Mars Food US Signs National Salt Reduction Initiative, Underscoring Commitment to Health and Nutrition

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 Press Release
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Company to reduce sodium in its UNCLE BEN'S(R) brand flavored rice products

LOS ANGELES, April 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mars Food US, a leading producer of a variety of food products under well known brand names, including UNCLE BEN'S®, today announced that it has signed on to the National Salt Reduction Initiative (NSRI).

The NSRI is a New York City-led coalition of cities, states and health organizations working to help food manufacturers and restaurants voluntarily reduce the amount of salt in their products, with the goal of reducing Americans' salt intake by 20 percent over five years. Mars Food US has been engaged with the City of New York since last year, providing feedback, insight and support to help partner on sodium reduction targets.

As part of the company's endorsement of the NSRI, Mars Food US is voluntarily committing to lowering the sodium content in its UNCLE BEN'S® brand flavored rice products by 25 percent over five years. The company's other varieties of UNCLE BEN'S® brand rice and products, including the certified organic SEEDS OF CHANGE® Flavored Rice, pasta sauce, simmer sauce and salad dressings, already meet the NSRI targets.

Commenting on the NSRI, Mike Wilson, vice president research & development, Mars Foods US said, "Mars Food US believes that sodium reduction is one of many important health and nutrition issues, and something we have been actively engaged in for some time. As part of our long term health and nutrition strategy, we remain committed to making significant sodium reductions without compromising the great taste our consumers expect as they continue to look for healthier food choices. We believe that our efforts to reduce sodium in UNCLE BEN'S® brand flavored rice can have a significant impact, especially since it is the number-one rice brand in America."

Wilson continued, "We applaud and support Mayor Bloomberg and the City of New York's efforts to spearhead this initiative, and this is validation of our long-standing efforts in this area. We appreciate being given the opportunity to participate in helping craft sodium reduction targets and believe the success of the NSRI can serve as an example of how public and private partnerships can positively affect health and nutrition."

Mars Food US sodium reduction initiatives are an important component of Mars, Incorporated's overall commitment to health and nutrition. Mars is a proven industry leader in addressing the issues that impact consumers, including updated school nutrition standards, marketing to children and front of pack labeling.

About Mars, Incorporated

Mars, Incorporated is a private, family-owned company founded in 1911 and employs more than 65,000 associates at over 230 sites, including 135 factories, in 68 countries worldwide. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, U.S.A., Mars, Incorporated is one of the world's largest food companies, generating global revenues of more than $28 billion annually and operating in six business segments: Chocolate, Petcare, Wrigley Gum and Confections, Food, Drinks, and Symbioscience. These segments produce some of the world's leading brands: Chocolate - M&M'S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, GALAXY®, MARS®, MILKY WAY® and TWIX®; Petcare - PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®, SHEBA®, CESAR® and ROYAL CANIN®; Wrigley - ORBIT®, EXTRA®, STARBURST®, DOUBLEMINT® and SKITTLES®; Food - UNCLE BEN'S®, DOLMIO®, EBLY®, MASTERFOODS® and SEEDS OF CHANGE®; Drinks - KLIX® and FLAVIA®; Symbioscience - WISDOM PANEL(TM), SERAMIS®, CIRKUHEALTH(TM) and COCOAPRO®. For more information, please visit

SOURCE Mars, Incorporated

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