Mars Chocolate North America and Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. are investing more than $200 million in the industry commitment, introduced at the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) summit, to provide consumers with more options and clearer labeling to meet their health and well-being objectives.
“During the past decade we have been laser-focused on continuously pushing ourselves and our peers to offer consumers more choice and transparency while keeping the same great tastes and experiences our fans love,” says Tracey Massey, president of Mars Chocolate North America.
The money the candymaker is putting behind the commitment aims to achieve the goal of having half of all Mars Chocolate and Wrigley individually wrapped products to contain 200 calories or less by 2022. This pledge is already playing out in the market through the U.S. launch of Maltesers as well as the introduction of M&M’s Caramel and Crispers and Snickers Crispers, the company reports, noting Wrigley’s mint and gum items already have between five and 25 calories per serving.
Among the first in the industry to move from “king size” packs to “share” and “for sharing” options, Mars reports it will work with its industry peers to use sharing language on packs while also introducing more sharing options, using standup reclosable bags and its “2 to Go” format as examples.
Further, the company is undertaking consumer education programming to help delineate confections as a treat, not an everyday snack or meal replacement. Working with NCA and other program participants, Mars will also develop easy-to-share information detailing for consumers how candy can fit into a balanced lifestyle, while reinforcing the occasional treat message.
“By joining forces with PHA and other leading confectionery manufacturers to create even deeper commitments, we are taking an important step forward to transform the entire industry so we can evolve to meet and exceed the demands of today’s consumers,” Massey says.
Prior to the NCA-driven commitment, Mars had pledged to remove artificial colors from its items, reduce sodium content by 25 percent across its portfolio and include one serving of whole grains or legumes in half of its grain-containing products by 2021, the company reports.