Transforming the Marketplace

MARS Food US

2017 Progress Report

Year Committed: 2016
Length of Commitment: 5 years

Committed to offer healthier foods to consumers, provide access to nutrition information and create opportunities for its associates to improve their personal wellbeing. MARS Food U.S. will reduce sodium and added sugars, increase vegetable servings, increase whole grains and update its nutrition criteria to reflect 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

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Verified Results

    • Commitment Element

      All new products in the United States will meet or be reformulated to meet added sugar guidelines under Mars Food Nutrition Criteria in order to be prominently and clearly labeled as 'everyday.' Otherwise, the products will be labeled as 'occasional,' defined as foods to be consumed once per week.
    • Progress To Date

      Mars did not introduce any new products in 2016.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2021
    • Reporting Date

      November 2017
    • Commitment Element

      Reduce sodium in Uncle Ben's and Seeds of Change products by an average of 20% by 2021 based on aggregate tonnage sold.
    • Progress To Date

      No update provided.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2021
    • Reporting Date

      November 2017
    • Commitment Element

      Ensure all tomato-based jar products sold or introduced in the United States include a minimum of one serving of vegetables per serving.
    • Progress To Date

      No tomato-based jar products are available in the United States at this time.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2021
    • Reporting Date

      November 2017
    • Commitment Element

      Update Mars Food Nutrition Criteria to reflect 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations, and to include a new whole grain parameter.
    • Progress To Date

      In May 2017, Mars Food US released the second edition of the Mars Food Nutrition Criteria. The updated criteria incorporates the recommendations of both the 2010 and 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. A whole grain parameter was added, requiring half of rice products to include either 16 grams of whole grains or 40 grams of legumes per serving by 2021.

    • Implementation Date

      June 2017
    • Reporting Date

      November 2017
    • Commitment Element

      Expand whole grain options in the United States so that at least half of all grain products in Mars U.S. Food product portfolio includes at least 16g of whole grains per serving and may include legumes.
    • Progress To Date

      Mars Food US is making progress to expand whole grain options in its United States product portfolio with 45% of all grain products containing at least 16g of whole grains per serving and 3% of grain products containing legumes.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2021
    • Reporting Date

      November 2017
    • Commitment Element

      Help consumers differentiate and choose between 'everyday' and 'occasional' (once per week) options through prominent, on-pack guidance and website content, subject to US legal requirements.
    • Progress To Date

      On its website, Mars Food Nutrition Criteria states that by 2021 product labels on indulgent items, the items that do not meet Criteria requirements, will advise that these foods are recommended to be enjoyed as part of a balanced weekly diet.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2021
    • Reporting Date

      May 2017
    • Commitment Element

      Clearly label Everyday meal recipes on packaging and online that will meet Mars Food Nutrition Criteria and encourage the consumption of more vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins
    • Progress To Date

      Mars Food US offers at least 79 Everyday meal recipes that meet Mars Food Nutrition Criteria and encourage consumption of vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins on packaging and online. This represents 35% of all Everyday meal recipes available.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2021
    • Reporting Date

      May 2017
    • Commitment Element

      Uncle Ben's will use Ben's BeginnersTM campaign to build awareness about the proven benefits of cooking and eating healthier meals together, delivering a 15% increase year over year on media impressions.
    • Progress To Date

      The Uncle Ben’s "Ben’s Beginners" campaign delivered an increase in media impressions of 7,759,629 in 2016, representing an increase of 1% over total Ben’s Beginners media impressions in 2015.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2021
    • Reporting Date

      May 2017
    • Commitment Element

      Explore new formats and opportunities to offer 'everyday' products in more places at affordable prices.
    • Progress To Date

      No update provided.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2021
    • Reporting Date

      May 2017
    • Commitment Element

      All Associates will be offered nutrition education courses at least one time per year.
    • Progress To Date

      In 2016, 90 Mars associates participated in three “What You Need to Know” nutrition education sessions on topics including sustainability, ancient grains and GMOs.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2021
    • Reporting Date

      May 2017
    • Commitment Element

      Ensure all 3 US sites (2 offices, 1 factory) have cooking kitchens.
    • Progress To Date

      In 2016, the Mars Rancho Dominguez site featured a full R&D kitchen, which was used for R&D cooking activities and group activities such as Cook With Your Kids Day and office lunches. The Seeds of Change California site offered access to as small staff kitchen. The Greenville manufacturing plant did not have a cooking kitchen.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2021
    • Reporting Date

      May 2017
    • Commitment Element

      All 3 US sites offer free fitness facilities.
    • Progress To Date

      In 2016, the Mars Greenville and Rancho Dominguez sites featured free onsite fitness facilities available for employee use. The Seeds of Change California site did not offer an onsite fitness facility; however, employees received a gym membership reimbursement.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2021
    • Reporting Date

      May 2017
    • Commitment Element

      Any current or future US site cafeterias offer at least one meal per day that meets Mars Food Nutrition Criteria and are 30% less expensive than other meals.
    • Progress To Date

      No update provided.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2021
    • Reporting Date

      May 2017

Partner Statement

“Since Mars Food declared its commitment to PHA, we have continued working towards the goals set forth in our Health & Wellbeing Ambition, contributing to and inspiring healthier meals for consumers and creating opportunities for our Associates to improve personal wellbeing. We’ve implemented nutrition education across our sites in the US, ensured that there are healthier options for Associates onsite and opened a new office with a large, cooking kitchen designed to encourage more shared meals. We’ve updated our Mars Food Nutrition Criteria to reflect the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and added a whole grain parameter. We’re working to develop reduced sodium formulas for our products, though it will take some more time for these to get into market. With just 5% to go, we’ve already nearly reached our goal of at least half of all grain products in our US portfolio including at least 16 grams of whole grains per serving. And through our Ben’s Beginners program, we created a new digital hub featuring recipes and interactive cooking lessons, created the first ever International Cook with Your Kids Day and inspired 4,500 families to cook together.”