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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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Does Aero make ethical and sustainable chocolate? 

Aero is a brand of Nestlé chocolate that appears in The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Chocolate Ratings Table. Although Aero has not yet met our ethical benchmark, we hope to see the brand make progress in the future. There are numerous criteria a brand must meet to be given Ethical Accreditation by us, and in some of those areas, Aero is good. However, there is still a lot of improvement to be made.

Aero and ethical issues

Aero will struggle to achieve Ethical Accreditation with The Good Shopping Guide due to issues such as its use of genetically modified ingredients. Aero’s parent company Nestlé has openly admitted to using GM crops, and although this is promising in terms of longevity and sustainability of its resources it does arouse some suspicion and concern about what customers are consuming.

Nestlé states on its website (in its FAQs asking whether it uses GM ingredients):

Sometimes, yes. We support the responsible use of any innovative, safe technology. We decide whether to use ingredients derived from GMOs at a local level, based on consumer expectations and local regulations. We believe ‘GMO ingredients’ have a potentially important role to play in increasing food production, to support sustainable agriculture and help feed a growing world population. 

If this brand submitted itself to apply for Ethical Accreditation, The Good Shopping Guide would be able to make a further detailed assessment and provide recommendations for ethical improvement. We acknowledge that there is a lot of room for improvement by this brand, but we are confident that this brand can become Ethically Accredited in the future if it makes significant changes.

Please find out more about the ethical issues faced by the Chocolate sector and see how other brands score in our Ethical Chocolate Ratings Tables.

The history of Aero

The production procedure that produces this distinctive bubbly chocolate was developed by Rowntree in York, England, in 1935. Aero was first introduced in the UK by Rowntree’s in 1935, and the Peppermint Aero followed in 1959. In 2008, the old Nestlé York facility on Haxby Road was shut down, and the subsequent year, the £15 million Aero factory, which can produce 183 million chocolate bars annually, was launched. In 2015, the factory produced over one billion KitKats and 200 million Aero bars per year. Nestlé spent more than £1 million on new manufacturing hardware in 2015 to produce the new Aero Mousse bars. To commemorate its 80th anniversary of operation, York’s Chocolate Story Museum added Aero bar manufacturing demonstrations in February 2015.

For which criteria does Aero perform poorly? 

Even though Aero ranks highly in some of our research categories there is still a plethora of issues yet to be dealt with by the company. Ethical matters remaining to be addressed by Aero include Animal Welfare, Genetic Modification, availability of Organic products, Public Record Criticisms, Political Donations, and the availability of Fairtrade products. Nestlé (the company and/or company employees and/or company Political Action Committees (PACs)), has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to US Political candidates and committees in 2018, 2020, and 2022 election cycles. Donating to political causes or parties can negatively affect the fair processes of democracy.

Nestlé recently received a poor score on the Corporate Information Transparency Index (CITI), which evaluates supply chain practices in China, particularly regarding environmental management and water pollution. Scores are calculated using government compliance data, online monitoring data, and third-party environmental audits, as well as trends in the environmental performance of factories in the company’s supply chains.

In what areas does Aero score well for its ethics?

Aero scores above our benchmark in vital categories such as having vegetarian and vegan options, an environmental report, use of nuclear power and armaments. It’s undeniable that Aero’s inclusion of vegetarian and vegan dietary options is encouraging. By providing such options, consumers have more choices on which Nestlé chocolate brands they prefer. Additionally, vegan chocolate is more environmentally sustainable because these products are less reliant on dairy farms for ingredients. It is getting increasingly more common to follow a vegan lifestyle and Aero’s compliance with this shows the brand is listening to its customers. There is no negative record of Aero using or associating itself with Nuclear power.

For more information about Aero…

See our Ethical Chocolate Ratings Table to see how Aero compares to other brands. To enquire about assessment by The Good Shopping Guide and Ethical Accreditation for your brand, product, or company, visit our Initial Assessment page. If you want to find out why Ethical Accreditation might be right for your business, see the Benefits of Ethical Accreditation here.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Genetic Modification


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power



  • Animal Welfare


  • Vegetarian/Vegan Verified



  • Armaments


  • Political Donations


  • Fairtrade



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Public Record Criticisms


  • Public Record Criticisms+


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating