NESTLE says it has cut 2.6 billion teaspoons of sugar out of its products - including top chocolate bars made in York.

The confectionery giant said it pledged a year ago that it would remove 10 per cent of the sugar from across its portfolio by the end of 2018.

“A year on from that pledge we are announcing that we have reduced sugar by 7.4 per cent across confectionery and, in the last three years, we have cut 2.6 billion teaspoons of sugar and more than 60 billion calories across Nestlé in the UK and Ireland,” said a spokeswoman.

She said a company report had also revealed that more than 60 billion calories had been removed from Nestlé UK & Ireland’s portfolio in the same time period.

She added that some of the biggest examples of reformulation to reduce sugar and calories in its famous brands over the last three years included KitKat and Milkybar, which are made at the company’s factory in Haxby Road, York.

Stefano Agostini, CEO of Nestlé UK & Ireland said: “Our work towards these achievements is actually as much about taste as it is about reducing sugar and calories.

“It is not as simple as just removing sugar from a product, the skill is in making that product taste just as good or, ideally, better.

“We have an unrivalled research and development network across the globe that makes this possible.

“People love our food and drink and our confectionery, cereals, ice creams and other products are enjoyed as part of a balanced, healthy diet by people all across the world.”