On Friday, Mars announced it would support two important recommendations designed to help consumers limit their intake of added sugars and achieve healthier, more balanced diets.
The candy giant is endorsing recommendations that people should limit their intake of added sugars to no more than 10 percent of their total calorie intake. The recommendations come from leading global health authorities including the World Health Organization, the US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, and the UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition.
Additionally, in comments provided to the US Dietary Guidelines Committee, Mars has supported a new US Government proposal to include an “added sugars” declaration in the Nutrition Facts panel on all food packaging.
"Added sugars" are sugars and syrups added to foods to enhance sweetness, structure, texture, and shelf life. These are separate from sugars that are "intrinsic" to foods, such as lactose in dairy, or fructose and glucose in fruits.
"We want people to enjoy Mars brands as part of a well-balanced diet," said Dave Crean, Global Head of Research & Development at Mars, Inc. "With this in mind, we support the recommendation of global health experts that consumers limit their intake of added sugars to 10 percent of their calorie intake. In the US, we have a further opportunity to help people achieve their dietary goals by supporting the government's proposal to include added sugars in the Nutrition Facts panel. It just makes good sense."
The commitment to reduce consumption of added sugars comes behind a series of other steps Mars has taken to help improve consumers’ nutritional goals.
- Includes Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) labeling on all chocolate, food and sugar confectionery products
- Limits its confectionery products to no more than 250 kcal per serving
- Offers sugar-free and low-sugar Wrigley gum products
- Has eliminated trans fatty acids in some products
- Has reduced salt and saturated fats in its product portfolio
- Adheres to a strict Marketing Code that does not allow marketing communications to children under 12 for food, chocolate, confections and gum products
Going forward, Mars says it will:
- Support new labeling approaches (on pack and digital), where such approaches are supported by a coalition of science and nutrition experts, regulators, retailers, industry leaders, and NGOs
- Increase the number of its chocolate confections below 200 kcal per pack
- Continue its efforts to improve the nutritional composition of its product portfolio
- Promote the oral health benefits of sugar-free gum
Several other candy giants are making moves to promote healthier, more sustainable products. In March, Hershey announced they would have GMO-free kisses by the end of the year, and in February Nestlé promised to remove all artificial flavors and colors from its chocolate by the end of 2015.