Improving Our Products - Doing Our Part | Mars, Incorporated
Creating Healthier Products

IMPROVING OUR PRODUCTS

ENHANCING PRODUCTS FOR BETTER CHOICES

As a leading provider of food for people and pets, we want to make sure the products we offer, and the ingredients they contain, fit into a balanced diet. We are continuously investigating ways to improve the nutritional content of our products without compromising taste, convenience, quality or affordability.

Reformulating Chocolate Products

We are proud of our products and the pleasure they bring, and we also believe they need to be part of a healthy, balanced diet. We take seriously the role we play in supporting the control of obesity and have taken a number of steps in this direction. For instance, we reformulated all Mars Chocolate products globally between 2002 and 2010, removing all trans fats apart from those that occur naturally or are made during processing. Our efforts have removed 97 percent of all trans fats.

But this is just the start. We continue to introduce more options so people can choose the right Mars products for their lifestyles. For example, in the U.S. Mars Chocolate has introduced "2toGo" bars: two pieces of chocolate packaged in a special type of memory wrap that can be twisted closed, making it easier to save a portion for later.

PRINCIPLES IN ACTION 2015 SPOTLIGHT: CALORIE TARGET

We admit it — we know our confectionery and chocolate products are delicious! But we encourage consumers to enjoy them as a treat — just one component of a balanced diet. For more than five years, we’ve been reformulating our products to make them less calorific. Don’t worry; they’re still delicious. We might have cut unhealthy ingredients but we didn’t take away their tastiness! In 2015, 99 percent of all our chocolate and confectionery was below 250 calories per portion.

ONGOING TARGET: ALL CHOCOLATE & CONFECTIONERY PRODUCTS BELOW 250 KCAL PER PORTION
PROGRESS: MORE THAN 99 PERCENT ARE BELOW 250 KCAL PER PORTION — ON TRACK

“I head up the panel of trained taste testers for Mars Chocolate. The program makes sure that our most loved brands — such as M&M’S® Candy — taste the same as they did 75 years ago, and that our new products taste like our consumers would expect. Consistent quality is an important principle for Mars. I don’t think my job is a dream job. I know it is!” — Lisa Schroeder, Sensory Technologist, Mars Chocolate

THE ROAD AHEAD: ENSURING THE TASTE YOU LOVE

We’re making our products even better for consumers and their families, by:

  • Increasing the number of chocolate confectionery products that are 200 calories or less per portion
  • Offering a range of product options and sizes so that consumers can enjoy the right product for them

PRINCIPLES IN ACTION 2015 SPOTLIGHT: SODIUM TARGET

We met our 2015 target two years ahead of schedule and reduced sodium in Mars Food products globally by 25 percent. 

Now, we want to go further. Our new Mars Food Health and Wellbeing Ambition is our way of creating and promoting healthier food choices and encouraging people to cook and share nutritious meals with each other. As part of this, we will reduce sodium in our Food products by a further 20 percent on average by 2021.

2015 TARGET: REDUCE SODIUM IN MARS FOOD PRODUCTS GLOBALLY BY 25 PERCENT
PROGRESS: REDUCED SODIUM BY 25 PERCENT IN 2013 — ACHIEVED
Fiona Dawson

“The food industry has already made great strides in reducing sodium, but we have more work to do to help consumers reduce sodium intake. We support release of the U.S. FDA's draft sodium reduction guidance, because we believe it's important to begin a stakeholder dialogue about the role industry can play in this critical part of consumers' diets.”
Fiona Dawson, Global President of Mars Food, Drinks, and Multisales

“The American Heart Association (AHA) applauds Mars Food for being the first food giant to call on the FDA to release voluntary sodium targets which could ultimately save lives and billions of dollars in healthcare costs.” — Nancy Brown, CEO, American Heart Association

Adopting the Mars Food Nutrition Criteria

We developed the Mars Food Nutrition Criteria based upon recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other leading global public health authorities. These criteria help us measure the nutritional content of our current products against dietary recommendations for added sugar, salt and fat.

We are using the Mars Food Nutrition Criteria to guide our product innovation and reformulation and to help us track the nutritional composition of our portfolio over time. We aim to develop products that fit into healthy diets balanced over the course of several days, allowing for the occasional treat or special meal.

The Mars Food 2021 sodium reduction commitments are above and beyond sodium reduction Mars Food accomplished between 2007 and 2013, when it reduced sodium across its portfolio by 25%. This success is the result of our partnerships with government initiatives, such as voluntary reduction commitments in different regions.

Our efforts began in the U.K., which has the most stringent salt reduction standards, and we are following the country’s leadership in this area. We have committed to reduce the sodium content of our products across the European Union (EU), based on the criteria set out by the U.K. Food Standards Agency/Department of Health (FSA/DoH). Our U.K. Food portfolio is 100 percent compliant with the FSA's targets. In the U.S. we joined forces with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's National Salt Reduction Initiative (NSRI).

Learn more about the Mars Food Nutrition Criteria. »


In 2015, 99 percent of all our chocolate and confectionery was below 250 calories per portion.