Food is more than what we eat. It’s the foundation for a healthy lifestyle. One of the best ways we bond with friends and family is over a meal. For farmers around the world, it’s how they make their living. These facts guide every decision to make better food today to create a better world tomorrow.
That’s why in 2016, Mars Food launched its Global Health & Wellbeing Ambition. This Ambition puts all our Associates working towards one simple objective — to deliver one billion more healthy meals on dinner tables around the world by 2021. This would bring the total of healthy meals delivered by Mars Food to four billion. While nutrition is our top priority, we also want to make sure everyone around the world is able to enjoy delicious, affordable, convenient and sustainably sourced meals whenever they sit down for dinner.
At Mars, we have a passionate group of experts and scientists dedicated to making our products as healthy as they are tasty. We’re using the strict World Health Organization (WHO) nutrition guidelines for calories, added sugar, sodium, and fats as set out in our Mars Food Nutrition Criteria — ensuring that we set a high bar for our efforts to offer healthier products to consumers.
We are quickly approaching 2021, the horizon of our current Ambition. We still have some work to do but we are getting closer to achieving our targets (and in some cases we already have). Today, we’re proud to report great progress toward our targets including:
- We’ve added 920 million more healthy meals to dinner tables around the world. We expect to deliver our target of one billion meals by the end of 2019, one year ahead of our target.
- We have already exceeded our 2021 target to reduce sodium in our products by an average of 20%, with a 22.3% reduction today.
- Today, 77.4% of our dinnertime products meet our Mars Food Nutrition Criteria – meaning they can be enjoyed any day.
- We’ve already met our target to reduce sodium – with a 22.3% reduction.
- Today, 99% of our dinner time products meet our targets on added sugar – with only seven SKUs outstanding.
- We’re also adding more whole grains, fruits/vegetables and legumes to our products. All of our tomato-based sauces include one serving of fruits/vegetables per serving, and 37% of our rice and grains portfolio includes whole grains or legumes — making steady progress to 50% by 2021.
- We’re helping consumers make more informed choices about the meals they can cook with our products. We are continuing to be transparent about what is in our products through online and on pack information, providing recipe inspiration for healthier meals and rolling out labeling that helps consumers identify any day meals and those that are more indulgent and best enjoyed as part of a balanced weekly diet.
- We are proud that our leading brands continue to inspire families to cook and eat together and celebrate the importance of sitting down together to enjoy dinner. Our Associates also do their part, by volunteering their time to teach kids the basics of nutrition and cooking, giving them the skills they need to cook healthy meals at home with their families.
- Our Purpose also translates to our workplaces. We invest in the health and well-being of our Mars Food Associates, as all of our sites offer nutrition education and healthy canteen meals, and almost all have kitchens for Associates to cook and share meals together.
Once we’ve reached our goals however, our work won’t be finished.
“The targets we set for ourselves in 2016 were not easy to achieve, but the right things to do. I’m inspired by the progress we’ve made to date, because none of this would be possible without our Associates," Global President, Mars Food, Multisales and Global Customers Fiona Dawson said. “We will continue to set ourselves new and stretching goals and keep providing our consumers with products that are healthier, affordable, convenient and, of course, delicious.”
Learn more about our plan and our updates in our annual Mars Food Health & Wellbeing Progress Report 2019.