Does the NEW Mars treat with good intentions deliver its promises?

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For years Mars the company have been known for their chocolatey indulgent sweet treats, the catchphrase a Mars a day helps you work, rest and play is still one most people can recall. A genius piece of marketing which worked its magic insighting people to grab one as a preference.
There have been variations on the theme of the Mars bar, dark and white, mars brownie bar etc but none really marketed in the same heavy hitting fashion as the original bar.
The famous Snickers bar which successfully negotiated a name change from Marathon bar that some of you may still remember.

I have to wonder whether the trend to healthier eating and indeed the more fashionable gym scene is leaving the sales a little below par, as there seems to be a trend switch with some of the larger manufacturers including Mars themselves.

We saw not so long ago the introduction of the Mars protein bar. Allegedly a slightly healthier and higher protein containing version of the original snack bar. Perhaps it was succesful or maybe it didn’t quite have the impact that Mars were hoping to secure. As a personal trainer, athlete and nutritionist, I couldn’t justify the inclusion of this “protein” bar in my meal plan or those of athletes I look after, for the protein content although elevated from the original bar, is not sufficient to be a reasonable source of protein, and the sugar levels are not a useful inclusion for the way my body works. I understand that some athletes on and IIFYM plan or even on some “calorie loading” days may include them as a treat but i assume they would still seek better sources of protein for their main meals.

So if you want to advance your company where would you go from here?
Mars are about to launch the first NEW product to the UK market in 20 years.
Interested?
I thought I might have your attention with that statement.
A version of this product is already available in the USA but apparently it had to be made sweeter for the UK market.
With the slogan
light on chocolate, light on calories

A lower calorie bar with a smaller cocoa covering to raise the interests of the modern healthy eating fraternity.
The new bars named “Goodness Knows” that I sampled came in 2 flavours –
Blueberry and almond with dark chocolate &
Apple, peanut and almond with dark chocolate.

Good to see they have stuck to the chocolate theme! !!!!!

Much healthier right? there is a website to look at to see what they’re all about www.whatisgoodnessknows.co.uk (At the time of writing this article the website has not been launched, but is advertised on the wrapper).
So how do they really compare?

Your standard Mars bar is 51g in weight – cost 60p
Kcal 228
Fat 8.5g
Sat Fat 4.1g
Carb 35.3g
Sugar 30.5
protein 2.2g
Ingredients Sugar, glucose syrup, skimmed milk powder, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, sunflower oil, milk fat, lactose and protein from whey, egg white powder, milk protein, natural vanilla extract. Suitable for vegetarians. Free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. Gluten free, not dairy free.

Mars Protein bar 51g in weight – cost varies up to £2.99
Tastes great, apparently!
Kcal 200
Fat 4.6g
Sat Fat 2.6g
Carb 22g
Sugar 13g
Protein 19g (37% of the bar)
Ingredients Protein Blend (39%) (Hydrolysed Collagen, Soya Protein Isolate, Milk Protein Isolate, Skimmed Milk Powder, Whey Protein Concentrate (from Milk), Egg Albumen, Emulsifier (Soya Lecithin)), Caramel (16%), (Sweetened Condensed Skimmed Milk, Glucose Syrup, Invert Sugar Syrup, Palm Oil, Butter (from Milk), Sugar, Emulsifier (E471), Stabiliser (Pectin), Salt, Natural Flavouring), Milk Chocolate (15%) (Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Skimmed Milk Powder, Cocoa Mass, Lactose and Protein from Whey (Milk), Palm Fat, Whey Powder (from Milk), Milk Fat, Emulsifier (Soya Lecithin), Natural Vanilla Extract), Humectant (Glycerol), Fructo-Oligosaccharide, Humectant (Maltitol), Flavourings, Fat-Reduced Cocoa Powder, Barley Malt Extract, Salt.
Suitable for vegetarians. Not gluten or dairy free. Not polyol free. Not FOD plan compliant.

