Mars puts Snickers bars on a diet
February 16th, 2012
11:36 AM ET

Mars puts Snickers bars on a diet

Have you ever stood near the checkout of a grocery store and stared at the rack of chocolate bars, debating whether anyone would judge you for buying the king-size?

You know the regular size is enough to satisfy your craving, but the bigger candy bar is only 40 cents more and it just... Looks. So. Good.

Worry no more - Mars, Inc. is going taking that decision out of your hands. The company that produces M&Ms, 3 Musketeers, Snickers and Twix bars has vowed to stop shipping any Mars chocolate products that exceed 250 calories per portion by the end of 2013.

Right now a regular Snickers bar has 280 calories and each Twix cookie bar has 130 calories (but let's be honest, who eats just one?).

Mars will most likely stop producing its king-sized candy bars all together since the large Snickers bar weighs in at 510 calories.

"We have a responsibility to help our consumers and the pets they love lead healthy lives," Mars said in a statement on its website. "We are committed to making sure the products we offer, and the ingredients they contain, can fit into a balanced diet."

Mars also produces Dove chocolate bars, multiple kinds of pet food, several gum brands and Uncle Ben's rice products.

This move is part of an agreement Mars signed with Michelle Obama's Partnership for a Healthier America. Mars is part of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, a group of 16 manufacturers who have pledged to reduce 1.5 trillion calories by the end of 2015 through lower-calorie options and reducing portion sizes.

"America's food and beverage companies have a strong track record of innovation and providing consumers with healthier products," said Lisa Gable, executive director of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation in a press release. "The Foundation's member companies are giving Americans tools to reduce calorie consumption."

Mars' statement goes on to note that the company has removed 97% of the trans fat in their chocolate products and plans to "reduce sodium levels in all Mars Food products globally by 25 percent by 2015."

Mars has not addressed the total number of fat grams in each product or the amount of sugar - factors most experts agree play a big role in weight gain, especially for children.

You can check out the nutrition info for Mars' products at www.marshealthyliving.com.

soundoff (224 Responses)
  1. Luv Snickers

    Just means they'll crop 10-20% – or more – off their candybars and still charge the same amount.

    Gosh, that's so thoughtful of them!

    February 16, 2012 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • NickZadick


      February 16, 2012 at 12:54 | Report abuse |
    • BC68

      *DING*DING*DING* We have a winner!!!!

      Besides, if you were to use the king size snickers as a meal replacement once in a while – is that horrible?? If you use it as an after dinner treat... well the wound you inflict upon yourself is your problem. And as for kids... it's called paranting, not having someone else do your job for you. Ugh.

      February 16, 2012 at 17:26 | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      That's exactly what it is. Clever marketing?

      February 16, 2012 at 18:41 | Report abuse |
    • disgruntled

      Hershey's has already shrunk their snack-size packs of candy down from 8 pieces to 6 and stll charging the same price, if not more. And on top of that, the candy bars and packets that are in the packs are smaller too. For shame!

      February 16, 2012 at 18:58 | Report abuse |
    • Sash

      Or they'll adjust the portion size. Snickers will go from 1 serving per packet to 2 servings per packet, effectively adjusting the calories to the right range.

      February 17, 2012 at 06:37 | Report abuse |
    • J.B.B.

      You are SO right! But Mars is not the first company to do so ... so many other companies have already boarded that bandwagon over the past few years! And frankly, I don't think that a lot of candy bars taste as good as they used to
      because they are using cheaper ingredients!

      February 17, 2012 at 14:58 | Report abuse |
  2. Bridgette

    someone needs to edit these articles this is the third one with a typo...

    February 16, 2012 at 12:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Take a big one

      You forgot to capitalize "someone". Then you omitted the period at the end of sentence one and rambled on without capitalizing the first word of sentence two, ending it with an improper ellipses. Look in the mirror, honey.

      February 16, 2012 at 13:30 | Report abuse |
  3. Saboth

    They'll spin it as being health conscious, while simply giving less food for the money. Now, if there were a 10-20% price drop, that would be another thing.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • EvloveNow

      Part of the issue is that people are considering a candy bar to be food, rather than a treat to replace calories already burned by doing actual hard physical labor or a handy replacement for a once-per month missed meal. Anthing more than that and the person's healthy diet is at risk to start with...

