LONDON — Championing shared meals, opening access to better food and driving brand purpose highlight areas of progress in a new “Purpose in Action Report” unveiled by Mars Food on Feb. 11. The new focus targets complement Mars’ previous commitments, which aimed to bring healthier meals to families through reformulation, inspire families and friends to eat and cook together, and improve sustainable farming practices to the benefit both farmers and consumers.
In 2016, Mars set out to achieve several goals, including delivering one billion more healthy meals by 2021, which the company has since achieved. During the past five years the company has made good on several other efforts, including pioneering sustainable rice practices, partnering with global packaging supplier Amcor to launch the first recyclable microwavable rice pouch, contributing to a 21.3% average sodium reduction on Mars Food's global portfolio (surpassing its 20% target), and ensuring that 100% of is tomato-based sauces include one serving of fruits or vegetables per portion.
Now, Mars intends to take its commitments a step further and has identified several key targets it plans to reach by 2025, including a new ambition to deliver 5.5 billion meals by 2025.
To achieve its targets Mars has outlined three areas of focus: Open access to better food; champion shared meals; and drive brand purpose.
In opening access to better food, Mars said it plans to provide 800 million more servings of vegetables alongside a 30% increase of fiber in all Mars Food products and a 5% reduction of sodium by 2025. The company also will seek to serve 25 million healthy meals to those in need through strategic partnerships, and it will look to ensure that 100% of its plastic packaging is recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. Additionally, the company plans to eliminate unsustainable water use in its value chain, starting with a 50% reduction by 2025.
Mars said it intends to remain a “champion of shared meals” and plans to create an accessible digital platform that provides mealtime inspiration and conversation starters while also raising more awareness around the social value of shared meals and through public health partnerships and endorsements.
A third focal point in Mars’ plan will involve driving brand purpose with consumers, customers and partners. To achieve its targets in this area, Mars said it will seek to create opportunities that offer everyone a seat at the table through its Ben's Original Seat at the Table scholarship fund and celebration of diverse cuisines and cultures. Additionally, Mars said it plans to plant nutritious seeds for every Seeds of Change product purchased, so that communities can enjoy healthy, nutritious food.
“Our Mars Food Purpose — Better Food Today. A Better World Tomorrow — guides our actions because we know that what we eat, where that food comes from and who we share it with are important,” said Fiona Dawson, global president of Mars Food, Multisales and Global Customers. “Our Purpose in Action report sets out the progress we have made since 2016. We have delivered an extra one billion healthy meals, which have been shared on dinner tables around the world; used our brands to celebrate the importance of shared dinnertimes, and today 99% of our rice is sourced from farmers working towards the Sustainable Rice Platform standard.
“I am incredibly proud of these achievements, and despite our progress there is much more that we want to do. I am excited to share our ambitious 2025 goals we have set ourselves to champion the benefits of shared meals, open access to better food and drive our brands' purposes — all so that we can deliver 5.5 billion healthy meals for families around the world to enjoy.”