U.S. Spotlight Index

Global Index

India Spotlight Index

Global Index 2018

Mars, Inc.

5 (2015)

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Product Profile


Nutrition General

A Governance (12.5%)
B Products (25%)
C Accessibility (20%)
D Marketing (20%)
E Lifestyles (2.5%)
F Labeling (15%)
G Engagement (5%)


A Governance (12.5%)
B Products (25%)
C Accessibility (20%)
D Marketing (20%)
E Lifestyles (2.5%)
F Labeling (15%)
G Engagement (5%)

Corporate Profile

# of employees
Market capitalization
Private Company
Reported product categories
Confectionery, Pasta, Ready Meals, Sauces, Snack Bars, Hot Drinks
Total revenues*
35,000 m
Reported revenue by geography**
Not disclosed
* Source: company financial statement FY2016, USD historic exchange rate ** Source: Morningstar

Main areas of strength

• Mars’ score has increased from 3.9 in 2016 to 5.6 out of 10 in 2018. Since 2016, the company has most notably improved in Categories D, F and on its approach to combating undernutrition.
• Mars has implemented a new strategy, the ‘Sustainable in a Generation’ plan, which contains a strategic focus on improving nutrition and health. The company recognizes it has a role to play in tackling global nutrition challenges, such as the rising rate of obesity and the issue of undernutrition in developing countries. In addition, it has strengthened its management systems in relation to this strategy.
• The company has strengthened its nutrient profiling approach by now having systems in place that cover all products globally, including confectionery. It covers both ‘negative nutrients’ and ‘positive nutrients’.
• Mars continues to demonstrate industry-leading practice on responsible marketing by implementing the most comprehensive policy. It covers marketing to all consumers, with specific attention for marketing to children. Mars does not market any products to children under 12 and, new in comparison to 2016, commissioned comprehensive external audits of its marketing compliance.
• Mars has the most comprehensive employee health and well-being program among its peers. It is available to all employees worldwide and to family members in the U.S. It includes many relevant elements for supporting healthy diets and lifestyles and was evaluated independently across 34 countries.
• As one of few companies that commits to include all relevant nutrients on back-of-pack labels, the company shows strong performance in Category F. In addition to having implemented its back- and front-of-pack labeling fully across its markets, it has now provided evidence of tracking the use of health and nutrition claims.
• Mars makes strong commitments to combat undernutrition and, despite limited public disclosure, has shared relevant evidence of its commercial strategy to do so.

Priority areas for improvement

• Mars ranks twentieth in the Product Profile assessment with a score of 2.0 out of 10, based on an assessment of its major product categories in nine countries. Mars was estimated to derive only 8% of its total sales from healthy products (3.5 stars or more in the HSR system). This indicates that Mars has significant scope to improve the healthiness of its portfolio through product reformulation, innovation and/or portfolio changes. As there is a limit to making products such as confectionery healthier, the company is encouraged to step up other efforts to stimulate healthier diets as well, e.g. through portion control.
• Mars did not provide evidence of reporting related to tackling nutrition issues in separate markets in 2018. The company is encouraged to do so, addressing how its approach is adapted to the local nutrition and health context.
• Mars’ product reformulation targets do not cover all relevant nutrients for all products globally. In addition, Mars’ portion control efforts should go beyond current commitments to reduce portion sizes below 200 calories for selected products and below 250 calories for all single portion confectionery products.
• Mars does not make a concrete commitment to improve the affordability and accessibility of its healthy products. The company is encouraged to do so, also in relation to its undernutrition approach, and to relate its commitment to a clear definition of healthy products.
• Limited evidence of supporting consumer-oriented nutrition education and healthy lifestyle programs was found, especially in relation to undernourished consumers in developing countries. The company is encouraged to commit to supporting only independently designed and implemented programs.
• The company does not make a commitment to only lobby with the intention to support measures to prevent and address obesity and diet-related chronic diseases. It is encouraged to make an explicit commitment not to lobby against public health-supporting initiatives.
• Across the ATNI methodology, but especially in relation to its undernutrition approach, the company is encouraged to disclose more information publicly.

Improving nutrition for all

The Access to Nutrition Index rates food and beverage manufacturers´ nutrition-related policies, practices and disclosures worldwide on a recurring basis.


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