Mars, Incorporated

"Mars, Inc." redirects here. For other uses, see Mars (disambiguation).
"Mars (candy)" redirects here. For the Mars bar, see Mars (chocolate bar).
Mars, Incorporated
Industry Food processing
Founded 1911 (1911)
Tacoma, Washington, U.S.
Founder Franklin Clarence Mars
Headquarters 6885 Elm Street
McLean, Virginia, U.S.
Area served
Key people
Victoria B. Mars
Grant F. Reid
(President and CEO)
Products Confectionery: Chocolate bars; gum; candy; mints; beverages; foodstuffs; pet food
Major brands in alphabetical order include: 3 Musketeers · 5 · Big Red · Bounty · Doublemint · Dove/Galaxy · Eclipse · Extra · Freedent · Hubba Bubba · Juicy Fruit · Life Savers · M&M's · Mars · Milky Way · Orbit · Pedigree · Skittles · Snickers · Starburst · Spearmint · Twix · Uncle Ben's Rice · Whiskas · Winterfresh · food · animal products
Services Animal care
Revenue Increase US$33 billion (2014)[1]
Owner Mars family
Number of employees
75,000+ (2014)[1]
Subsidiaries Wrigley Company

Mars is an American global manufacturer of confectionery, pet food, and other food products with US$33 billion in annual sales in 2015,[2] and is ranked as the 6th largest privately held company in the United States by Forbes.[3] Headquartered in McLean, unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, US,[4][5] the company is entirely owned by the Mars family. Mars operates in six business segments around the World: Chocolate (Hackettstown, New Jersey), Petcare (Brussels, Belgium, Poncitlán and Jalisco, Mexico), Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company (Chicago, Illinois), Food (Rancho Dominguez, California), Drinks (West Chester, Pennsylvania), and Symbioscience (Germantown, Maryland), the company's life sciences division.[6][7]


Mars is a company known for the confectionery items that it creates,[8] such as Mars bars, Milky Way bars, M&M's, Skittles, Snickers, and Twix. They also produce non-confectionery snacks, such as Combos, and other foods, including Uncle Ben's Rice and pasta sauce brand Dolmio, as well as pet foods, such as Pedigree and Whiskas brands.

Orbit gum is among the most popular brands, managed by the Mars subsidiary brand Wrigley. During World War II, Wrigley was selling their eponymous gum only to soldiers, while Orbit was sold to the public. Though abandoned shortly after the war, about 30 years later Orbit made a comeback in America during the chewing gum craze.[9]

Franklin Mars, whose mother taught him to hand dip candy, sold candy by age 19.[10] He started the Mars Candy Factory in 1911 with Ethel V. Mars, his second wife, in Tacoma, Washington.[10] This factory produced and sold fresh candy wholesale,[10] but ultimately the venture failed.[11][12] By 1920, Mars had returned to his home state, Minnesota, where the earliest incarnation of the present day Mars company was founded that year as Mar-O-Bar Co., in Minneapolis[13] and later incorporated there as Mars, Incorporated.[10] Forrest Mars, Sr., son of Frank and his first wife, who was also named Ethel, was inspired by a popular type of milkshake[14] in 1923, to introduce the Milky Way bar, advertised as a "chocolate malted milk in a candy bar",[15] which became the best-selling candy bar.[13] In 1929, Frank moved the company to Bakersfield, California and started full production in a plant which still exists today.[16] In 1930, Frank Mars created the Snickers Bar and first sold it in US markets. In 1932, Forrest started Mars Limited in the United Kingdom and launched the Mars bar.

