Mars Chocolate and Wrigley have committed over $200 million to new product innovation under 200 calories, front-of-pack calorie labeling and consumer education.
Mars Chocolate North America and Wrigley announced the creation of the confectionery industry’s first and most significant consumer health and wellbeing standards and commitments. In collaboration with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) and other industry players including Nestle, Lindt, Ferrara Candy and Ferrero, these commitments are all centered on offering consumers more product choice and transparency.
While consumers continue to enjoy treats, they are asking for more options and clearer labeling to meet their evolving personal health and wellbeing objectives. For Mars, it’s something the company has been steadily making progress on over the past decade, including being the first to introduce front-of-pack calorie labeling and remove “King Size” varieties, offering 100 calorie pack options of consumers’ favorite brands, and launching new innovations under 200 calories in recent weeks including both M&M’S Caramel and MALTESERS.
Taking the right steps forward has meant consistently leading and pushing the confectionery industry to raise its standards. This represents millions of dollars of investment and thousands of hours of research and implementation for Mars Chocolate and Wrigley to accomplish the following:
First chewing gum to be awarded the American Dental Seal of Acceptance (2007);
First to prominently display calories on front of all chocolate and confections packaging (2008);
First to eliminate “King Size” offerings and replace with portionable “Sharing” options (2012);
First to deliver 100% of single serve products below 250 calories per pack (2014);
First manufacturer to endorse the World Health Organization’s guidance to limit sugar intake to 10% added sugar and support labeling in the U.S. (2015);
First to commit to remove artificial colors from all food and confectionery products globally (2016).
“We began our relationship with Mars Food through Uncle Ben’s and Seeds of Change to increase healthier choices for families,” said Larry Soler, president and CEO of the Partnership for a Healthier America. “Today’s announcement extends to Mars Chocolate and Wrigley to help reduce calories and increase transparency, which will help all Americans have more choices.”
To keep building on this progress, Mars Chocolate and Wrigley have committed over $200 million to achieve the following:
Half of all Mars Chocolate and Wrigley individually wrapped products will be 200 calories or less by 2022. This commitment can be seen in the recent launches of M&M’S Caramel, MALTESERS, M&M’S Crispy and SNICKERS Crisper, all of which are already under 200 calories, as well as new 100 calorie versions of SNICKERS, MILKY WAY, TWIX, DOVE, 3MUSKETEERS, SKITTLES and STARBURST.
Additionally, Wrigley’s existing gum and mints products provide treat-like experiences between 5-25 calories to round out choices within the confection category. Continued progress on this commitment will be reported to PHA and shared publicly via independent, third-party verification on PHA’s Progress Report site.
Partners across industry will replace “King Size” with “Sharing Size” offerings, ensuring more portionable options. While Mars was the first to replace “King Size” products with portionable “Sharing” or “For Sharing” options, the company is committed to working with its peers to follow its lead to use sharing language on pack while also ensuring more portionable options introduced from Mars.
Examples include stand-up resealable pouches of M&M’S, SKITTLES and STARBURST products that promote sharing, as well as “2 to GO” varieties of SNICKERS, TWIX, MILKY WAY and 3MUSKETEERS, which enable consumers to easily share and twist the seal for future consumption.
There will also be education on candy as a treat, not an everyday snack or meal replacement. In partnership with the National Confectioners Association, the industry will share easy-to-use information for consumers to better understand the role that confections can play in a balanced lifestyle, reinforcing that chocolate and confections are an occasional treat.
“Over the past decade we have been laser-focused on continuously pushing ourselves and our peers to offer consumers more choice and transparency while keeping the same great tastes and experiences our fans love,” said Tracey Massey, president of Mars Chocolate North America. “By joining forces with PHA and other leading confectionery manufacturers to create even deeper commitments, we are taking an important step forward to transform the entire industry so we can evolve to meet and exceed the demands of today’s consumers.”
In addition to these new commitments, Mars Food – makers of the UNCLE BEN’S and SEEDS OF CHANGE brands – is committed to helping people to lead healthier lives through a simple, but powerful goal. In 2016, Mars Food announced its Health & Wellbeing Ambition: to deliver one billion more healthy meals shared on dinner tables around the world. Mars Food is doing this by providing healthy meal options, inspiring healthy cooking and eating together, and helping the company’s Associates practice healthier habits. Through a six-year partnership, PHA will validate Mars Food’s progress towards its commitments in the U.S.