The History of Mars, Incorporated
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For other uses, see Mars (disambiguation).
1911 in Tacoma, Washington
Frank C. Mars
6885 Elm Street
Victoria B. Mars
Paul S. Michaels
(President and CEO)
Confectionery: Chocolate bars; gum; ; 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
Increase 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 1.1 Mars Food UK Limited 1.1.1 Mars Drinks UK
1.2 Recent history 1.2.1 Masterfoods
1.2.2 Mars Petcare
3 Consumer relations 3.1 Opposition to labeling of genetically engineered ingredients in California
5 Products 5.1 Products for human consumption 5.1.1 Products manufactured by The Wrigley Company
5.2 Products for pet consumption
5.3 Discontinued product lines
7 Awards and Honors
8 See also
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 it, sold it by age 19. He started the Mars Factory in 1911 with Ethel V. Mars, his second wife, in Tacoma, Washington. This factory produced and sold fresh 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 bar", which became the best-selling 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
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 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.
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 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.
In 2014, Mars opened a new $270 million chocolate plant in Topeka, Kansas, the first new plant in the USA in 35 years.
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).
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 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.
The major production plant for Mars confectionery products in Australia is in Ballarat, Victoria.
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
A Bounty bar.
Galaxy Minstrels3 Musketeers
A Twix bar.M-Azing
Seeds of Change
Uncle Ben's Rice
Products manufactured by The Wrigley Company
5 gum cobalt packaging.5 (gum)
Products for pet consumption
Pedigree dry dog food.ADVANCE (Australia and New Zealand only)
Wisdom Panel MX Mixed Breed DNA Test
Discontinued product lines
Banfield, The Pet Hospital (managed by MMI company)
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.
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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.
Mars local site links
Mars Cocoa Sustainability Initiative
Mars, Incorporated companies grouped at OpenCorporates
Mars Symbioscience Businesses:
Franklin Clarence Mars ·
Ethel V. Mars ·
Forrest Mars, Sr. ·
Forrest Mars, Jr. ·
John Franklyn Mars ·
Jacqueline Mars ·
Victoria B. Mars
Products for human consumption
3 Musketeers ·
A. Korkunov ·
Ethel M ·
Milky Way ·
Galaxy Milk Chocolate ·
Galaxy Caramel ·
Galaxy Crispy ·
Galaxy Hazelnut ·
Galaxy Fruit & Nut ·
Galaxy Minstrels ·
Galaxy Ripple ·
Galaxy Senzi ·
Galaxy Amicelli ·
Galaxy Bubbles ·
Galaxy Jewels ·
Galaxy Promises ·
Galaxy Honeycomb Crisp ·
Galaxy Cookie Crumble ·
Galaxy Orange & Shortcake
Seeds of Change ·
Uncle Ben's Rice
Wrigley gum and
Big Red ·
Juicy Fruit ·
Wrigley's Spearmint ·
Eclipse Ice ·
Big League Chew ·
Bubble Tape ·
Life Savers ·
Products for non-human consumption
Aquarium Pharmaceuticals ·
Buckeye Nutrition ·
My Dog ·
Pill Pockets ·
Royal Canin ·
Wisdom Panel MX Mixed Breed DNA Test
Banfield Pet Hospital
Categories: Chocolate companies
Companies based in McLean, Virginia
Companies based in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Companies established in 1911
Confectionery companies of the United States
Food production companies of the United States
Multinational companies headquartered in the United States
Multinational food companies
Privately held companies based in Virginia
Privately held companies in the United States
This page was last modified on 1 September 2015, at 04:16.