Mars is still a family business owned by the Mars family. The company is famous for its secrecy. A 1993 Washington Post Magazine article was a rare raising of the veil, as the reporter was able to see the "M"s being applied to the M&M's, something that "no out-sider had ever before been invited to observe."[17] In 1999, for example, the company did not acknowledge that Forrest Mars, Sr., had died or that he had worked for the company.[18]

The company published its Principles in Action communication in September 2011. This communication outlines the history of Mars, its legacy as a business committed to its Five Principles, and the company’s goal of putting its Principles into action to make a difference to people and the planet through performance. Encompassing themes of Health and Nutrition, Supply Chain, Operations, Products, and Working at Mars, the Principles in Action communication outlines Mars Incorporated’s targets, progress, and ongoing challenges. It also describes its businesses, including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience.[19]

Mars, Incorporated has developed a reputation across its leading markets to be an excellent training ground for managers. In the United Kingdom for instance, many CEOs of large companies learned their trade at Mars, Inc., including former Mars executives Allan Leighton, the former appointed CEO of the supermarket chain Asda and then the British postal service Royal Mail, and Justin King, former CEO of the retailer Sainsbury's. Recently, the company caught on to that and re-branded their employer brand "Mars — The Ultimate Business School".[20]

Moving into the fourth generation of family ownership, the company recently passed from family leadership into non-family leadership; however, the business is still owned by the Mars family. The global CEO of Mars, Inc. is Paul Michaels. Michaels is part of a new group of non-family management that has taken over since the retirement of John and Forrest Mars, Jr. The family now oversees the business as a council or board of directors.

In the United States, the company has manufacturing facilities in Hackettstown, New Jersey; Albany, Georgia; Burr Ridge, Illinois; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Chicago, Illinois; and Mattoon, Illinois; Cleveland, Tennessee; Columbia, South Carolina; Columbus, Ohio; Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania; Greenville, Mississippi; Greenville and Waco, Texas; Henderson and Reno, Nevada; Fort Smith, Arkansas; Joplin, Missouri; Miami, Oklahoma; and Galena, Kansas. Their newest facility is situated in Topeka, Kansas. Their Canadian facilities are located in Bolton and Newmarket, Ontario.[21]

Mars Food UK Limited

Mars Food UK Limited is the name of the British branch of Mars, Inc. The company is based in Slough, UK. Mars brands manufactured for the UK market but not for the US include Maltesers and Tunes.

In 1932, Forrest Mars, Sr., opened what was then Mars (Europe) headquarters, and remains Mars (UK) headquarters in Slough, Berkshire[18] on the then-new Slough Trading Estate, after a disagreement with his father, Franklin Clarence Mars. In this factory, he produced the first Mars bar, based on the American Milky Way.[22] In 1936, Mars separated the vanilla version of Milky Way to a separate brand, Forever Yours, which was discontinued and later reintroduced as Milky Way Dark and later still, Milky Way Midnight.

Many brands first created and sold in Britain were later introduced in the U.S., including Starburst (original UK brand name Opal Fruits) and Skittles. The brands Twix, and Topic were UK based.

Milky Way in Europe and worldwide is known as the 3 Musketeers in America. Similarly, the Snickers bar was previously marketed in Ireland and the United Kingdom as Marathon until 1990; in the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands, also until 1990; Galaxy in the Middle East is known as Dove in America and worldwide; and Starburst was known in the UK and Ireland as Opal Fruits until 1998. Chocolate and peanut M&M's were introduced in 1990.

Mars Drinks UK

Mars Drinks UK, the beverages division of Mars Limited, operates from Basingstoke in Hampshire and specializes in office vending machines. Mars Drinks UK comprises the FLAVIA and KLIX brands which offer branded drinks such as the Starburst Orange Drink, the Maltesers Hot Chocolate and the Galaxy drinks.

Mars Drinks also produces coffee and the equipment used to make it. In 1982 FLAVIA was created out of the high demand for coffee in the United Kingdom. Initially marketed as Dimension 3 until 1989, FLAVIA was introduced in France and Germany in 1986 and Japan in 1992 then brought to the United States in 1996 and to Canada in 1997. Other products such as cappuccino were introduced in 2002 and tea in 2004.[23]

Recent history

Until being sold in June 2006, a division of Mars known as Mars Electronics International (MEI) produced, among other products, coin mechanisms such as those used in vending machines. MEI also manufactured bill validators, which were among the most common bill validators found in the US.

