On Monday, Mars Snackfoods US—makers of “pokin’ at you pokin’ at you” Snickers bars, M&Ms, and other popular office meal replacement systems—announced that it would not seek FDA permission to replace its cocoa butter with cheaper vegetable oil, which is what the rest of the industry is lobbying for. Okay, first of all, yech, just… vegetable oil? But second of all, yay for Mars for drawing a line somewhere on poor product quality.
The replacement ingredients would cost 25% to 33% of what it costs today to use cocoa butter, which is why Hershey Co. and the major industry trade group in the U.S. are in favor of changing the “legal definition” of it. Mars, however, said that it doesn’t think consumers want the definition of chocolate changed. (Note to Hershey: they’re right—we don’t. We don’t want slaves harvesting it, but we don’t want it made out of corn or soy, either.)
Says the president of Mars, “Our Snickers bar tastes the same as it did 77 years ago when we introduced it. Changing the definition of what chocolate is would be a mistake. . . . American consumers are passionate about chocolate.”
The FDA is currently considering the proposal.
“Mars vows not to water down its chocolate” [LA Times]