Chocolate brownie mars bar is 51g in weight – cost 60p
Kcal 231
Fat 9.3g
Sat Fat 4.1g
Carb 33.7g
Sugars 28.8g
Protein 2.3g
Ingredients Sugar, glucose syrup, skimmed milk powder, sunflower oil, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, fat reduced cocoa, milk fat, lactose and protein from whey, whey powder, palm fat, barley malt extract, soya lecithin, salt, egg white powder, milk protein, natural vanilla extract. Suitable for vegetarians. Free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. Gluten free, not dairy free.

Snickers is 48g in weight – cost 60p
Kcal 245
Fat 13.4g
Sat fat 4.6g
Carb 26.1g
Sugar 21.6g
Protein 4.6g
Ingredients sugar, peanuts, glucose syrup, skimmed milk powder, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, sunflower oil, palm fat, lactose and protein from whey, whey powder, milk fat, soya lecithin, salt, coconut oil, egg white powder, natural vanilla extract, milk protein. Suitable for vegetarians. Free from artificial colours flavours and preservatives. Gluten free, nit dairy free.

Goodness Knows Apple, peanut & almonds with dark chocolate weight 34g – cost 90p
Kcal 157
Fat 6.8g
Sat fat 1.8g
Carb 20.3g
Sugar 13.6g
Fibre 1.6g
Protein 2.6g
Ingredients dried sweetened apple (sugar, apple), dark chocolate (sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, milk fat, soya lecithin, natural vanilla extract, natural flavour), glucose syrup, almonds, sweetend rolled oats, (oat flakes, brown sugar, sunflower oil), sweetened crisped rice (rice flour, brown sugar, dextrose, salt), peanuts, sugar, sunflower oil, glycerol, salt, palm fat, cane molasses, soya lecithin, May also contain tree nuts, barley, rye, spelt, wheat.
Source of fibre. Neither dairy free nor gluten free. Suitable for vegetarians.

Goodness Knows Blueberry & almond with dark chocolate weight 34g – cost 90p
Kcal 154
Fat 6.7g
Sat Fat 1.7g
Carb 19.4g
Sugar 12.3g
Fibre 1.8g
Protein 2.6g
Ingredients dried sweetened blueberries (blueberries, sugar), dark chocloate (sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, milk fat, soya lecithin, natural vanilla extract), almonds, glucose syrup, sweetened crisped rice (rice flour, brown sugar, dextrose, salt), sweetened rolled oats (oat flakes, brown sugar, sunflower oil), sugar, sunflower oil, glycerol, peanuts, salt, cane molasses, soya lecithin, palm fat. Source of Fibre. May contain tree nuts, barley, rye, spelt, wheat. Suitable for vegetarians. Not gluten free or dairy free.

So after looking at all the information currently available. The new bars are not suitable for those with nut, gluten or dairy allergies. They are much smaller than their standard bars but cost 50% more. They are effectively a carb bar, low in saturated fat, high in sugar (almost 50%) with a small fibre source contribution. The fruit doesn’t add up to a portion so in terms of nutritional value they may be useful for carb loading or carb backloading after training but you may need to accompany it with a protein source too. The standard mars is 100kcal more but is 20g more in weight. Pound for pound they work out roughly the same. In fact per g weight the Mars is 4.47g and the Goodness Knows is 4.61 per g. So the Mars is in fact lower calorie per gram. Shocking to think that the new bar could in fact be deceitful in its claim to be healthier and lower calorie. The Mars protein is 3.9 Kcals per gram. With nearly 40% of the bar as protein and the same sugar content as the Goodness Knows bars, perhaps one could argue that this is in fact the healthier option.

Malcolm Clark, of the health group Sustain, said that from a nutritional standpoint Goodness Knows looked fine, but he added: “£4.6m is a massive amount of money to spend on advertising a new product. My worry is that this is another example of food giants like Mars simply trying to create more and more ‘snacking opportunities’ for consumers that they don’t actually need.”

I wonder if the advertising and marketing will create the cloak needed to get the desired sales. If you are merely counting calories the lower Goodness bar could be the one for you but if you are interested in the nutritional value of what you are consuming, this could be a lesson in why label reading is so beneficial.