      February 17, 2012 at 14:22 | Report abuse |
  4. Unsure

    I am ot sure if this is a good idea or not. On one hand it is a very good step for the company to be so responsible of the products they sell; on the other, it takes the responsibility of the individual to make healthy choices away.
    Personally, I hope they make them smaller but stay away from adding artificial sweetener; that stuff is just horrible.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • EvloveNow

      Artificial sweetner's taste is your concern vs. the fact that not reducing single serving packages's size is killing people who were never taught selfcontrol? This is both selfish and ingnorant of the problem which exists and was created by advertising that says you should always feel satisfied.

      February 17, 2012 at 14:27 | Report abuse |
  5. fiskenmann

    uH, xcuze mee, brigit, butt ware ar tha tiepoes? tHis iz tha thurd ardakle eye cudent fine a tiepoe own.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mark

      Worry no more – Mars, Inc. is going taking that decision out of your hands. But don't blame CNN, that's how the story came over from Media Matters.

      February 16, 2012 at 13:01 | Report abuse |
    • J.B.B.

      So manny peeple have an inabillitie to spel werds corectly! Knot mee!!!

      February 17, 2012 at 15:02 | Report abuse |
    • Sheldon Cooper

      Third paragraph ... first sentence.

      February 17, 2012 at 15:05 | Report abuse |
  6. JC

    It's typical marketing spin. They're doing us a favor, right? And it just so happens that they're making more money per unit of product. What a coincidence!!!!

    February 16, 2012 at 12:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • EvloveNow

      If this acheives the goal of making our population less obese, and I include myself in that problem, then why not make the individual serving package smaller and leave it at the current price? (Is it becuase it then becomes too expensive to maintain our obesity...?)

      February 17, 2012 at 14:31 | Report abuse |
  7. Sasha

    That's B.S. What they are doing is trying to get more $. Yeah...they will stop making the king sized bars because they know that people that usually purchase the king sized bar would now purchase at least 2 'so called' regular sized bars of candy...which means more$ for the company...tell that crap to someone else MARS!

    February 16, 2012 at 12:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Sasha

    Another thing....if you think about it...have you NOTICED that the 'so called' king size is more like a 'queen' size? The bars have shrunk. They are now split into 2 smaller bars of candy. They are a little larger than the tiny bars you get in their halloween type of candy bags.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LinSea

      No, but I have noticed that the 'King Sized' bars are the size that used to be the 'Regular Sized' bars, back when candy bars cost about fifty cents.

      February 16, 2012 at 18:48 | Report abuse |
  9. James

    Just another case of the incredible shrinking product, and they talk as if it's for our benefit. Look when I buy a candy bar, which is not very often, I don't buy it for my health. I buy it because it's a treat that tastes good. I've watched them steadily shrink over the years, a shady process that tries to mask price increases and I always feel cheated. This is a new version of the same tactic, this time jumping on the health food band wagon.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Otis

    How about let's just leave out their "concern" for their customers and stop buying the junk altogether?

    February 16, 2012 at 13:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. C.R.MacDonald

    They should make candy bars $200 each. that way nobody would contemplate eating that garbage in the first place.

    February 16, 2012 at 13:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Take a big one

      They should make slabs of tofu and tangles of alfalfa sprouts $200 each. That way nobody would contemplate eating that garbage in the first place. In other words, bite me.

      February 16, 2012 at 13:27 | Report abuse |
    • rob

      They should send police to our house every evening to make sure we brush our teeth and go to bed on time.

      February 16, 2012 at 13:34 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      @Rob – be careful what you ask for. That may be on page 1,348 of the health care plan that they're just now getting around to reading

      February 16, 2012 at 13:38 | Report abuse |
    • rob

      LOL !! 😉

      February 16, 2012 at 13:41 | Report abuse |
    • LinSea

      Good one, @Mark! Or, the food police could search our grocery bags for unhealthy foods before we even leave the store, think of all the time that would save.

      February 16, 2012 at 19:04 | Report abuse |
  12. Chocaholic

    Whao.... better stock up now. Mmpfh, mmpfh, mmpfh, mmpfh.

    February 16, 2012 at 13:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. AJ

    Am I the only one confused by the "and the pets they love" portion of that press release? Who is feeding Snickers to their dogs?

