Mars Chocolate North America and Wrigley US announced the creation of 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:
• Implement a global marketing code, eliminating marketing to children under 12 (2007)
• Chewing gum to be awarded the American Dental Seal of Acceptance (2007)
• Prominently display calories on front of all chocolate and confections packaging (2008)
• Eliminate "King Size" offerings and replace with portionable "Sharing" options (2012)
• Deliver 100% of single serve products below 250 calories per pack (2014)
• Endorse the World Health Organization's guidance to limit sugar intake to 10% added sugar and support labeling in the US (2015)
• 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 to 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.
Partner across industry to 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.
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.