Mars Germany

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Key Facts

  • Launched in 1959

  • Six business segments: Chocolate, Petcare, Food, Wrigley, Symbioscience and Drinks

  • More than 2,200 Associates

  • Four factories and seven offices

  • Popular brands include M&M'S®, SNICKERS®, BALISTO®, PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®, EXTRA®, AIRWAVES®, 5®, UNCLE BEN'S®, SERAMIS® and KLIX®

Mars in Germany

In 1959, Mars Petcare was our first segment to enter the German market, initially beginning as a pet food distributor. Only one year later, the first Mars factory was built in Verden, to be complemented in 1982 by a second production site for pet food in Minden.

The first German sales office for Mars Chocolate opened in Hamburg in 1961. Mars Drinks followed suit in 1975, originally as "Four Square Drinks". In 1979, the chocolate factory in Viersen started by first producing the BANJO® bar. Soon the range was extended to include TWIX® and BALISTO®. As of 1997, a production line for CELEBRATIONS® completes the Viersen range.

From the very beginning, we have worked to expand and diversify our portfolio of products offered in Germany. In 1990, manufacturing SERAMIS® plantcare products began at the Mogendorf site, and in 2005, our Pet Center in Verden was opened to support our research in pet health and nutrition. In 2008, the Wrigley site in Unterhaching became part of Mars Germany.

With our more than 2,200 Associates, we currently generate sales of about €2 billion in Germany.

Principles in Action

Mars Germany joined the Plattform Ernährung und Bewegung or peb (platform nutrition and exercise) in 2004, and since then we have successfully implemented a number of projects promoting healthy living in Germany. For example, www.clever-naschen.de is an online portal for parents with tips about balanced nutrition and active lifestyles. Since 2009, we have diversified our campaign by approaching the Turkish community in Germany. The initiative "Akillica tatli yemenin sirlari" (clever snacking) offers workshops on health and nutrition in the Turkish language, in addition to providing consumer information to migrant families. Mars Germany is also a founding member of the initiative “Lale - iss bewusst & sei aktiv!” (eat conscious and be active), a program for families of Turkish origin from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The initiative provides language training to doctors and nutrition experts so they can educate Turkish parents on health and nutrition.

Mars Petcare strongly advocates the benefits of human animal interaction. The first international conference on this topic was held at our Verden site in spring 2012. In collaboration with the German Animal Welfare Organization (Deutscher Tierschutzbund), a program is being established that will further educate our Associates and encourage their engagement in this cause. In 2005, Mars Petcare together with the German Animal Welfare Organization, also initiated the annual German Animal Welfare Award.

Mars Petcare’s pledge is to only use fish from sustainable sources in our pet food by 2020. To achieve this goal, Mars Petcare Germany is working with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). In 2011, the Verden factory began using MSC-certified products for the fish varieties of our SHEBA® and WHISKAS® pet food brands. In addition, BALISTO® became the first certified chocolate bar in Germany in mid-2011, made from UTZ certified cocoa.

In May 2012, Mars Petcare successfully launched a European wide pilot project to publish on-pack calorie information. Mars Petcare is the first petfood company with feeding instructions to inform healthy weight management for cats and dogs.

Mars Germany was awarded the Top Employer Certificate from the renowned CRF Institute in 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011 and again in 2012, and as such is one of the Top 101 Employers in Germany.

We also care about protecting the environment and efficient use of resources. On our journey to zero greenhouse gases by 2040, we continue to increase energy efficiency by implementing new technologies. Our facility in Viersen installed a new cooling device which will halve our energy consumption between 2008 and the end of 2012. To reduce emissions from product transport, we increasingly use hybrid trucks and pallet systems which allow more product to be transported on each vehicle.

Mars Germany has also joined forces with other manufacturers to deliver our products to retailers, saving fuel and putting fewer trucks in the roads. As a partner in the "Business and Biodiversity" initiative launched by the Germany Federal Environment Ministry, Mars Germany actively champions the preservation of biodiversity.

Oral care is one of Wrigley´s key priorities worldwide, and Wrigley Germany established its Oral Healthcare Program in 1989. To further support dental health, Wrigley sponsors Special Smiles®, a dental health program within the Special Olympics, the world's largest sports movement for people who are mentally disadvantaged. Special Smiles® offers professional dental health screenings free of charge and provides information for participating athletes. Beside the positive aspects of chewing gum, Wrigley also provides education on the proper disposal of gum. For example, we partner with the German Youth Association for the Protection of Nature (NAJU) to provide educational materials for more than 37,000 teachers and students.

Mars Germany has always been serious about its responsibility to society. Our Associates in Viersen, Verden, Minden and Unterhaching support their local communities, for example, by providing free meals for people in need and raising donations for local sports and child charity associations. In addition, Wrigley is a founding member of the citizen's foundation, "Lebenswertes Unterhaching", promoting social and cultural projects for the community and its citizens. In 2011, Associates in Viersen partnered with the city’s Mayor to redevelop a community park. They designed and built a nature trail and insect ‘hotel’, and placed benches throughout the park. Associates at Viersen also organize a yearly Christmas market for people in need.

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