|Founded||1911 in Tacoma, Washington, US
1920 in Minneapolis, Minnesota
|Founder||Frank C. Mars|
|Headquarters||6885 Elm Street
McLean, Virginia, US
|Victoria B. Mars
Paul S. Michaels
(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
|Revenue||US$33 billion (2014)|
Number of employees
Mars, Inc. is an American global manufacturer of confectionery, pet food, and other food products with US$33 billion in annual sales in 2013, and is ranked as the 6th largest privately held company in the United States by Forbes. Headquartered in McLean, unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, US, the company is entirely owned by the Mars family. Mars operates in six business segments in the US: Chocolate (Hackettstown, New Jersey), Petcare (Franklin, Tennessee), Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company (Chicago, Illinois), Food (Rancho Dominguez, California), Drinks (West Chester, Pennsylvania), and Symbioscience (Germantown, Maryland), the company's life sciences division.
- 1 History
- 2 Factories
- 3 Consumer relations
- 4 Criticism
- 5 Products
- 6 Services
- 7 Awards and Honors
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
Mars, founded by Franklin Clarence Mars, is a company known for the confectionery items that it creates, 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.
Mars, whose mother taught him to hand dip candy, sold candy by age 19. He started the Mars Candy Factory in 1911 with Ethel V. Mars, his second wife, in Tacoma, Washington. This factory produced and sold fresh candy wholesale, but ultimately the venture failed. 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 and later incorporated there as Mars, Incorporated. Forrest Mars, Sr., son of Frank and his first wife, who was also named Ethel, was inspired by a popular type of milkshake in 1923, to introduce the Milky Way bar, advertised as a "chocolate malted milk in a candy bar", which became the best-selling candy bar. In 1929, Frank moved the company to Chicago, Illinois and started full production in a plant which still exists today. 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." In 1999, for example, the company did not acknowledge that Forrest Mars, Sr., had died or that he had worked for the company.
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.
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 Justin King, the former appointed CEO of the supermarket chain Asda and then the British postal service Royal Mail, and Allan Leighton, 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".
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, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Chicago 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 Canadian facilities are located in Bolton and Newmarket, Ontario.
Mars Food UK Limited
In 1932, Forrest Mars, Sr., opened what was then Mars (Europe) headquarters, and remains Mars (UK) headquarters in Slough, Berkshire 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. 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.
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 specialises 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.
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.
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.
Until 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.
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 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.
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.
In February 2003, Mars acquired Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (API, incorporated in 1964) and in 2007 it was renamed Mars Fishcare, Inc. The company manufactures and supplies home aquarium and pond products. Mars Fishcare brands include: Aquarium Pharmaceuticals (API), RENA, AQUARIAN, and PondCare.
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 1980s for manufacture of dry pet food); and Brisbane, Queensland (for manufacture of birdcare products).
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 the Czech Republic.
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. Most confectionery products for Europe are produced in Slough and Veghel.
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" This organization was set up to oppose a "Proposition 37," demanding mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients.
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. The response from many thousands of consumers, particularly the Vegetarian Society's request for UK vegetarians to register their protests with Mars, generated a lot of press, and caused the company to abandon these plans shortly thereafter. It has reportedly decided to switch to all-vegetarian sources in the near future in the UK. On September 18, 2012, the January 15, 2010 press release could not be found in the "Press Releases" section of the Mars website; in Canada, the URL  redirected to the webpage, . In January 2008, the Metro newspaper reported that Mars had allegedly begun to incorporate animal-derived rennet.
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.
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 spacial 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. 
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, labour 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. In 2010, Mars Inc. received the U.S. Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence. 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.
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.
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
- 3 Musketeers
- Ethel M
- Galaxy Bubbles
- Galaxy Minstrels
Products manufactured by The Wrigley Company
Products for pet consumption
- ADVANCE (Australia and New Zealand only)
- Aquarium Pharmaceuticals
- Buckeye Nutrition
- James Wellbeloved
- My Dog
- Nutro Products
- Pill Pockets
- Royal Canin
- Wisdom Panel MX Mixed Breed DNA Test
Discontinued product lines
- Banfield, The Pet Hospital (managed by MMI company)
Awards and Honors
- "About Mars". Mars, Inc. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
- DeCarlo, Scott; Murphy, Andrea D. (November 16, 2014). "America's Largest Private Companies". Forbes.com. Retrieved December 28, 2014.
- "McLean CDP, Virginia." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on September 1, 2009.
- "Locations." Mars, Incorporated. Retrieved on September 1, 2009.
- Mars Global Brands
- Mars Symbioscience
- "History of Mars". English Tea Store.
- "Global Brands: Orbit". Wrigley.com.
