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Questions about nutritional labeling
Having a balanced diet for a family is important, especially to parents – however, in everyday life there are often too many unanswered questions about nutrition. First of all, one needs to know what exactly is inside the various foods we eat.

Mars Switzerland continues to improve the nutritional labeling on their product packaging. Now there is even a better overview: The packs provide consumers with the number of calories as a percent of the total recommended daily allowance, in addition to other ingredient information.

Why has Mars Switzerland decided to expand its nutritional labeling?

As a responsible family business, topics such as health and nutrition are especially dear to Mars. That's why open and transparent communication with our consumers is so important to us. Driving this action is our desire to provide consumers detailed information about the nutrients and ingredients of our products. By introducing the expanded nutritional labeling we have created an even better overview. Consumers can now see "at a glance" how many calories and which nutrients are inside our products. We also did this to meet consumer demands! Research has shown that the majority of consumers want easy-to-understand information about the calorie content of their food. This helps them balance energy intake and energy consumption.

What new information can I now find on the packs?

Since 2004 we have provided consumers with detailed information on both ingredients and nutrients of our products, in addition to communicating major nutrients by amount per portion and per 100 grams. What's new about the expanded labeling? Consumers now find the calorie content of the product prominently on the front of the pack while the backside provides information about the quantity of sugar, fat, saturated fatty acids and sodium contained in one portion of the respective product. Apart from the calorie content of the product, the front of the pack also displays the percentage these calories represent as a proportion of the total recommended daily calorie consumption (for a better overview). Thus, consumers see all important information at a glance. The reference value for the daily allowance relates to the daily energy and nutrient intake of an adult woman with a total energy requirement of 2,000 kilocalories (kcal).

How does the new nutritional information help me with my daily shopping or planning family meals?

The new labeling makes it easier for consumers to compare and decide which product – based on calorie and nutrient content – best fits into their meal plan. For instance, a Mars Mini has 81 kilocalories and thus makes up 4 percent of the daily requirement.

Of course, it needs to be considered that these are just reference values based on an average total energy requirement of 2,000 kcal. Individual energy requirements are determined by age, gender, weight and physical activity. Therefore, the new nutritional labeling provides guidance in making the daily choices for your meal plan.

Nutritional labeling is only one part of the commitment by Mars. What else does the company do to support consumers who want to lead a balanced lifestyle?

We believe that healthy food choice alone does not ensure a balanced lifestyle but has to be accompanied by sufficient physical activity. Therefore, Mars stands behind the promotion of more exercise and is investing, together with others, in research and programs for a holistic health promotion.

However, this is not the end of the Mars commitment. We are continuously working to develop our products, always with the consumer in mind. For some years now we have dedicated ourselves to the health topic of trans-fatty acids. By having optimized our production processes since 2002, we have been able to eliminate almost all processes involved in creating artificial trans-fatty acids. Our achievement thus far: The content of trans-fatty acids in Mars products was reduced by 97 percent.

And finally we are also taking responsibility in the area of advertisement and marketing. Anyone communicating to the public nowadays has to be well aware of the messages they are sending, and adjust them accordingly to the recipients. Therefore, Mars has committed to a global marketing code. As with our consumer information, we are addressing (young) adults with our marketing. This means that as of 2008, all marketing activities on a global level have been stopped that are aimed directly at children under the age of twelve.