Brand Activism

Candymaker undertakes ambitious change to its product ingredients and recipe

Activists were invited to evaluate simpler products made with only “Good Ingredients.”

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Wawel candy is popular in its native Poland, where it has been satisfying the Polish sweet tooth since 1898. Like most food companies, over the years Wawel has made adjustments to its recipes, adding preservatives and other ingredients. Its most recent move, though, has earned Wawel first place in the “Brand Activism” category of PR Daily’s 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Awards. 

Ingredients on product labels have come under increasing scrutiny in recent years, leading Wawel to undertake a daring initiative: Reformulating every one of its nearly 100 products to comply with the company’s “Good Ingredients” criteria. 

To achieve this goal, Wawel assembled a panel of experts in food technology drawn from Polish academia  to advise in-house researchers on ways to approach the updated recipes. At the center of every reformulation was an overarching requirement: Fans of the candy shouldn’t detect a taste difference. 

Wawel succeeded with each of its products, eliminating colorings, artificial flavors, polyglycerol and polyricinoleate. The company also reduced to bare minimums preservatives and palm oil, while committing to use only the highest-quality ingredients, including organic products and non-GMO soybeans. 

Wawel continues working with the expert panel to identify new approaches to get even closer its “Good Ingredients” goal. To help tell the story of this voluntary, internally-motivated reboot of Wawel’s candies, the company reached out not to influencers, but rather to food-label activists, inviting them to review the labels and test the products. 

In a unique (and highly credible) partnership, Wawel and the specialty website and blog czytajsklad.pl (“Read the Label”) developed infographics detailing the idea of “Good Ingredients” and its application in particular examples. Wawel also launched its own site dedicated to informing the public about the “Good Ingredients” program. 

Congratulations to Wawel’s Tadeusz Czarniecki and Ewa Pałka for undertaking a change that is unprecedented not only in Poland but in all of Europe.

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