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    Mars Starts Nutritional Foods Business

    Confectionery giant adds healthy snacks to lineup.

    Mars Inc. has launched a new business unit, Mars Nutrition for Health & Well-Being, which will develop and launch new foods, snacks, beverages and lifestyle support to better serve consumers' nutritional needs.

    "Our unit's mission is to be a trusted partner in healthy lifestyles, enabling consumers to look, perform and feel their best everyday," said Michael Mars, president of the new Mars Nutrition for Health & Well-Being business unit. "We will bring great taste to products that are designed to provide real health benefits supported by sound nutrition science."

    Foods in the nutrition and health category are growing at an impressive rate, and are anticipated to continue to grow for years to come. Moving into the health and nutrition area is consistent with Mars' continuing portfolio diversification, starting with its early roots in chocolate and expanding into savory snacks, pet food, main meal and beverages.

    "There's more to Mars than most people think," said Bob Gamgort, president of the North American division of Mars. "We place a high value on sound scientific research and are fulfilling a decades-long plan to which we have devoted significant investment with regard to exploring the healthy aspects of cocoa. This plan starts to roll out now with the expansion of our portfolio to meet consumers' need for health and nutrition."

    The unit's first snack is called CocoaVia, available online at www.cocoavia.com. With 80 calories per serving and a nutrition profile that combines vitamins and minerals with a premium chocolate, it is the only global brand purposely designed to deliver both chocolate pleasure and real heart health benefits. CocoaVia will be followed by a number of food solutions targeting a variety of nutritional needs and benefits in the months to come.

    Mars is a privately held company that produces some of the world's leading confectionery, food, pet care, beverage, electronics products, and now health food, and operates in more than 65 countries. Headquartered in McLean, Va., Mars' global sales exceed $18 billion annually.

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