Eagle-eyed shoppers are always on the lookout for manufacturers who shrink products in order to boost their bottom line. But while many companies attempt to sneak these size reductions past unknowing consumers, one candy company is trumpeting its plan to downsize its product line.

Mars Inc., maker of the popular chocolate concoctions Snickers, M&M’s, Twix, and 3 Musketeers, has announced its intention to reduce the calorie count of its entire product line by the end of 2013. In an effort to promote better health, Mars intends to sell no products whose single-serving calorie count exceeds 250 calories.

“Mars is one of the world’s leading providers of food for people and pets. As such, we have a responsibility to help our consumers and the pets they love lead healthy lives,” reads a statement on the Health & Nutrition section of the Mars website. “We are committed to making sure the products we offer, and the ingredients they contain, can fit into a balanced diet.”

The Mars website also identifies the following four “Key Targets” in the areas of health and nutrition:

  • Not to buy advertising time or space if more than a quarter of the audience is likely to be under 12 years of age; nor will we advertise on websites aimed at those under 12
  • To implement Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) nutrition labeling on the majority of our chocolate and confectionery globally by year-end 2011 and will continue to roll out GDA across our entire food portfolio
  • Not to ship any Mars chocolate products that exceed 250 calories per portion by the end of 2013
  • To reduce sodium levels in all Mars Food products globally by 25 percent by 2015, from a 2007 baseline. We are doing this by participating in government initiatives and agreeing to voluntary reduction commitments in different regions.

According to a Feb. 16 post on CNN.com, Mars’s product-reducing initiative is related to its association with U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama’s Partnership for a Healthier America, and its membership in the┬áHealthy Weight Commitment Foundation. The HWCF is a consortium of manufacturers who have pledged to cut 1.5 trillion calories from their products by the end of 2015.

[Photo by Flickr user Leonid Mamchenkov, licensed for use with attribution via Creative Commons.]