 

 

 

For years Mars the company have been known for their chocolatey indulgent sweet treats, the catchphrase a Mars a day helps you work, rest and play is still one most people can recall. A genius piece of marketing which worked its magic insighting people to grab one as a preference.
There have been variations on the theme of the Mars bar, dark and white, mars brownie bar etc but none really marketed in the same heavy hitting fashion as the original bar.
The famous Snickers bar which successfully negotiated a name change from Marathon bar that some of you may still remember.

I have to wonder whether the trend to healthier eating and indeed the more fashionable gym scene is leaving the sales a little below par, as there seems to be a trend switch with some of the larger manufacturers including Mars themselves.

We saw not so long ago the introduction of the Mars protein bar. Allegedly a slightly healthier and higher protein containing version of the original snack bar. Perhaps it was succesful or maybe it didn’t quite have the impact that Mars were hoping to secure. As a personal trainer, athlete and nutritionist, I couldn’t justify the inclusion of this “protein” bar in my meal plan or those of athletes I look after, for the protein content although elevated from the original bar, is not sufficient to be a reasonable source of protein, and the sugar levels are not a useful inclusion for the way my body works. I understand that some athletes on and IIFYM plan or even on some “calorie loading” days may include them as a treat but i assume they would still seek better sources of protein for their main meals.

So if you want to advance your company where would you go from here?
Mars are about to launch the first NEW product to the UK market in 20 years.
Interested?
I thought I might have your attention with that statement.
A version of this product is already available in the USA but apparently it had to be made sweeter for the UK market.
With the slogan
light on chocolate, light on calories

A lower calorie bar with a smaller cocoa covering to raise the interests of the modern healthy eating fraternity.
The new bars named “Goodness Knows” that I sampled came in 2 flavours –
Blueberry and almond with dark chocolate &
Apple, peanut and almond with dark chocolate.

Good to see they have stuck to the chocolate theme! !!!!!

Much healthier right? there is a website to look at to see what they’re all about www.whatisgoodnessknows.co.uk (At the time of writing this article the website has not been launched, but is advertised on the wrapper).
So how do they really compare?

Your standard Mars bar is 51g in weight – cost 60p
Kcal 228
Fat 8.5g
Sat Fat 4.1g
Carb 35.3g
Sugar 30.5
protein 2.2g
Ingredients Sugar, glucose syrup, skimmed milk powder, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, sunflower oil, milk fat, lactose and protein from whey, egg white powder, milk protein, natural vanilla extract. Suitable for vegetarians. Free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. Gluten free, not dairy free.

Mars Protein bar 51g in weight – cost varies up to £2.99
Tastes great, apparently!
Kcal 200
Fat 4.6g
Sat Fat 2.6g
Carb 22g
Sugar 13g
Protein 19g (37% of the bar)
Ingredients Protein Blend (39%) (Hydrolysed Collagen, Soya Protein Isolate, Milk Protein Isolate, Skimmed Milk Powder, Whey Protein Concentrate (from Milk), Egg Albumen, Emulsifier (Soya Lecithin)), Caramel (16%), (Sweetened Condensed Skimmed Milk, Glucose Syrup, Invert Sugar Syrup, Palm Oil, Butter (from Milk), Sugar, Emulsifier (E471), Stabiliser (Pectin), Salt, Natural Flavouring), Milk Chocolate (15%) (Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Skimmed Milk Powder, Cocoa Mass, Lactose and Protein from Whey (Milk), Palm Fat, Whey Powder (from Milk), Milk Fat, Emulsifier (Soya Lecithin), Natural Vanilla Extract), Humectant (Glycerol), Fructo-Oligosaccharide, Humectant (Maltitol), Flavourings, Fat-Reduced Cocoa Powder, Barley Malt Extract, Salt.
Suitable for vegetarians. Not gluten or dairy free. Not polyol free. Not FOD plan compliant.