    February 16, 2012 at 13:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • reading comprehension is cool

      Read the paragraph immediately after that one, genius.

      February 16, 2012 at 13:35 | Report abuse |
    • rob

      The sign of true intelligence is kindness.

      February 16, 2012 at 13:40 | Report abuse |
    • Dingle Dangle


      February 17, 2012 at 04:30 | Report abuse |
    • mrtelecom

      I too am confused why the pet statement is in there (even though mentioned in the next sentence). If they made soap, would they have put a statement there about protecting the environment? – this is about a candy bar. stick to that part of Mars strategy

      February 17, 2012 at 18:32 | Report abuse |
  14. rob

    In the past, I noticed candy bars getting smaller, while the price didn't drop. Then they came out with more expensive super sized candy bars (more equivalent to the old 'standard' size). Now they are dropping the super sized so I imagine the price of the new smaller standard is going up. Conspiracy? No. Strategic? No. But over time you can see how it is always profits and never about our well being. When will we stop listening to the private sector? They do not care about people, what makes it worse is they lie in their marketing to try to make us believe they do. Always an excuse to drive prices up.

    February 16, 2012 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Portland tony

      Mars is a company that makes candy bars among other sweet snacks. As the article asks 'Are you embarrassed when buying a big un at the check out stand?' Well? I have two comments about this article. First of all, no one really cares what you buy at the market and secondly, why is CNN acting as a sales Rep for Mars under the guise of a news story?

      February 16, 2012 at 13:57 | Report abuse |
  15. KT

    I'm 65+ yrs old. I think by now I have the intelligence and have certainly earned the right to choose what size candy bar I want. MARS had better be more concerned about pleasing their customers than trying to act like everyone's mother! They aren't the only company in the candy business.

    February 16, 2012 at 13:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rob

      I agree KT. The days of freedom are gone for law abiding citizens. Criminals are free from conforming to ridiculous nanny laws. We on the other hand can't cross our eyes without being penalized or told what to do. The private sector controlling us is not better than government. Besides, I think it's a lie. They want to stop producing the more expensive candy bar so they can increase price of the smaller candy bar. But they will blame for their decisions to drive profits.

      February 16, 2012 at 13:37 | Report abuse |
  16. Leila

    They will just reduce the size of the candies and charge the same price. The fat content and sugar content will likley remain the same and as a consequence people will just eat two candy bars instead of just one. This is a gimmick.

    February 16, 2012 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Dave

    Mars candy bars are unhealthy at any size period! It is total BS to suggest this is healthy.

    February 16, 2012 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • denim

      Let's see, to make it healthy it'd have to be smaller than a "fun size" halloween candy bar. Like, microscopic.

      February 16, 2012 at 14:08 | Report abuse |
    • Dingle Dangle

      If I want to eat it, it is my right as an American!

      February 17, 2012 at 04:33 | Report abuse |
    • EvloveNow

      @ Dingle Dangle, If by right you mean your pursuit of happiness, yes, eating all the candy you want is your right; and so is dying of a massive coronay or bit-by-bit with diabetes. However, if you mean it is your right to have everyone else in the U.S. paying for your health care in the example above, think again. National Health Care is on it's way and with it things are already starting to change, the types of oils restaurants are allowed to use, the types and nutritional values of foods allowed in school lunches and maybe even candy bar size... In the end if government is having to make sure everyone has healthcare ins. they will be making adjustements that will help to keeo costs down.

      February 17, 2012 at 14:50 | Report abuse |
  18. longerview1

    Just buy two, duh.

    February 16, 2012 at 14:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. WC

    The new Snickers will simply be the old 'fun-size'–what a joke!

    February 16, 2012 at 14:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Master

    Watch the Mars wording. They will not sell/provide any bars that exceed 250 calories per portion/serving. So they will shrink the 510 calorie bar to 500 calories (keeping the price the same) and the nutrition section will state that a "serving" is half a bar. 🙂

    February 16, 2012 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. bill capistran

    Setting: long oak table, 22nd flood, overlooking the skyline above Madison Avenue. Chairman of the Board of Mars corporation speaking amid 12 other suit cladded personnel. "I got it, instead of quietly reducing the contents of our products while we keep the price the same, we play the George Washington card and grovel to the public. We say something like how we are for the environment, no wait, even better, we ally to the wife, what's her name?" "Clinton," one executive offers. "No, no, the other one," he grapples. "Michelle Obama?" another suit asks. "Yes, that one. We say how we hear her message that there is no room for obese children on the planet. Sooooo, we are reducing the size of our candy bars for health, increasing the price, of course, it's a win-win."
    The advertisement agency president says, "brilliant, now instead of the ogre corporation and the United States of Business, we are now saving the planet, eh, the fat kids, uh, whatever, brilliant."

