People‘s health and wellbeing are influenced by numerous factors - including nutrition. With its products and initiatives, Mars would like to contribute towards balancing nutrition and an active lifestyle for both our consumers and their pets. For us, it is important to make products that not only taste great, but which people also feel assured about eating and feeding their pets.
Four areas of activity
We are focusing on four areas of activity in Health and Nutrition: Consumer information, product development, responsible marketing and promoting physical activity.
> Consumer information
Mars wants to help consumers in making the right choices for a balanced nutrition by providing information about the ingredients we use and the nutritional value in our products. Besides the ingredient overview, we use the Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) on pack to prominently display nutritional information. In 2007 we were the first company that pledged to use the extended GDA labeling on all chocolate and confectionery products – and since then have expanded this commitment to include our food range. We are also providing detailed nutritional information on our products at http://www.marshealthyliving.com, and for our chocolate products in German-speaking countries at http://www.nuba.mars.com. Our German sister unit worked closely with nutritional experts to also develop the website http://www.clever-naschen.de, offering tips and ideas about nutrition and exercise.
> Product development
We want to do our part to help tackle rising levels of obesity, heart disease and diabetes by continuing to advance our product development. Since 2010, we have reduced the use of trans-fats in our chocolate products in Austria to an absolute minimum, and the level of saturated fats in our MARS®, SNICKERS®, MILKY WAY® and BALISTO® brands by about 30 %, without affecting theit taste. In addition, we also eliminated artificial coloring, preservatives and flavorings from our chocolate bars, and by the end of 2013, we will not offer any chocolate products globally that have more than 250 calories per portion. In the area of petfood, we work closely with the WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition in the UK.
> Responsible marketing
We interact with millions of consumers primarily through our brands, and we take this responsibility seriously. That is why we have set strict guidelines in our Marketing Code for the way we advertise our food, confectionery and gum products. A key component of this global code is that we do not direct our advertising to children under 12 years of age – in TV as well as in print media or on websites. This puts us at the forefront of our industry, and we have already been recognized for this leading role.
> Promoting physical activity
By participating in numerous local, regional and global partnerships, we want to contribute to promoting people‘s health and nutrition. That is why Mars Austria is a founding member of Forum Ernährung heute (Forum Nutrition Today – http://www.forum-ernaehrung.at), an initiative of leading food manufacturers to disseminate scientifically sound information about the relation between health, nutrition and exercise.
Progress and successes
At the end of 2012, 90 % of our chocolate and confectionery, as well as 70 % of our food products globally carried the extended GDA nutritional labeling. This project is scheduled for completion with the entire range by the end of 2013 (Food: 90 % by the end of 2014). In Austria, our products already fully comply with this commitment.
Since the end of 2012, our complete food portfolio in Europe and in North America meets the regional targets for sodium content, and globally we are at almost 70 %. Thus, we have reduced the sodium levels in our products worldwide by a total of 25 % since 2007.
In 2012, we have consistently complied with our pledge not to aim any advertising at children. We will continue to review our progress in the area.
Find more information on mars.com.