Chocolate brownie mars bar is 51g in weight – cost 60p
Kcal 231
Fat 9.3g
Sat Fat 4.1g
Carb 33.7g
Sugars 28.8g
Protein 2.3g
Ingredients Sugar, glucose syrup, skimmed milk powder, sunflower oil, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, fat reduced cocoa, milk fat, lactose and protein from whey, whey powder, palm fat, barley malt extract, soya lecithin, salt, egg white powder, milk protein, natural vanilla extract. Suitable for vegetarians. Free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. Gluten free, not dairy free.

Snickers is 48g in weight – cost 60p
Kcal 245
Fat 13.4g
Sat fat 4.6g
Carb 26.1g
Sugar 21.6g
Protein 4.6g
Ingredients sugar, peanuts, glucose syrup, skimmed milk powder, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, sunflower oil, palm fat, lactose and protein from whey, whey powder, milk fat, soya lecithin, salt, coconut oil, egg white powder, natural vanilla extract, milk protein. Suitable for vegetarians. Free from artificial colours flavours and preservatives. Gluten free, nit dairy free.

Goodness Knows Apple, peanut & almonds with dark chocolate weight 34g – cost 90p
Kcal 157
Fat 6.8g
Sat fat 1.8g
Carb 20.3g
Sugar 13.6g
Fibre 1.6g
Protein 2.6g
Ingredients dried sweetened apple (sugar, apple), dark chocolate (sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, milk fat, soya lecithin, natural vanilla extract, natural flavour), glucose syrup, almonds, sweetend rolled oats, (oat flakes, brown sugar, sunflower oil), sweetened crisped rice (rice flour, brown sugar, dextrose, salt), peanuts, sugar, sunflower oil, glycerol, salt, palm fat, cane molasses, soya lecithin, May also contain tree nuts, barley, rye, spelt, wheat.
Source of fibre. Neither dairy free nor gluten free. Suitable for vegetarians.

Goodness Knows Blueberry & almond with dark chocolate weight 34g – cost 90p
Kcal 154
Fat 6.7g
Sat Fat 1.7g
Carb 19.4g
Sugar 12.3g
Fibre 1.8g
Protein 2.6g
Ingredients dried sweetened blueberries (blueberries, sugar), dark chocloate (sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, milk fat, soya lecithin, natural vanilla extract), almonds, glucose syrup, sweetened crisped rice (rice flour, brown sugar, dextrose, salt), sweetened rolled oats (oat flakes, brown sugar, sunflower oil), sugar, sunflower oil, glycerol, peanuts, salt, cane molasses, soya lecithin, palm fat. Source of Fibre. May contain tree nuts, barley, rye, spelt, wheat. Suitable for vegetarians. Not gluten free or dairy free.

So after looking at all the information currently available. The new bars are not suitable for those with nut, gluten or dairy allergies. They are much smaller than their standard bars but cost 50% more. They are effectively a carb bar, low in saturated fat, high in sugar (almost 50%) with a small fibre source contribution. The fruit doesn’t add up to a portion so in terms of nutritional value they may be useful for carb loading or carb backloading after training but you may need to accompany it with a protein source too. The standard mars is 100kcal more but is 20g more in weight. Pound for pound they work out roughly the same. In fact per g weight the Mars is 4.47g and the Goodness Knows is 4.61 per g. So the Mars is in fact lower calorie per gram. Shocking to think that the new bar could in fact be deceitful in its claim to be healthier and lower calorie. The Mars protein is 3.9 Kcals per gram. With nearly 40% of the bar as protein and the same sugar content as the Goodness Knows bars, perhaps one could argue that this is in fact the healthier option.

Malcolm Clark, of the health group Sustain, said that from a nutritional standpoint Goodness Knows looked fine, but he added: “£4.6m is a massive amount of money to spend on advertising a new product. My worry is that this is another example of food giants like Mars simply trying to create more and more ‘snacking opportunities’ for consumers that they don’t actually need.”

I wonder if the advertising and marketing will create the cloak needed to get the desired sales. If you are merely counting calories the lower Goodness bar could be the one for you but if you are interested in the nutritional value of what you are consuming, this could be a lesson in why label reading is so beneficial.