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. AndreT

    Mars has been planning on doing this since 2007, so not sure why Michelle Obama was even brought up.


    This initiative has been on the books since at least 2007 when the company announced that it would stop buying advertising space if more than a quarter of the projected audience was likely to be under 12 years old. Mars has also said that it’s going to cut sodium out of its products by 25% before 2015

    February 17, 2012 at 21:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bellezur R Dogg

      Been on the books since 2007 - my math says that 5 years - decision making at the slow pace.

      February 19, 2012 at 13:53 | Report abuse |
  2. Robert W

    Yes, they will make it smaller but the price will stay the same. Just wait and see.

    February 17, 2012 at 22:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • AK

      Actually the cost will most likely go up as they will have to tweak production

      February 18, 2012 at 15:00 | Report abuse |
    • frontgate

      you are just a curmudgeon cynic.

      February 19, 2012 at 13:27 | Report abuse |
    • James

      It's true. They're cutting costs under the guise of caring about our health.

      February 19, 2012 at 22:30 | Report abuse |
    • cnnuser

      Haha you're right. But people will still continue to buy and eat them.

      March 5, 2012 at 22:40 | Report abuse |
  3. TheKillingWords

    If they REALLY wanted to help people live healthy lives, they should just call it quits and fold the company. Think of how many calories THAT would save people from consuming. What it REALLY is about is more money. They know people who want king size bars will probably just buy an extra bar anyway, so instead of only gaining an extra 40 cents for it, they'll get an extra $1.39 from the extra bar that is sold. They don't give a d@mn about people's health. Only the health of their wallets.

    February 18, 2012 at 01:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • AreYouInsane

      Some of us like to eat junk food, and we can do it in moderation. Relax, tiger.

      February 18, 2012 at 15:45 | Report abuse |
    • TheOracle8191

      "...people who want king size bars..." Keyword: Want. I had hoped my statement was simple enough for all to understand but I suppose there's always one for whom simple is still too complex.

      February 18, 2012 at 21:44 | Report abuse |
    • frontgate

      Stop making snickers?
      Yeah, right what a wonderful idea.

      February 19, 2012 at 13:28 | Report abuse |
    • NoTags

      Does anyone force you to purchase a product you don't want?

      February 20, 2012 at 07:53 | Report abuse |
    • STFU

      Ahh, People have the freedom to choose what to eat, don't they? Or is the freedom of choice which the brain-dead zombie leftards shout about so loudly nothing more than pure hypocrisy? Survey says: Leftards yearn for a total dictatorship, but for the right reasons, of course.

      March 5, 2012 at 18:12 | Report abuse |
  4. Dave

    What an ass.She goes around and eats ribs on our tax dollar,with her big ass,and sermons US!
    Tell her to go out and play golf with Barry and lose some of that fat.He ain't doing anything else of value,except
    showing what he didn't learn in college,which we can't see his records.Oh yea;and we can't see a legal birth certicate.
    He adores abortion.Why didn't he abort his children?

    February 18, 2012 at 05:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dayhiker48

      You're an idiot

      February 18, 2012 at 10:08 | Report abuse |
    • Dave is Disgusting

      Dave..."sermons us" ???? ........Let me guess, you belong to the Klan, right? Don't worry, you will still be able to buy candy for your 600 pound wife, no one is taking away your "candy" rights. Pathetic loser.

      February 18, 2012 at 13:17 | Report abuse |
    • AK

      Gtt help Dave. That much anger is not good for you...or those around you when you eventually go "postal"

      February 18, 2012 at 15:02 | Report abuse |
    • jensen

      You're a very pathetic individual.

      February 19, 2012 at 00:40 | Report abuse |
    • frontgate

      you are an idiot Dave.
      You family must be terribly embarrassed to be with you.
      You no doubt make a fool of yourself on a daily basis.

      February 19, 2012 at 13:31 | Report abuse |
    • What

      Dave needs to just eat a snickers bar and cheer up!

      February 19, 2012 at 21:15 | Report abuse |
  5. texaslady2

    What do you want to bet that Mars won't lower the price on their cheapened product? They'll cheat us out of the product we want but still demand the same or higher price. How about letting the customer decide what he/she wants to eat? More "nanny state" BS!

    February 18, 2012 at 05:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • frontgate

      shut your mouth fool

      February 19, 2012 at 13:32 | Report abuse |
  6. Kanageloa

    Just another look good scam. Limit the calories, spend less to make but charge the same. Just another business scam. Watch, the price will not change. I love a good Snickers bar now and then but I'm cutting them out completely as well as any other Mars Bars.

