According to the Chicago Tribune, Mars is going to sell products that contain 250 calories or less per portion. This goal has a target date of happening by the end of 2013.
Currently the company sells king-size varieties of its chocolate products which can pack, such as in the case of Snickers, 510 calories per package. While Mars labels the candy as having three servings, many consider a package as a serving, no matter the size. In comparison, a regular size Snickers package has 280 calories.
Mars had previously said this move is a health and nutrition effort in awareness of obesity and related issues. "Mars has a broad-based commitment to health and nutrition, and this includes a number of global initiatives," the company said in a statement.
Reportedly other changes include not marketing to children under 12, adding calorie figures to fronts of packages, reducing sodium by 25 percent over the next three years, eliminating trans fat, and decreasing saturated fats in its products.
Business Insider reports these changes are in connection with First Lady Michelle Obama's health-conscious initiatives. According to Business Insider, the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation pledging to eliminate 1.5 trillion calories by 2015, and Mars Inc. is one of 16 companies rising to the test.
However, Washington Post had an op-ed piece that indicated the key phrase in Mars' changes is "per portion." The author goes on to describe a Snickers package her husband received for Valentine's Day from one of the couple's children. However, instead of the king-size bar he expected to find inside, he found two smaller candy bars and a message on the package; said message advised to "save one for later," and “twist to close" the other half of the package.
In the Snickers 2toGo packaging, each candy bar was 220 calories, which is underneath the 250 calorie goal. If candy products are being shipped with double the candy, will those calories actually be saved, or will consumers still eat both bars? If so, essentially defeating the purpose of smaller portions, and saved calories.
Mars Inc. shares details on the company website.
In 2010 Mars Inc. had sales in excess of $30 billion.
Article posted by Spencer Samaroo, Managing Director, Moo-Lolly-Bar
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