MARS Food Launches Global Health and Wellbeing Ambition

Mars Food has announced plans to create and promote healthier food choices and to encourage consumers to cook and share healthier meals with others. Part of the strategy is to provide consumers with on-pack guidance on their Dolmio and Uncle Ben's products higher in salt, added sugar or fat to help them differentiate between "everyday" and "occasional" options. 

“Through our Ambition, we aim to encourage families to share one billion more healthy meals at dinner tables around the world over the next five years.  We will achieve this by:

  • Improving Nutritional Content.
  • Increasing Awareness between Everyday and Occasional Meals.
  • Inspiring cooking and healthy eating at home with friends and family.
  • Making our products more accessible.
  • Engaging our Associates.”

MARS, April 2016

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Professor Graham MacGregor, Chair of CASH, says “Trying to change people’s behaviours is a great yet ambitious idea. Our fast paced society means many people just don’t have the time to cook anymore and with most of the salt in our diet coming from the foods we buy, it's difficult to fall below the maximum intake of 6g/day. Reformulation is the key solution, but whilst it remains voluntary many companies are failing to do this.

What is needed is what the British Retail Consortium has asked the government for – a mandatory system of regulated targets for the reduction of sugar, saturated fat and salt. This will create a level playing field and ensure all companies follow suit.”

Sonia Pombo, Campaign Manager at CASH, adds "We applaud MARS for being innovative and encouraging their customers to be more label savvy, but it isn't clear what impact the decision will have as few people actually read the labels. What really matters are efforts to reformulate foods to reduce the intake of hidden salt and sugar, that way everyone will benefit, with minimal effort from the individual. Only the health conscious make a concerted effort to read the food labelling - the people who are of most concern are the ones who don't have time or knowledge to do so."