Dating from 2005, Mars’ Smart Choice Programme is run mainly in secondary schools to promote a healthy and balanced lifestyle and encourages sports in students between 12 and 18 years of age. The programme informs and supports schools in raising awareness amongst students, in relation to nutrition, balanced diet, physical activity and a healthy lifestyle. It also encourages the schools to promote physical activity in addition to the curricular by setting up a reward system. Mars ensures that all vending machine located in schools do not display branded images.
RENOVATION (reformulation and commitment to sustainability), which is the improvement of the nutritional composition of Mars products, on the one hand, and the sustainable sourcing of the raw materials, on the other hand.
INNOVATION here means providing more place in the Mars vending machines for alternative snacks to Mars and reducing the portion size of Mars products to below 250kcal per portion. No large packs, “plus” packs or promotions are allowed in Mars vending machines.
In 2016, Mars continued to carry out the programme, focussing on the qualitative improvement of the project implementation. Mars has maintained 100% participation rate of the schools involved since the launch in 2005 in the Smart Choice Program. 500 schools have been rewarded for taking part in more sport initiatives. Mars also provided more space in Mars vending machine for alternative snacks:
- 50% of the total space in vending machines with a large interface, and
- 30% of the total space in the vending machines with no glass interface (‘closed’ machines).
- In line with Mars portion commitment, Mars Introduced 1 smaller bar, ‘Maltesers Teasers’(187kcal) and prohibited large packs, “plus” packs or other volume driven packaging in vending machines in schools.