Mars' purchase of Doane Petcare Company in June 2007 significantly increased Mars' position in the U.S. dry pet food category. In addition to these businesses, Mars also operates a chain of premium chocolate shops across the United States called Ethel M Chocolates. These shops are an outgrowth of the Ethel M premium chocolate business that Forrest Mars started in Las Vegas in 1980, when he became bored with retirement.[24]

In 2007, Mars undertook a major rebranding operation which saw, among other global changes, Four Square's being renamed Mars Drinks, the pet food division (formerly part of Masterfoods) being renamed Mars Petfoods, and Masterfoods itself (the largest division of Mars, Incorporated) being renamed Mars Snacks.

On April 28, 2008, Mars, Incorporated, together with Berkshire Hathaway Incorporated, announced the buyout of Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, the world's largest chewing gum producer, for $23 billion in an all-cash deal. The two companies together are expected to generate sales in excess of $27 billion.

The company spent more than $1.8 million on lobbying during 2008, almost all of it at Patton Boggs, where it has long been one of the largest lobbying clients. Mars also spent $10,000 at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. In 2009, Mars also hired Ernst & Young to lobby on corporate and international tax issues, including issues related to tax changes proposed by the Obama administration. The company spent another $1,655,000 that year.[25]

A further Mars business — Four Square — utilize those products formerly made at MEI in their vending machines. Four Square comprises the Flavia and Klix brands. Flavia operates within the Japanese, UK, and US markets, while Klix operates within France, Germany, and the UK.

In 2014, Mars opened a new $270 million chocolate plant in Topeka, Kansas, the first new plant in the USA in 35 years.[26]


The European division is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium and was known as Masterfoods Europe until the end of 2007. The name Masterfoods originally came from a food business founded by the Lewis family in 1949, in Australia, and acquired by Mars in 1967. The Canadian Division (formerly Effem, Inc.) is based in Bolton, Ontario.

The company announced at the end of 2008 that all business units were adopting the name Mars. Masterfoods ceased to be a business name but continues as the brand name of food products in Australia. The latter are produced at Berkeley Vale, near Wyong on the NSW Central Coast.

Mars Petcare

In February 2003, Mars acquired Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.[27] (API, incorporated in 1964) and in 2007 it was renamed Mars Fishcare, Inc. The company manufactures and supplies home aquarium and pond products.[28] Mars Fishcare brands include:[29] Aquarium Pharmaceuticals (API),[30] RENA,[31] AQUARIAN,[32] and PondCare.[33]

In Australia, the division operates three sites that are located in Wodonga, Victoria (established in 1967 for manufacture of wet pet food); Bathurst, New South Wales (established in the 1980s for manufacture of dry pet food); and Brisbane, Queensland (for manufacture of birdcare products).[34]


Mars factory in Veghel, Netherlands

The two factories in Slough were located on Liverpool Road and Dundee Road; the one on Liverpool Road closed in 2007, with Twix production moving to the Netherlands and Starburst production moving to the Czech Republic.[35]

In 1963 a large factory was opened in Veghel in the Netherlands. This factory has currently the biggest production volume of Mars factories and is even one of the biggest chocolate factories in the world.[36] Most confectionery products for Europe are produced in Slough and Veghel.

The major production plant for Mars confectionery products in Australia is in Ballarat, Victoria.[37]

There is one factory outside of Hershey, Pennsylvania. It is located in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania.[38]

Consumer relations

Opposition to labeling of genetically engineered ingredients in California

Throughout 2012, Mars contributed $376,650 to a $46 million political campaign known as "The Coalition Against The Costly Food Labeling Proposition, sponsored by Farmers and Food Producers"[39] This organization was set up to oppose a "Proposition 37," demanding mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients.