    February 16, 2012 at 17:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Tom

    Great, so now I'll have to buy 2 candy bars to get filled up, pay more and end up actually eating more calories because I'm not going to save a half a bar. Thanks Mars

    February 16, 2012 at 17:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lehorn

      You mean, "Thank you Mrs. Obama."

      February 16, 2012 at 18:09 | Report abuse |
    • MarkC

      I guess if you're that stupid...

      February 17, 2012 at 21:34 | Report abuse |
  23. Lehorn

    I want the freedom of purchasing any product I want to. This is ridiculous. I do not need the government telling manufacturers what to manufacture! Mrs. Obama, BUTT OUT!

    February 16, 2012 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Deedie

    Soon Mars will suggest we eat their candy bars with knife and fork ala "George on Seinfeld" in order to enjoy the new size!

    February 16, 2012 at 18:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. us1776

    I'm so sick of these candy makers constantly reducing the size of their candy bars.

    Now there's actually more nourishment in the wrapper !!


    February 16, 2012 at 18:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. bonnie

    First – No other candy bar compares to a Snickers – Second I may not buy another Snickers now that I know they are hand in hand with the Obama's to control us.

    February 16, 2012 at 18:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. anonymous

    sure it's all about "health" - it's about charging the same price for less.... manufacturers are slowing, incrementally, decreasing the amount of product while charging the same amount - pay attention to the packaging - for example: the jar looks the same size but turn it over and the bottom has a huge indentation - less product but still same price

    ripping off the customers product by product, ounce by ounce....

    February 16, 2012 at 19:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Geoffrey Hamilton

    Bummer, I always keep one in my pack for skiing, biking, hiking, etc... because they are compact and loaded with calories. Very usefull when you hit the energy wall or have a sugar crash and just need something to get you back.

    February 16, 2012 at 20:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Mary

    This is just stupid. I am sick of all these "doctors" who are actually pharmaceutical companies running our lives. Leave my G-Dam* Snickers alone.

    February 16, 2012 at 21:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Jerry

    This is just as asinine as McDonald's eliminating "Super Size" fries & soft drinks. Only the Dummycrats could be so stupid as to try and make people think that "smaller portion = healthier product". We Republicans know that "smaller portion = you need to buy two".......

    February 16, 2012 at 22:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Harry

    Just another way to raise prices/increase profits. Any excuse will do.

    February 16, 2012 at 23:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. pmk1953

    This is the same as every company now makes hotdogs out of turkey and chicken. The said it was healthier, but it was really because turkey and chicken are cheaper than beef and pork.

    February 17, 2012 at 00:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Alan

    The obamas smamas certainly know how to take fun away from us. Too bad they have to try to control everything in our lives. If people can't figure out what is good to eat, then those people are just plain stupid and don't need govt. help.

    February 17, 2012 at 01:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mmi16

      Nothing more than GREED under 'cover' of health conserns.

      February 17, 2012 at 01:49 | Report abuse |
    • Jody

      Totally agree......you have to buy two now, ;which will be double the price instead of just 40 cents more.

      February 17, 2012 at 12:24 | Report abuse |
  34. mmi16

    Reduce the product amount – increase the price and say you are doing it for health reasons.


    February 17, 2012 at 01:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Dingle Dangle

    They are gonna make them "healthier" for us. What a joke. This is how they will get those RFID chips in us also!!

    February 17, 2012 at 04:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. C Murdock

    If their bars aren't a good value, I won't buy them. They obviously aren't going to reduce the prices, so it looks like I'll be reducing my purchases of Mars products.

    Thank you for raising the price of candy, Michelle Obama.

    February 17, 2012 at 08:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. J. McNeal

    Another step of the FLOTUS, another great leap in the loss of personal liberty.

