We’ve often wished we could ship reality TV stars out to space and never have to deal with their self-important squabbling and petty attempts at fame, but a new, somewhat odd proposition by a nonprofit organization could make that somewhat of a reality. The group of scientists and entrepreneurs at Mars One said it’s opened up the application process for a commercially sponsored one-way mission to Mars as part of a venture that will (sigh) also include a reality TV program. [More]
When we heard that Sheba is promising to use only sustainably-sourced seafood in its cat food entrees, of course we pictured a fleet of feline fishermen, sharpening their claws and licking their whiskered chops. That’s not exactly how it’ll be, but the brand has pledged to be good to the environment going forward. [More]
Okay fine, Mars isn’t going to run up to you and steal your candy, but the makers of Snickers bars and other tasty treats are going to stop selling chocolate products that have more than 250 calories per portion. So that means no more king-sized Snickers, Twix, 3 Musketeers, Mars, Milky Way and more. [More]
Anyone who sat down to watch the Westminster Kennel Club dog show this week probably likes dogs, and might even have one. That’s why Pedigree brand dog food has been the event’s major sponsor for the last 24 years, even though it’s unlikely that the dogs in the ring eat such pedestrian fare. This year, Purina has replaced Pedigree as sponsor. Why? Was their contract up? Slashed ad budget? No. It was because Pedigree’s commercials about the plight of shelter dogs were bumming everyone out. [More]
Even if you didn’t go trick-or-treating last night, there’s a decent chance you have some candy and chocolate sitting around the house. Perhaps you’re like some Consumerist staffers who just can’t help but be tempted by the bulk bags of Kit Kats that go on sale at their local Walgreens? Regardless, before you toss those empty wrappers in the garbage, you might want to consider using them to help out a good cause. [More]
The folks over at the Center for Science in the Public Interest recently took a look at how 128 different food and entertainment companies market food to kids. And, perhaps not surprisingly, they gave failing marks to 95 of them for having either weak policies for marketing food products to children or having none at all. [More]
The food companies say we are on the brink of a sugar shortage that will wreak havoc on your candy bars and all that. According to the WSJ several large food companies including Kraft Foods Inc., General Mills Inc., Hershey Co. and Mars Inc. sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack warning that the US could run out of sugar if we don’t get rid of some tariffs.
Fork over your personal information and the Mars chocolate company will snail mail you a free coupon for one full-sized Mars candy bar in 6 weeks. We mentioned this in Morning Deals in May, it’s still going on, and will continue on Fridays through September. They’re calling it the “Real Chocolate Relief Act,” a tie-in to two different news stories: 1) Economic bailout plans and 2) Some corner-cutting candymakers not using 100% cocoa butter and putting more oil inside – a basterdization known as “mocklate.”
Mars didn’t really think through their “free chocolate” offer and the server stampede it would inevitably cause. If you had rotten luck this morning but still insist on getting a free candy bar coupon via snail mail in six weeks, try the site now; I just did and was able to get a coupon without any delay (less than 2 minutes total time on the site). [realchocolate.com]
A woman in Atlanta bit into a blue peanut M&M and discovered a tiny, blackened bone, probably from a nut obsessed animal who crept into the M&M to eat the peanut, then died of remorse. A Mars rep told the customer it was probably just a peanut twig. Whatever; by our estimations, this animal is most likely smaller than a peanut M&M, but has a comically wide and very short neck. Hmm, maybe we should instead ask an expert to deduce where this bone came from, which is what the customer did.
Reader Leo writes in with some helpful information that will allow you to avoid stale candy:
I work at a small-volume store in the midwest, and the other day my supervisor asked us to check all of the candy in the checkout lanes to see if it had expired. M&M Mars and Hershey brand candy both had different, indecipherable codes on the back which tell the expiration date. After calling the 1-800 number and finding out what the codes meant, we discovered that most of our candy stock was expired by a year or more. We even found candy that went bad from 2004. I figured I should share the codes, so people won’t buy expired candy, because it’s out there.
The Justice Department is investigating price fixing in the chocolate industry. Mars, Nestle, and Cadbury were contacted after a preliminary analysis showed that the 100 Grand bar actually cost far less than advertised. [Slashfood]
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.