Removal of artificial ingredients to food portfolio

In February 2016, Mars stated that it would no longer be using artificial colors in each of its candy products. The company announced that more than 50 of its products would be affected in commitment effort to align with the changing preferences of consumers. The company along with more than 12 others has recently pledged to remove colors of an artificial nature from its products. While it has been said that the use of artificial colors in candy, and other products sold in the marketplace do not pose a threat to human health outright, the use of natural ingredients has grown substantially by the consumers that are purchasing in the marketplace. The company's CEO, Grant F. Reid, stated that "eliminating all artificial colors from the food portfolio is a massive undertaking and one that will take time and hard work to accomplish." The company wanted to assure consumers that the fun and vibrancy that has remained a staple of the brand for years, will not be altered in terms of colors or overall flavor. The company has anticipated that the new ingredient changes will take up to 5 years, with different formulations existing in various markets within that time frame, before the process is perfected. The company was not the first to recently announce that it would be changing the use of artificial flavors in its products. In 2015, food giant, General Mills proposed an initiative that noted that all of the artificial ingredients it was using in its products would be dropped by 2017. This meant a reformulation of many of the cereals, with alternatives that were more suitable to the palates of humans. A key aspect in that proposed initiative was that the cereal, Trix, would no longer have the blue and green colors forming a new iteration of the cereal.[40]

In a press release on the removal of the food dyes, the company wrote that "replacing artificial colors across all our products is a complex task. We expect it will take about five years to develop the full range of alternatives that guarantee the integrity and great taste of the products you know and love, and to go through the process of obtaining regulatory approval for all new ingredients in development.” Mars has frequently used dyes and artificial colors in many of its products over the years. Due to public outcry calling for change, and a petition that gained more than 217,000 signatures that was created by, the company wanted to bring about a significant change to the way it was viewed by consumers. There have been two different arguments presented about the use of artificial colors in foods. Many studies have shown that their use in food could be linked to illnesses such as ADHD and cancer. There has seemed to be an issue with the use of red 40, yellow 3, yellow 5 and yellow 6 and how they bind to the DNA in humans. Other additives such as Blue 2 have been linked to the cause of brain tumors in rodents and in 1981, Green 3 was found to be a direct link to bladder cancer. Given the fact that the company will be replacing the artificial dyes in its products, the company has also said that consumers should prepare themselves for the transition process in terms of special packaging and colors being used as to indicate that the changes have taken place. It has been said that the company is not likely to stop using coloring entirely, but that the use of artificial coloring will be going away.[41]


From May 1, 2007, many Mars products made in the UK became unsuitable for vegetarians. The company announced that it would be using whey made with animal rennet (material from a calf's stomach lining, and a byproduct of veal), instead of using rennet made by microorganisms, in products including Mars, Twix, Snickers, Maltesers, Bounty, Minstrels and Milky Way.[42] The response from many consumers, particularly the Vegetarian Society's request for UK vegetarians to register their protests with Mars, generated extensive press and caused the company to abandon the plans shortly thereafter.[43] Mars switched to all-vegetarian sources in the UK.[44][45]

In 2007, Mars came under criticism by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for funding laboratory experiments on mice, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits which the group alleges are inhumane and in violation of the company’s own policies prohibiting experiments on animals.[46]

One study was conducted in collaboration with the Salk Institute regarding angiogenesis and spatial memory in which mice were given an ad libitum diet that included epicatechin, plant-derived flavonoid. One of the experiments involved groups of control and experimental animals, the latter of which were housed individually in cages that included a running wheel for optional exercise for two hours a day, the former —also housed individually— did not have access to a running wheel. Another experiment was the classical spatial memory assay—the Morris water maze—where experimenters had mice to swim in water mixed with white paint that concealed the water depth. Several mice were given daily injections of various substances before being killed and dissected. The study, which Mars contends was legally required in order for the company to make flavonoid-related health claims, showed that the inclusion of epicatechin in the diet improved memory and angiogenesis, and more so if coupled with exercise.[47][48][49]

