3/6/2013 12:20 PM ET|
Mars wants candy makers to fight obesity
The parent of M&M's doesn't want the industry to wait for governments to tell it to do the right things.
Candy makers, whose products account for about 2% of the calories consumed in the typical American diet, are already feeling the heat. Some states have implemented candy taxes, and celebrities have been criticized for promoting what are considered to be unhealthy food and drinks. More government actions may follow.
"We need the whole industry to step up," Mars North America President Debra Sandler told a recent industry conference, according to Confectionery News. "We are not judged by the leaders of the category but by those who do not take responsibility for change."
Closely held Mars, whose brands include M&M's and Wrigley gum, is getting praise for this stance from groups such as the Center for Science and the Public Interest (CSPI) that are often critical of good companies. As ABC News.com noted, Mars pushed the U.S. Congress to pass the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act in 2010, which required food served in schools to meet certain nutritional standards -- which led to candy being excluded.
Mars also won't directly market its products to children under 12 years old, a policy adopted by its competitors. And it began putting nutritional information on the front its packages in 2010. Officials at Mars, Hershey (HSY) and the National Confectioners Association couldn't be reached.
"Mars has been making an effort to be more responsible in how they market candy. It's good to see them calling on their colleagues to do the same," said Margo Wootan, CSPI's director of nutrition policy, in an interview with ABC.
Government officials are taking a tougher stance on obesity partly because of the related health care costs, which one study estimated will rise by $550 billion between 2012 and 2030. New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg has pushed the city to ban the sales of large sugary sodas, which the soda industry has challenged in court. Is that what Mars would do?
--Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices closed out the month of August on a modestly higher note. The Russell 2000 (+0.6%) and Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) finished ahead of the S&P 500 (+0.3%), which extended its August gain to 3.8%. Blue chips lagged with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) spending the bulk of the session in the red.
The final week of August represented one of the quietest stretches for the stock market so far this year. The first four sessions of the week produced the ... More
More Market News
These hot movers could rise by double digits in coming months.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'