Transforming the Marketplace

MARS Food US

2018 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

      All 13 new products introduced in 2017 and 2018 met the Mars Food Nutrition Criteria added sugar guidelines.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2021
    • Reporting Date

      May 2018
    • Commitment Element

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

      Through a combination of reformulation, new product development and product elimination, Mars Food US decreased sodium in its Uncle Bens and Seeds of Change Product portfolio by 0.2% from baseline in 2017. Sodium reductions are based on sodium averages for aggregate tonnage sold each year.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2021
    • Reporting Date

      May 2018
    • 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

      May 2018
    • 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 is making progress on its commitment. In 2018, 34% of all grain product recipes in the Mars Food US product portfolio contained at least 16 g of whole grains per serving and in 2017, 40% of all recipes met the threshold. In 2018, six grain recipes in the portfolio also contained legumes.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2021
    • Reporting Date

      May 2018
    • 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

      Mars continues to work toward its goal to provide on-pack guidance to help consumers differentiate and choose between everyday and occasional options.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2021
    • Reporting Date

      May 2018
    • 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 103 Everyday meal recipes that meet Mars Food Nutrition Criteria and encourage consumption of vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins on its Uncle Ben's and Seeds of Change websites. This represents 45% of all Everyday meal recipes available.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2021
    • Reporting Date

      May 2018
    • 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 experienced an increase in overall media impressions of 107,014,370 in 2017 and 180,578,874 in 2018, representing an increase of 176% over total Ben's Beginners media impressions since 2016.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2021
    • Reporting Date

      May 2018
    • 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 2018
    • Commitment Element

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

      Mars offered three "What You Need to Know" nutrition education sessions to their associates in 2017. Topics included healthy recipe modification, understanding food labeling, strategies to reduce and an introduction to legumes. Nutrition education courses were not provided in 2018.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2021
    • Reporting Date

      May 2018
    • Commitment Element

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

      The Mars North America headquarters location features a full commercial kitchen used for recipe development, product tasting and associate cooking activities. Until relocation in September of 2017, Mars associates at the Rancho Dominguez facility and Seeds of Change California site had access to the R&D kitchen onsite.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2021
    • Reporting Date

      May 2018
    • Commitment Element

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

      Associates at Mars headquarters office and Seeds of Change California site had access an onsite fitness facility at the Rancho Dominguez location until relocation in September of 2017. Following relocation, associates at the new Chicago North American headquarters site may access the Mars Goose Island fitness center across the street at no cost. The Mars Greenville site features an onsite fitness facility available for associate use at no cost. Additionally, associates at the Seeds of Change site may expense a gym membership and a yoga instructor facilitates a class at the site two times per week.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2021
    • Reporting Date

      May 2018
    • 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

      The Mars Corporate Center Café features a range of healthy options including a fruit and yogurt bar at each breakfast and a salad bar at each lunch. The Café menu also features a range of entrees, soups and sides that meet Sodexo's "Mindful" nutrition criteria.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2021
    • Reporting Date

      May 2018

Partner Statement

“Since Mars Food declared a commitment to consumers, 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 provided an environment for Associates onsite that encourages more shared meals through a large, communal kitchen and quarterly cooking activities. We’ve introduced new products that meet our Mars Food Nutrition Criteria, which reflects the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and continue to add products that include whole grains and legumes. We’re working to reduce overall sodium in the market by developing reduced sodium formulas for our existing products, eliminating high sodium products and introducing products that are 300 mg of sodium or less per serving. Though we’ve made some progress, it will take time for these products to be more widely distributed in market, leading to a more significant step change in the coming years. Through our Ben’s Beginners program, we’ve connected with consumers – reaching 560 million earned media impressions – by sharing inspiring and educational content to encourage more families to cook together.”