Chocolate giant Mars has withdrawn some Mars and Snicker bars from the UAE as a precaution.
The UAE recall is part of a GCC-wide recall of certain bars, which follows the global recall of these bars in 55 countries worldwide.
Mars GCC, which operates in the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar markets, said it had decide to undertake a “precautionary recall of a selection of Snickers (Miniatures), Mars (Minis and Miniatures) and ‘Best of Our Minis’ products produced in The Netherlands after finding a piece of red plastic in one of Snickers bar purchased in Germany.”
Meanwhile, Arabic daily Al Bayan has reported this morning that Dubai Municipality has confirmed that the Dubai market is now free of the recalled bars that may contain plastic.
The civic body said in a statement that Mars GCC, in coordination with Dubai Municipality, has recovered all products suspected of containing plastic as a precaution and the remaining chocolate bars in the local market are free of any plastic.
In May 2010, Mars GCC had opened a chocolate bars factory in Dubai (Jebel Ali Free Zone) at an investment of over $40 million.
That factory produces Mars and Snickers bars for the GCC markets, and those chocolates produced in the UAE are not part of the recall, the firm highlighted, saying the global recall was precautionary and based on an isolated case related to some products manufactured in the Netherlands.
Analysts maintain that even as Mars’ products remain popular, there will be a short-term hit to sales even as the damage to the company’s reputation may be short-lived too.
“Whilst there will be a noticeable decrease in sales due to reduced stock listings in the short-term, any Mars decline is likely to be temporary and less steep than many people believe,” said Jack Skelly, Food Analyst, Euromonitor International.
“Barring any more troublesome revelations, Mars has quickly and effectively nipped this in the bud. The company’s reputation is damaged, yes, but consumers tend to have a fuzzy memory with regards to these high-profile scandals; another food scandal will come along and Mars will no longer be at the forefront of public attention,” Skelly added.
“In the long-term – and somewhat less glamorously – I think this will impact the logistical side of the business a lot more,” he noted.
What is being recalled – and why?
According to a statement issued on Tuesday by Mars, the recall was ordered “after a small piece of red plastic was found in one Snickers bar purchased in Germany.”
As a precaution, the firm went ahead and voluntarily recalled a selection of Snickers, Mars, Milky Way and Celebrations products made in its Netherlands factory.
“We believe this is an isolated incident,” the firm reiterated.
“The recall concerns only specific products that were manufactured at the Netherlands facility during a limited production period, December 5, 2015 – January 18, 2016,” it added.
However, the firm also said that “while the number of Mars products affected is limited, they have been shipped to numerous countries outside the Netherlands, including some duty free retailers.”
Mars said that it was implementing the recall across all markets served by its Netherlands facility.
“Only certain products labelled on pack as ‘Mars Netherlands’ are affected by this recall. Mars Netherlands exports to a number of countries and some duty-free outlets, so the easiest way for consumers to determine whether they have a product that has been recalled is to look at the label. If it is not labelled ‘Mars Netherlands,’ it is not included in the recall,” it said.