    February 18, 2012 at 09:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Aaron

    Just another Price Increase disguise.

    February 18, 2012 at 10:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. PainterDude

    If i actuaaly cared about calories and all the other bull I wouldnt be buying a candy bar!

    February 18, 2012 at 11:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Saiko

    Most real experts (like biochemists or doctors) agree that carbohydrates play the crucial role, not fats. It's easiest (and cheapest) to reduce caloric value of food by eliminating fats, but don't expect you children to be lean after eating these excessive carbos... Organism will convert carbos to fats in no time, in fact most of carbos are converted that way, and stored for later. Later, which may never come.

    And more carbos will increase carving – due to insulin surge – so the children will buy two instead or one, then devour it and all that "reduction" will be for nothing. Well, not counting an increased income of some smart producers.

    February 18, 2012 at 11:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Snark Jones

    Exactly the sort of dumb move I would expect from a company who took their flagship product, the Mars Bar, and re-named it Snickers with Almonds as soon as the founder passed away. Jerks.

    February 18, 2012 at 12:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kevin

      I used to work for the company. For many years, there were two Mars bars – the European version was like a Milky Way and the U.S. version had the nuts. They made the name change in the U.S. to try to standardize the brand. What bothers me is that a company like Mars is trying to hop on the healthy bandwagon with their snack brands. The whole point of a candy bar is that it's a treat that you don't have everyday. So frankly, I want them to leave their brands alone because they taste fine the way they are. Any time they've messed with their core brands, they've screwed up. Some years ago in the '90s, they started using a lower quality of chocolate in their M&M's. Consumers could tell and it hurt sales, almost killing the iconic brand. They went back to a better chocolate and launched their campaign with the M&M's characters which essentially saved the brand.

      February 19, 2012 at 02:17 | Report abuse |
  11. davey

    I'll but two of them and eat the second one as a toast to MOOOOchelle Obama.

    February 18, 2012 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • NavyWife

      I laughed so hard when I read your comment. I think I will probably do the same.

      March 2, 2012 at 21:21 | Report abuse |
  12. rtbrno65

    As long as they don't mess with my Peanut M&M's I'm good.

    February 18, 2012 at 22:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kevin

      The peanut butter variety are the best. Pretzel ones are good, too.

      February 19, 2012 at 02:19 | Report abuse |
  13. 66Biker

    This isn't about health, it's about increasing sales. If a smaller candy bar isn't enough, people will buy two. And guess what? That's right, folks. The candy bars will get smaller, but not the price.

    February 19, 2012 at 00:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Ann

    Did MObama's sanctions include LOWERING THE PRICE for less product? It doesn't matter , I've eaten the last Mars product I'll ever eat,including the gum. Mars, you folded!

    February 19, 2012 at 12:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Teri

    How about CHOICE?! Duh, we're all so stupid we cannot determine what's good for us, so let's have the Obamas tell us what to eat! Yep, we're finished as a country. No such thing as FREE WILL anymore!

    February 19, 2012 at 17:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • A Mom

      This has been in the works with Mars sinced 2007. The Obamas have nothing to do with it.

      February 19, 2012 at 17:49 | Report abuse |
  16. A Mom

    Gee Whiz Thanks Mars! I didn't know that king sized candy bars are the reason too many Americans are overweight/obese!

    I think the real reason is that as a society we eat way too much and move too little!

    February 19, 2012 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Chocolate Lover

    The box my granola bars comes in screams "25% less sugar!" THAT"S BECAUSE THEY ARE 25% SMALLER! Let's be realistic. They will cut down the size of the candy bar. We will pay more for it. I think Reese's peanut butter cups have shrunk as well. Greed. Just plain greed.

    February 19, 2012 at 19:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Curmodgeon

    Keeping us healthy has squat to do with their decision. It will increase their profits because they will price a single bar so that two of them will cost significantly more than one of the old king-size bars.

    February 19, 2012 at 23:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. wilson

    Mars is trying to create a balanced diet with their candybars? That's pretty much impossible.

    February 20, 2012 at 02:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. TMF

    They should just sell candy bars. It is not their responsibility to make any decision regarding my diet. That is my responsibility and I must face the consequences for my decision. If their candy starts to taste like crap, or simply gets to expensive for what your purchasing, then I will just buy another product that isn't trying to run a scam under the guise of making decision for me about my diet.

    February 20, 2012 at 07:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Numenorean

    LOL. Yeah, right! Like limiting the size of candy bars is going to stop fat people from eating chocolate.

    When is this Nanny State crap going to end???

    February 20, 2012 at 12:50 | Report abuse | Reply
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