The dialogue between large food corporations and consumers is changing, and it is step in a healthier direction. Mars, Incorporated, the company who makes the M&Ms, Snickers, and other candy treats for McDonald's McFlurries, Dairy Queen's Blizzards, and others, is rethinking the inclusion of their candies in these sugar-loaded fast-food items. The (as yet unconfirmed) decision to remove these candies is largely due to the fact that a single serving of these fast food dessert items exceeds the U.S. government’s daily recommended amount of sugar.
This decision from Mars stems from their recent efforts to help consumers make better choices about nutrition and enjoy their sweet indulgences in moderation. In 2013, Mars altogether removed the “King-Size” option for their candy bars in order to assure that all of their snacks fell under 250 calories. Earlier this year, they began labeling some of their Dlmio pasta sauces that have high levels of sugar and fat to be consumed once a week at most. In a seemingly reverse-psychology marketing strategy, the same company that profits when their consumers overindulge in their products, is instead urging their consumers to indulge in cautious moderation.
Upon the removal of these candies, a McDonald’s McFlurry or a Burger King dessert pie is still inherently indulgent. However, with this small step taken to cut back on some of the sugar and fat content, it promotes a lifestyle diet of healthy moderation. Mars has paved the way for confectionery companies to make health-minded business decisions in the best interests of their consumers, and we look forward to seeing if and how their competitors will follow.