    February 17, 2012 at 10:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MarkC

      Right, half-wit, because there's no way you'd be able to buy TWO Snickers bars if you wanted more.

      February 17, 2012 at 21:32 | Report abuse |
  38. Scott

    Cereal and cookie companies have been doing this for years without telling us. Less product for more more money. Seems to be the American way now.

    February 17, 2012 at 10:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Rock

    once again the obamas are "looking out " for us. God (can I use that word?) I just love the goverment running my life. I'm a choco holic sense I stopped drinking and now I have to buy more of the product to get my fix. Mars is now on my list of favs that fold to goverment pressure. What next-a 1-800 # you have to call to make sure that your putting the rite things in your kids lunch geee I'm to dumb to think for myself. Barack, what should I do now?

    February 17, 2012 at 11:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MarkC

      Well, half-wit, based on the obesity statistics, quite a large percentage of Americans ARE in fact unable to think for themselves. I'm guessing you're probably among them.

      February 17, 2012 at 21:29 | Report abuse |
    • MarkC

      Also, half-wit, how is somebody who spends life moving from one addiction to another qualified to complain that other people are trying to think for him? SOMEBODY has to do it.

      February 17, 2012 at 21:31 | Report abuse |
  40. james

    I think this stinks. There's nothing like a 5lb snickers bar and a cup of coffee. I think I will sue them.

    February 17, 2012 at 11:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. johno

    just because with her fat ass alll that fat goes to her ass. leave our candy bars alone. it will be the same price and less candy. by reduceing the size they probally reduce the work staff too.

    February 17, 2012 at 11:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Elli

    I don't think Michelle Obama called Mars and asked them to make the king-sized Snickers bar smaller in size. Mars did that all on their own. I applaud her for trying to do something about child obesity. Obesity is out of control in the USA and studies show that this condition is starting more and more in childhood. Some parents are not proactive in controlling their own diets, let alone their children's. If we start kids early and teach them how to control what they eat themselves and give them information to fight this condition with their own knowledge, maybe our country will see a down-fall in the number of obese adults. Obesity affects our bodies in so many negative ways and it costs all of us through increased health insurance. A healthy society benefits us all and why not give our children a good head-start to battle a condition that has affected so many of us? Let Mars do what they want with their product...you know you will still buy a Snickers bar regardless.

    February 17, 2012 at 11:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Jenny

    The price of gas has gone up, the price of cigarettes have gone up, the price of alcohol has gone up, the price of sporting event tickets have gone up...and yet we, as a society, still consume the same amount of each of these products. It did not stop us from buying them so I cannot see why everyone is sooo upset at the price of a candy bar going up and how you will quit buying this product. No you won't! If you like it, you like it, you will still buy it.

    February 17, 2012 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. NM

    Mars is not going to stop making the "sharing" size candy bars. The key word is "portion". Mars "king size" bars are already in portions of 2 pieces per bar, 4 pieces per bar or 'tear and share" size bags. The calories will be based on serving sizes. But like the article said–who can just eat 1 Twix. The regular sized Snicker's peanut butter squared is the best candy bar around and it already comes in two pieces....

    February 17, 2012 at 11:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. SuperC142

    Actually, I think the reduction in sodium is the more significant part of this story. BTW, this is silly:

    "...Mars has not addressed the total number of fat grams in each product or the amount of sugar – factors most experts agree play a big role in weight gain..."

    Do you know why they play a big role in weight gain? Because they contribute more calories. If they're reducing the calories, the fat grams, carbohydrates (sugar), and/or protein will be reduced, by definition.

    February 17, 2012 at 12:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. James

    Maybe they should put a little less sugar in those things, all that stuff tastes way to sweet to begin with.

    February 17, 2012 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Jody

    It's all about money! If it only costs 49 cents to by a big one, it will cost double to by two. What's to stop someone from buying two??? This is sooooooooooo dumb!

    February 17, 2012 at 12:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. bunbytes

    And the price will be?

    February 17, 2012 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. chet

    A half gallon of orange juice now contains 59 oz instead of 64 oz. Similiar undersizing for ice cream. Boycott the undersizing.

    February 17, 2012 at 15:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Jennifer

    KT – Buy two and eat both! Enjoy!!!

    February 17, 2012 at 19:37 | Report abuse | Reply
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