Mars plans to make its foods healthier, new global approach

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 18th April 2016

Mars Food says it will be changing some of its products to make them healthier for consumers.

The global company, which is responsible for Masterfoods, Dolmino and Kan Tong, revealed both sodium and added sugars will be reduced in its foods whilst more fruit, vegetables and whole grains will be added in.

Some items will be promoted as “occasional products” only and its healthy food options will be made more accessible internationally.

General Manager of Mars Food Australia, Hamish Tomson, said Mars is making the changes as it has a responsibility to promote healthy eating.

“We believe we have a significant responsibility to be transparent about our products and to help consumers make informed choices,” said Thomson.

Mars’ new health initiatives have been published as “The Mars Health and Wellbeing Ambition” which covers the five key aspects:

  1. Reductions in sodium and added sugar: Mars Foods will reduce sodium across its product range by an average of 20 per cent by 2021 and will reduce added sugar in a limited number of sauces and light meals by 2018.
  2. Labelling which distinguishes between ‘everyday meals’ and ‘occasional products’: Mars will promote on-pack and on its website which of its foods are ok to eat everyday as part of a healthy diet and which are only ok to eat sometimes.
  3. More fruits, vegetables and whole grains in products: Multigrain options will be expanded so that 50 per cent of all rice products include whole grains and/or legumes. All tomato-based jar products will include a minimum of one serving of vegetables.
  4. Making products more accessible: New products will be introduced to developed and emerging markets.
  5. Encouraging cooking and healthy eating at home: Brands such as Masterfoods and Dolmino will be used to promote healthy cooking and eating in homes.

Mars says these new health-orientated decisions follow on from previous initiatives which included displaying health star ratings and reducing trans fats.