Mars accelerating health and wellness strategy

by Monica Watrous    View Me on Google+
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Debra Sandler steps into the newly created role of chief health and wellbeing officer at Mars, Inc.

MCLEAN, VA. — Debra A. Sandler, acting president of Mars Chocolate North America, has been tapped for the newly created position of chief health and wellbeing officer for Mars, Inc. Tracey Massey, chief financial officer of Mars Global Chocolate, has been named Ms. Sandler’s successor in the acting president role.

The creation of a chief health and wellbeing officer position reflects Mars’ strategic priorities to improve the nutritional value of its portfolio, help consumers make informed choices, conduct scientific nutrition research and promote healthy lifestyles. Such efforts have included product labeling, committing to a 250-calorie cap on single servings of confectionery products and developing marketing guidelines.

“When we reorganized into our business segments in 2008, we concentrated our health and wellness efforts within those segments to address the diversity of our product portfolios in chocolate, pet care, food, Wrigley, drinks and Mars Symbioscience,” said Grant F. Reid, co-president of Mars. “Great work has gone on across our businesses under this strategy. This newly created role will help accelerate that progress by creating a comprehensive cross-segment strategy that will drive change across our businesses. Debra will lead our health and wellbeing platform through collaboration with our segments and by leveraging our significant lessons learned in this space to date, including depth of consumer insights, data and nutritional research within our segments.”

Efforts at Mars to help consumers make informed decisions about the food products they buy include expanded, easy-to-understand nutritional information.

Ms. Sandler joined Mars in 2009 as chief consumer officer of Mars Chocolate North America and was promoted to president of Mars Chocolate North America in 2012.

“Debra has been a change agent in the area of health and wellness, shepherding innovative product options like the lower calorie per pack M&M’S Pretzel variety, demonstrating industry leadership as a member of the Board of the Healthy Weight Commitment and by calling for industry change in her 2013 State of the Industry Speech at the National Confectioner’s Association,” Mr. Reid said.

With 24 years of experience at Mars, Ms. Massey has held various positions across pet food, snack food, and drinks and electronics segments. As president of Mars Chocolate North America, she will oversee more than 3,000 associates across 10 sites and a portfolio of brands that includes M&Ms, Snickers, Milky Way, Twix, 3 Musketeers and Dove in North America, as well as Munch, Combos, Kudos, Marathon and Dove Chocolate Discoveries in the United States.

“Tracey has done a superb job of leading strategy and finance for the global chocolate business for more than five years,” Mr. Reid said. “During her time as Chocolate c.f.o., Tracey has demonstrated particular excellence in shaping the vision and strategy, and has led our chocolate growth in emerging markets across the world.”
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