcome steps to make the sugar industry more competitive but we are talking about something that will not be implemented until 2007,” she added. A spokeswoman for the Biscuit Cake Chocolate and Confectionery Association said: “The nature of the competitive retail environment tends to be that cost savings are passed on.”
Sugar processors were more forthcoming with Tate & Lyle estimating that operating profits could be reduced by £60m in 2008, while Associated British Foods predicted a £40m shortfall by 2007/08.