Maker of Snickers to put its chocolate on a diet

Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:34pm EST

M&M's candies are seen at the production line of candy and chocolate maker Mars Chocolate France's plant in Haguenau, eastern France, December 13, 2011. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

M&M's candies are seen at the production line of candy and chocolate maker Mars Chocolate France's plant in Haguenau, eastern France, December 13, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Vincent Kessler

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(Reuters) - Mars Inc, the maker of Snickers and Twix candy bars, will stop selling chocolate products with more than 250 calories in them by the end of next year, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

The company, which also makes M&Ms and Skittles candies and Juicy Fruit chewing gum, said the goal is part of an ongoing effort to improve the nutritional value of its products and to sell them in a responsible way.

The new calorie limit target means fans of the 540-calorie king-size Snickers bar might want to enjoy the big bar while they can. Come 2014, it's going to be gone, part of what Mars says is a broader push for responsible snacking.

In 2007, the privately held, McLean, Virginia-based company said it would stop buying advertising time or space if more than a quarter of the audience was likely to be under 12 years old.

Mars has also said it will reduce sodium levels in all its products 25 percent by 2015.

Spokeswoman Marlene Machut said the plan to stop shipping any chocolate product that exceeded 250 calories per portion by the end of 2013 -- a target first announced last fall -- was part of Mars' "broad-based commitment to health and nutrition."

Several media organizations, including National Public Radio, had reported on the chocolate bar down-sizing this week.

Mars is one of the world's leading food manufacturers. In addition to candy, it makes Uncle Ben's rice and Dove ice cream bars as well as Pedigree and Whiskas brand pet food.

(Reporting by James B. Kelleher; Editing by Daniel Trotta)

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Comments (3)
TFMDFL wrote:
Has the world completely lost its mind? Will groceries be limited to serving sizes? 250 calories? Will half-gallons of ice cream be eliminated? Whoops, too late except for Blue Bell. Will purchases be limietd at the checkout to 250 calories for each person in line. What’s next?

Feb 16, 2012 11:23am EST  --  Report as abuse
beachgal64.5 wrote:
And you can bet your bottom dollar that the price won’t go down. This is just a spin to charge more for less and make it appear as a value add to the customer. Bunk! I’ll make my own candy, thanks.

Feb 16, 2012 3:27pm EST  --  Report as abuse
BeltofTruth wrote:
Beachgal I think you are 100% correct. Mabye they’ll throw in some fake sugar to bring that calorie level down, considering it’s such a healthy alternative (sarcasm) doing us an even bigger favor of protecting us from ourselves. They’ll get to make more money, and help poison the community more all in one shot. Sounds like a great idea.

Feb 17, 2012 2:30pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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