Mars Inc. is reportedly weighing the removal of its candies from fast food desserts in the wake of its initiative to limit sugar content.
The maker of M&Ms and Snickers last year endorsed stricter labeling requirements and dietary guidelines for sugar floated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and World Health Organization, respectively, and said that it would curb sugar levels in its products to enable consumers to enjoy them in moderation and "as part of a well-balanced diet."
Reuters, citing an industry source, reported Wednesday that the company is now talking with McDonald's, Burger King, Dairy Queen and other restaurant partners about pulling its candy from those chains' already sugary ice cream desserts.
Reuters' source indicated that no decisions have been made and that the idea is just one under consideration. The company and restaurants could also elect to reformulate those treats.
Mars' moves could also prompt McDonald's and other chains, who aren't subject to sugar disclosure requirements, to list added sugar voluntarily.
A company spokesman didn't comment directly on its discussions but told Reuters that the company working to "bring this commitment to life."
Analysts said that Mars, as a privately held company, could make such changes more easily than its candy rivals and that it likely hoped to avoid criticism from health advocates and scrutiny by regulators.
Critics, however, countered that Mars' efforts missed the point.
"This is all junk food," industry critic Michele Simon told Reuters.