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UK: Uncle Ben’s and Dolmio tell consumers their sauces should only be eaten ‘occasionally’

Mars food is introducing a new label telling U.K. consumers that their products are high in fat, salt and sugar and should only be eaten once a week.

The company behind Dolmio’s pasta sauce and Uncle Ben’s, Mars food, is introducing a new label telling U.K. consumers that their products are high in fat, salt and sugar and should only be eaten once a week.

Mars is releasing a list of ‘occasional products’ and a list of ‘everyday’ products, as part of a five year health initiative, it announced on Friday.

Some of its most popular U.K. brands, including Uncle Ben’s oriental sauces and Dolmio lasagne sauces, pesto, and carbonara and macaroni oven kits, will be a part of the new initiative, which hopes to encourage consumers to make healthier choices.

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Image: Dolmio

The company said some of their food products are high in salt and added sugar in order to stay true to their authentic recipe.

“Our nutrition criteria sets a very high standard for our products, and we also want to help our consumers understand the difference between ‘everyday’ and ‘occasional’ products within a balanced diet,” Fiona Dawson, global president of Mars food said.

“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,” she added.

Tam Fry, of the U.K. National Obesity Forum said: “Mars signposted their direction of travel towards healthier products several years ago and are now putting their money where their mouth is.”

Ben Reynolds, deputy coordinator of food and farming alliance Sustain, said: “The truth of it is that anything that comes out of a packet, comes out of a jar, that has been processed, is not going to be particularly healthy for you.

“Whether you’re making a quick pasta meal or a Sunday roast, the cheapest and healthiest way is from fresh ingredients.”

The World Health Organization recommends no more than 10 per cent of a person’s daily energy should come from free sugars, including those in processed foods and drinks and in natural juices.

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Image: BBC

Mars has said the products the current advice applies to are to be re-formulated over the next five years to cut salt, sugar or fat.

(Image: Thinkstock)

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