The Incredible Shrinking Candy from Mars

Snickers, various sizes

photo: Forbes

Mars, the candy maker, not the planet, is trying to do its share to help America lose some weight. While it won’t go to the extreme of making Kale Kandy bars, the company announced last week that it will be discontinuing its King size Snickers Bar (540 calories) by the end of 2013.

In fact, Mars will be discontinuing all chocolate products with more than 250 calories (A regular bar has 280 calories). Additionally, Mars will reduce Sodium by 25% in all its products within the next 3 years.

Should we applaud?

We were going to, but then realized that the replacement product is actually 440 calories!  You see, the new “2ToGo” product will have 2 bars, each with 220 calories. The package will be resealable, so you can “save one for later.”

Yeah right. Show us the man, woman, or child who will stop at one bar. Snickers are tasty, to Mars credit, and we have no doubt that people will be wolfing the 440 calorie snack in one sitting. On the bright side, that’s still 100 calories less than the King size bar.

Two additional suggestions for Mars on the health front:

1. While we applaud you for the brave 2007 decision to stop advertising to kids under the age of 12, how about raising that to kids under 16? High-schoolers are highly impressionable too.

2. Get rid of the artificial colors in M&Ms. They mess with our bodies.

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  • Startlite

    To me it sounds like a ploy to make a smaller bar but keep the price the same. Win win for them. I don’t see how this will help. If I want more I would just buy two.

    • Lisadreisig

      I had the same thought. This is about giving you less product for the same money and you get to thank them for it! And resealable packaging is just more wasteful in terms of trash.

  • Janellelwilliams

    So true that you will scarf down both of the bars. I was on a road trip with my Husband this last weekend and had a week moment and caved. I got a snickers, the two in one package. I tryed to save the second one for latter but ended up eating it 20 min latter.

  • Guest

    To be honest, I don’t really think that this is necessary. Mars is acting like every single person is obese and can’t handle a treat with more than 250 calories in it. Believe it or not, some people are actually in shape and can afford to have a candy bar every once and a while. Shocker!

    It is nice that they’re cutting the sodium, I will say.

  • Gerome

    Artificial colors “mess with our bodies”. Hmm. I have an issues with this remark. Generally, this site is good at educating readers. Your Omega 3 post is a good example. But this comment does give us much to go on.  CSPI has a pretty good summary of dyes and government findings of safety. Perhaps a post showing concerns from other researchers that are in conflict with what our FDA claim to be safe would be a good future topic. Perhaps dyes do mess with our bodies, but it’s hard to assess risk and consider behavior change if we don’t know what we are dealing with.

  • Jessica Isabel

    This is called a stealth price hike. Haagen-Dazs did something similar a few months ago where they quietly shrank their pint size from 16 oz. to 14.5 oz. but kept the price the same. Ever wonder why Ben & Jerry’s pint lids now say “Still 16 Ounces!” ? That’s why. This is just another ploy to get consumers to pay more for a product they should not be buying in the first place. 

  • DY

    …yikes, not everybody is a glutton who can’t save the second for later.