An interesting story emerged the other day. Mars, the major food manufacturer announced that people should limit their consumption of certain of their branded food products. We cannot imagine the debates that must have been taking place ahead of the announcement internally at Mars. Can you picture the scene as the brand manager (or similar) discussed this with the production director? One says to the other:
“OK, so let’s make sure I understand what you are saying – We’re about to tell our customers to stop buying our product?!”
Perhaps it was not suprising therefore that the announcement came from a very senior member of the management team. These are early days, but what future now for the Dolmio brand? Was this a sacrifice the organisation was willing to make to maintain other brands and products in their portfolio? Was this an attempt at gaining first mover advantage as the first brand to come clean about its ingredients?
Since that particular announcement things seem to have been strangely quiet, with no other notable announcements made by other food companies (yet), but is this the calm before the storm? I cannot believe that if Mars is taking action now other brands will not follow.
If nothing else this must further raise awareness of what goes into our processed foods or at the very least prompt further questions from the public about what we are eating when it comes to added sugar and salt, among other additives and ingredients. We’ve already seen the pressure that can be brought to bear on the government with the so called sugar tax.
This issue is unlikely to go away and since Mars is a forward-thinking company I’m assuming that market research amongst their current consumers had a significant influence on their decision-making for Dolmio. Perhaps that announcement now, followed by a reformulation in the future will save Dolmio. Whatever happens at Mars I certainly think this is an interesting story to follow over the coming months for the food industry as a whole.