Mars has been criticized for buying cocoa beans from West African farmers who reportedly use unpaid or poorly paid child laborers. In 2009, Mars announced that the company would work towards only purchasing cocoa from suppliers who meet environmental, labor and production standards. TransFair USA, an organization which certifies products as Fair Trade, applauded the move and expressed hope that it would include a provision for fair wages for laborers and farmers.[50] In 2010, Mars Inc. received the U.S. Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence.[51] In April 2010, Mars launched the MyCocoaPaper initiative, which claims to provide economic opportunities to women and families in Indonesia by making paper products out of cocoa bark and recycled office paper.[52]

In 2011, Mars and Fairtrade International announced an agreement to introduce the first Fairtrade labeled Mars product and to work together to enable farmers to have sustainable livelihoods and substantially increased productivity. The first Mars product to carry the Fairtrade mark will be Maltesers, to appear in stores in 2012 in the UK and Ireland.[53]


Many Mars products are household, famous-name brands. Some of these product lines are manufactured by Mars; others are manufactured by The Wrigley Company.

Products for human consumption

Products manufactured by The Wrigley Company

Products for pet consumption

Pedigree dry dog food
  • ADVANCE (Australia and New Zealand only)
  • Aquarium Pharmaceuticals
  • Buckeye Nutrition
  • Cesar
  • Chappi
  • Dreamies
  • Eukanuba
  • Exelpet
  • Frolic
  • Good-o
  • Greenies
  • Iams
  • James Wellbeloved
  • Kit-e-kat
  • My Dog
  • Natura
  • Nutro Products
  • Pedigree
  • Optimum
  • Pill Pockets
  • Royal Canin
  • Schmackos
  • Sheba
  • Spillers
  • Teasers
  • Techni-Cal
  • Whiskas
  • Winergy
  • Wisdom Panel MX Mixed Breed DNA Test

Discontinued product lines


Awards and honors

The company was named by Fortune magazine as one of the top 100 companies to work for in 2013, citing the example that employees of the pet food division can take their dogs to work.[54]

The company has made donations to Elizabethtown College, which includes a room sponsored by them and a weekly executive lecture series.[55][56]

