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Mars Dolmio

Dolmio & Uncle Ben’s parent warns consumers to limit intake of its products

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By John Glenday, Reporter

April 15, 2016 | 2 min read

Mars Food, owner of the Dolmio pasta sauce and Uncle Ben’s rice brands, has warned consumers that these products should only be consumed once a week owing to the high levels of salt, sugar and fat they contain.

In light of this the food manufacturer will update its packaging and website over the coming months to distinguish between ‘everyday’ and ‘occasional’ items as part of its drive to promote healthier living.

Mars estimate that five per cent of their range will incur an ‘occasional’ recommendation including Dolmio lasagne sauces and Uncle Ben’s oriental sauces pending a reformulation of their recipes in the next five years to cut out excess salt, sugar or fat.

Fiona Dawson, a global president of Mars, commented: "Our nutrition criteria sets a very high standard for our products, and we also want to help our consumers understand the difference between 'everyday' and 'occasional' products within a balanced diet.

"The food industry has already made great strides in reducing sodium, but we have more work to do to help consumers reduce sodium intake.

"We support release of the US FDA's draft sodium reduction guidance, because we believe it's important to begin a stakeholder dialogue about the role industry can play in this critical part of consumers' diets."

Mars has based its ‘nutrition criteria’ on the recommendations of the World Health Organisation.

Speaking to The Drum, Jacques de Cock, faculty member at the London School of Marketing, said the move by Mars was "clever" given the media and government's recent focus on the "unhealthy nature of processed foods."

"Brands do not want to stop selling these foods as consumers like them since this is what we are programmed to like and search for in food," he explained. "So Mars has found a clever way to be able to keep its popular foods unchanged whilst being seen to have families in mind and helping them make healthier choices."

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