Mars Plastering Special Labels On Pasta Sauces That Are High In Salt, Fat, Or Sugar

Image courtesy of Katrin Gilger

The next time you reach for your favorite sauce in the grocery aisle, you could be greeted with a warning that you maybe shouldn’t over-indulge in the stuff. Mars Food, the maker of brands like Dolmio and Uncle Ben’s, is putting new labels on some of its pasta sauces suggesting they be an occasional treat due to high content of sugar, salt, or fat.

Some products like pesto contain higher levels of sugar, salt, and fat to ensure authentic taste, Mars says, so they shouldn’t be consumed every day. Mars Food says it will provide guidance for consumers on food packaging as well as on its website regarding how often those meal offerings should be eaten within a balanced diet.

The company’s website will also get an update within the next few months with a list of “occasional” products – those to be enjoyed once per week — and a list of “everyday” products — including those to be reformulated over the next five years to reduce sodium, sugar, or fat.

Mars says the move is part of its new Health and Wellbeing Ambition, in an effort to help consumers “shift taste preferences to lower sodium foods and improve overall health” and to support efforts by the UK’s Department of Health and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

“The food industry has already made great strides in reducing sodium, but we have more work to do to help consumers reduce sodium intake,” Fiona Dawson, the global president of Mars Food, Drinks and Multisales, said in a statement. “We support release of the U.S. 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.”

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