See also


  1. 1 2 "About Mars". Mars, Inc. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  2. "Mars on Forbes Lists". Forbes. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  3. DeCarlo, Scott; Murphy, Andrea D. (November 16, 2014). "America's Largest Private Companies". Retrieved December 28, 2014.
  4. "McLean CDP, Virginia." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on September 1, 2009.
  5. "Locations." Mars, Incorporated. Retrieved on September 1, 2009.
  6. "Brands".
  7. "Mars Symbioscience".
  8. "History of Mars". English Tea Store.
  9. "Global Brands: Orbit".
  10. 1 2 3 4 "History". Mars, Incorporated. Retrieved October 6, 2008.
  11. Alexander, Morgan (May 28, 2008). "Mars in Tacoma". The Tacoma Sun. Retrieved October 6, 2008.
  12. "Mars family". Practically Edible. Retrieved October 6, 2008.
  13. 1 2 "Franklin Mars". The Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest. Retrieved February 25, 2008.
  14. El-Hai, Jack (March 2007). "Candy Bar Combat". Minnesota Monthly. Greenspring Media Group. Retrieved October 7, 2008.
  15. "Milky Way Brand Timeline". Retrieved January 15, 2010.
  16. "About Mars History". Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  17. Brenner, Joel Glenn (April 12, 1992). "Planet of the M&M's". Washington Post Magazine.
  18. 1 2 Chong, Liz (August 29, 2005). "Two Mars staff for trial on fraud charges". London: TimesOnline. Retrieved August 18, 2007.
  19. "Mars, Incorporated Publishes Principles In Action Communication".
  20. "The Ultimate Business School". Mars. Retrieved January 15, 2010.
  21. "Where we operate: Canada". Mars, Inc.
  22. "Smoke, Steam and (Computer) Chips: Mars — the Chocolate Planet". May 17, 1932. Retrieved January 15, 2010.
  23. Harland, David (October 19, 2010). "Flavia coffee a potted history". Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  24. Brenner, Joel Glenn (1999). The Emperors of Chocolate. Random House, Inc. p. 324. ISBN 0-679-42190-4.
  25. "Lobbying Expenses". Legal Times.
  26. "$270M chocolate plant near Topeka proof of US's sweet tooth". The Wichita Eagle. March 27, 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-03-28.
  27. Mars Acquires API, UKPets, February 28, 2003, retrieved April 22, 2011
  28. "Mars Fishcare Inc.". Business Week. Retrieved April 22, 2011.
  29. "Welcome". Retrieved April 22, 2011.
  30. "Company History". Retrieved April 22, 2011.
  31. "Company History". Retrieved April 22, 2011.
  32. "Company History". Retrieved April 22, 2011.
  33. "Company History". Retrieved April 22, 2011.
  34. "Mars Petcare". Mars Australia: Graduates 2012. Mars Incorporated. 2011. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  35. "Mars cuts 700 from UK workforce". BBC News. March 10, 2005. Retrieved January 15, 2010.
  36. "Mars Netherlands — Home". Archived from the original on April 29, 2009. Retrieved January 15, 2010.
  37. Sobey, Emily (November 25, 2009). "Mars celebrates 30 years in Ballarat". The Courier. Ballarat, Australia. Retrieved February 10, 2010.
  38. "M & M Mars". Yelp. November 29, 2007.
  39. "California Proposition 37, Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food (2012)".
  40. Bratskeir, Kate (February 11, 2016). "Artificial Colors Being Removed From M&Ms, Skittles, Starburst And More". Huffington Post. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  41. Cox, Danny (February 9, 2016). "What Color Will M&M'S Be Now? - MARS INC. Removing Artificial Colors From All Candy Productse". The Inquisitr News. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  42. "Mars starts using animal products". BBC News. May 14, 2007. Retrieved January 15, 2010.
  43. "Mars bars get veggie status back". BBC News. May 20, 2007. Retrieved January 15, 2010.
  44. Wallop, Harry (May 21, 2007). "Mars in damage limitation exercise". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved January 15, 2010.
  45. "Introduction of vegetarian labelling on our leading UK confectionery brands" (Press release). Masterfoods Consumercare. August 2007. Retrieved January 15, 2010.
  46. Bartz, Diane (Dec 8, 2007). "PETA boycotting Mars candy co. over animal cruelty". Reuters.
  47. van Praag H, Lucero MJ, Yeo GW, Stecker K, Heivand N, Zhao C, Yip E, Afanador M, Schroeter H, Hammerstone J, Gage FH Plant-Derived Flavanol Epicatechin Enhances Angiogenesis and Retention of Spatial Memory in Mice J Neuroscience, 27(22):5869-5878, May 30, 2007
  48. "Mars Center For Cocoa Health Science".
  49. Eyre, Charlotte (December 12, 2007). "Mars angers activists over animal testing". Confectionery News. Retrieved February 10, 2015.
  50. Lazo, Alejandro (April 10, 2009). "Mars Sets Goal for Sustainable Cocoa Sources". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 4, 2010.
  51. Remarks at the 12th Annual Secretary's Awards for Corporate Excellence
  52. "New Cocoa Paper Product Line Provides Economic Opportunities For Cocoa Farming Families". Mars Inc. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
  53. Wallop, Harry (September 27, 2011). "Maltesers go Fairtrade". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  54. "100 Best Companies to Work For 2013 - Mars - Fortune". CNN.
  55. "E-town Now – Elizabethtown College, M&M Mars partner to share executive lectures".
  56. "Elizabethtown College -Meeting and Conference Spaces".

Further reading

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mars, Incorporated.

Mars Symbioscience Businesses:

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/5/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.