- "History". Mars, Incorporated. Retrieved October 6, 2008.
- Alexander, Morgan (May 28, 2008). "Mars in Tacoma". The Tacoma Sun. Retrieved October 6, 2008.
- "Mars family". Practically Edible. Retrieved October 6, 2008.
- "Franklin Mars". The Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest. Retrieved February 25, 2008.
- El-Hai, Jack (March 2007). "Candy Bar Combat". Minnesota Monthly (Greenspring Media Group). Retrieved October 7, 2008.
- "Milky Way Brand Timeline". Milkywaybar.com. Retrieved January 15, 2010.
- "About Mars History". Retrieved November 22, 2011.
- Brenner, Joel Glenn (April 12, 1992). "Planet of the M&M's". Washington Post Magazine.
- Chong, Liz (August 29, 2005). "Two Mars staff for trial on fraud charges". London: TimesOnline. Retrieved August 18, 2007.[dead link]
- "Mars, Incorporated Publishes Principles In Action Communication". Mars.com.
- "The Ultimate Business School". Mars. Retrieved January 15, 2010.
- "Where we operate: Canada". Mars, Inc.
- "Smoke, Steam and (Computer) Chips: Mars — the Chocolate Planet". Sopse.org.uk. May 17, 1932. Retrieved January 15, 2010.
- Harland, David (October 19, 2010). "Flavia coffee a potted history". EzineMark.com. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- Brenner, Joel Glenn (1999). The Emperors of Chocolate. Random House, Inc. p. 324. ISBN 0-679-42190-4.
- "Lobbying Expenses". Legal Times.
- "$270M chocolate plant near Topeka proof of US's sweet tooth". The Wichita Eagle. March 27, 2014.
- Mars Acquires API, UKPets, February 28, 2003, retrieved April 22, 2011
- "Mars Fishcare Inc.". Business Week. Retrieved April 22, 2011.
- "Welcome". MarsFishcare.com. Retrieved April 22, 2011.
- "Company History". AquariumPharm.com. Retrieved April 22, 2011.
- "Company History". RENA.com. Retrieved April 22, 2011.
- "Company History". AQUARIAN.com. Retrieved April 22, 2011.
- "Company History". PondCare.com. Retrieved April 22, 2011.
- "Mars Petcare". Mars Australia: Graduates 2012. Mars Incorporated. 2011. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- "Mars cuts 700 from UK workforce". BBC News. March 10, 2005. Retrieved January 15, 2010.
- "Mars Netherlands — Home". Mars.com. Retrieved January 15, 2010.
- Sobey, Emily (November 25, 2009). "Mars celebrates 30 years in Ballarat". The Courier (Ballarat, Australia). Retrieved February 10, 2010.
- California Proposition 37, Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food (2012) - Ballotpedia
- "Mars starts using animal products". BBC News. May 14, 2007. Retrieved January 15, 2010.
- "Mars bars get veggie status back". BBC News. May 20, 2007. Retrieved January 15, 2010.
- Wallop, Harry (May 21, 2007). "Mars in damage limitation exercise". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved January 15, 2010.
- "Introduction of vegetarian labelling on our leading UK confectionery brands" (Press release). Masterfoods Consumercare. August 2007. Retrieved January 15, 2010.
- "Want meat in your choc bar? Twix fits!". Metro. January 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2010.
- Bartz, Diane (Dec 8, 2007). "PETA boycotting Mars candy co. over animal cruelty". Reuters.
- 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
- Plant-Derived Flavanol (–)Epicatechin Enhances Angiogenesis and Retention of Spatial Memory in Mice - Scientific Research
- Eyre, Charlotte (December 12, 2007). "Mars angers activists over animal testing". Confectionery News. Retrieved February 10, 2015.
- Lazo, Alejandro (April 10, 2009). "Mars Sets Goal for Sustainable Cocoa Sources". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 4, 2010.
- Remarks at the 12th Annual Secretary's Awards for Corporate Excellence
- "New Cocoa Paper Product Line Provides Economic Opportunities For Cocoa Farming Families". Mars Inc. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
- Wallop, Harry (September 27, 2011). "Maltesers go Fairtrade". The Daily Telegraph (London).
- "100 Best Companies to Work For 2013 - Mars - Fortune". CNN.
- Stephen Beckett, Industrial Chocolate Manufacture and Use, Fourth Edition, Wiley-Blackwell, 2008, ISBN 978-1-4051-3949-6.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mars, Incorporated.|
- Official website
- Mars local site links
- Masterfoods site
- Mars Cocoa Sustainability Initiative
- Mars, Incorporated companies grouped at OpenCorporates
Mars Symbioscience Businesses: