As well as encouraging consumers to choose balanced diets, Mars will reformulate many of its products over the next five years, reducing salt levels, increasing the use of whole grains, and reducing the sugar in some products.
But it said that some products needed to have relatively high levels of salt, sugar and/or fat to maintain “the authentic nature of the recipe”. As a result, Mars will provide advice both on-pack and online about how often these products should be eaten as part of a balanced diet.
The company markets three brands in the UK: Dolmio, Uncle Ben’s and Seeds of Change.
All of its products are rated as green or amber for fat, saturates, sugar and salt in the traffic light nutritional guidance system – meaning they are regarded as low or moderate by the Food Standards Agency. Mars has not yet said how frequently it will advise that these products can be eaten.
The move has been praised from a PR perspective.
“The company should be applauded for this brave move which is rooted in social responsibility,” said Rikki Weir, director of consumer brand PR consultancy Cirkle, who was speaking to Marketing sister title PRWeek. “It’s an innovative nod to the educational role that many manufactures will continue to take.”
The chocolate brands owned by parent company Mars – such as Mars, Snickers and Maltesers – are run as a separate secion of the business. Mars also owns Mars Petcare, which makes Whiskas and Pedigree.