At Mars we are hard at work reducing saturated fat, trans fat, artificial ingredients and portion sizes to meet our consumers’ needs. We’re going to be doing a bit of renovating - of chocolate that is. We are committed to improving the nutritional profile of our products and meeting our consumers’ needs.
Our ‘Making Chocolate Better’ Program began back in 2005 and some of the initiatives we are working on now include:
In 2005 we completed a programme to reduce trans fatty acids in Mars products to a minimum - without impacting finished products taste, mouth feel or shelf life. This was achieved by replacing hydrogenated oils with fractionated oils in products. All Mars products now have trans fats at levels less than 0.5g which is much less than proposed levels in Europe (residual TFAs largely due to Milk Fats)
Mars Chocolate Australia has worked with Mars globally to reduce saturated fats in ‘finished product’ centre components such as caramel and nougat. We have replaced the saturated fat with a mono unsaturated sunflower oil. It has taken 5 years and 40 000 R&D man hours to achieve this substitution without affecting the classic taste, mouth fill, or shelf life of the MARS® Bar.
This will result in a 22% reduction of saturated fat in a MARS® Bar. The remainder of the saturated fat is predominantly in the cocoa and milk in chocolate.
We are working towards reducing the saturated fat of a MILKY WAY® by 19%.
Our goal is to remove 130-160 tonnes per year of saturated fat from the Australian food supply. We are doing this by moving from a hard fat to high oleic sunflower oil.
Removal of artificial colours and flavours
We’ve already removed artificial colours and flavours from all of our enrobed chocolate bars.
All of our Fun Size bars (‘A little bit of...’ range) are now less than 100 calories. In 2009 we launched 100 calorie and 250 calorie chocolate bars. MARS Bar’s have moved from 60g to 53g, SNICKERS has moved from 60g to 53g and TWIX from 58g to 55g. We will continue to look at developing products in smaller serving sizes as well as looking at their caloric density.
Promoting healthier lifestyles
We are engaging our Associates in living healthier lifestyles and better managing their work/life balance. We encourage greater levels of productivity, satisfaction and promote long-term health.
Responsible consumption campaigns
At Mars we are always looking at ways to educate people about how chocolate can be part of a well-balanced diet. We promote greater physical activity, sports and healthier lifestyles including in our workplace with the participation in activities like ‘Associate Health Checks’, ‘Run for the Kids’, and ‘Ride to Work’ Day. We also run Nutritional Training for all Associates.
In 2010 Mars became a major sponsor of the AFL Carlton Football Club which encourages participating in sport.
Mars also likes to meet and educate key opinion leaders about our programs and commitments. In November 2008 Mars Snackfood exhibited at the Nutrition Society of Australia Annual Conference, and then in 2009 and 2010 at the Annual Dieticians Association of Australia Conference engaging with dieticians and nutritionists to discuss Mars ‘Making Chocolate Better’ Program.