When’s your Dolmio day? Only once a week according to the guidelines set by the popular Italian pasta sauce’s parent company Mars. In a move that has shocked many commentators, the brand recently announced that it will be adding an ‘eat occasionally’ label to some of its product range, in an effort to tackle childhood obesity and reduce the amount of salt people eat.
Some people have been scratching their heads about Mars’s decision. It seems self-defeating given it is likely to reduce sales, and therefore attract the ire of the company’s shareholders. However, upon further inspection Mars’s move makes a great deal more strategic sense than it may initially.
The healthiness of processed food has come under increased scrutiny over the past decade or so, with Jamie Oliver famously going to war with Turkey Twizzlers and the introduction of the traffic light system for labelling. It is therefore beneficial for Mars to present itself as having consumers’ interests at heart. The move fits within a wider strategy from Mars that seeks to improve the healthiness of its products, which includes other steps such as cutting the amount of salt in its sauces by 20% by 2021.
Furthermore, Mars is only rolling out its new label to around 5% of its product range – meaning that it can benefit from this positive PR without severely impacting sales.