‘Healthy’ Mars and Snickers bars launched in bid to overcome new junk food laws

Mars has launched a healthy Triple Treat bar range to follow a government crackdown on food high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS).

The low-calorie Triple Treat range of the chocolate bar is made out of date paste, nuts and raisins to keep in line with the upcoming government legislation around junk food.

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The confectionary giant is also launching the new editions of Mars, as well as Snickers, Bounty and Galaxy bars exclusively in Tesco from the start of June - to avoid being on the bottom shelf.

It comes as the government made a major U-turn in its obesity strategy, announcing it would delay a ban on promotional deals on HFSS foods and drinks including buy one get one free offers.

What is the new Mars Triple Treat like?

The  lower calorie Mars Triple Treat is encased in the familiar tasting chocolate but only the base is coated with it.

The date and nut topping is lightly drizzled with chocolate, leaving it exposed.

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It has taken 18 months for chocolate giant Mars to perfect the recipe for each bar which retains an element of the original.

The Triple Treat Mars (40g) has 173 calories compared with 228 calories in the regular 51g version - which will still contain its signature caramel.

The Triple Treat Bounty will have 169 calories compared with 278 calories in the original.

It is sprinkled on top with a dusting of desiccated coconut.

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Mars said its experts had “spent thousands of hours working on every minute detail of the bars - from the chewy caramel in the malt-infused Mars Triple Treat, to the crunchy roasted nuts on the Snickers variant”.

How much will the bars cost?

The chocolate bar will cost 80p a pop - with the HFSS compliant bars pricing at around 57% more than their traditional counterparts.

Mars said the higher price was because of the “very premium ingredients” such as roasted peanuts and dates.

Kerry Cavanaugh, marketing director at parent company Mars Wrigley UK said: “Triple Treat does exactly what is says on the tin - it’s packed with a knockout trio of fruit, nuts and our iconic chocolate, and is delightfully delicious to boot.

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“We’re thrilled that Brits can now enjoy a great tasting - and HFSS compliant - Galaxy, Mars, Snickers and Bounty treat.

She added: “It’s tasty reinvented!”

What are the new junk food laws?

The government announced measures to help fight obesity including removing tempting sugary treats from easy-access areas in supermarket, banning adverts for junk food on television before 9pm and banning promotional deals on HFSS foods.

From October HFSS items will no longer be placed in key locations, such as checkouts, store entrances, the ends of supermarket aisles, and their online equivalents.

So while the Triple Treat bars will be at eye-level, middle shelf and end of aisle positions, iconic bars and other goodies such as Maltesers, M&M’s and Twix will be banned from prominent positions such as checkouts and store entrances.

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However, rules banning multibuy deals HFSS items, including buy one get one free will be delayed for a year.

The restrictions banning HFSS adverts on TV before 9pm and paid-for adverts online will also be paused for a year, meaning they come into force January 2024.

Government said the restrictions are delayed due to an “unprecedented global economic situation” and to “give industry more time to prepare for the restrictions on advertising.”

A version of this article originally appeared on NationalWorld.com

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