About Mars Italia

Mars Italia is the Italian associate of the US multinational company Mars Incorporated. Based in Milan Assago, the company currently employs over 230 people and operates in 4 business sectors: Chocolate, Petcare, Food, Gum. Since 1966 Mars Italia markets some of the most renowned brands in Italy, including M&M’S®, MARS®, TWIX®, UNCLE BEN'S®, PEDIGREE®, and WHISKAS®. The Mars associates abide by the Five guiding Principles of Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency, and Freedom. By living up to these principles we can make a difference for people and for the planet through our performance. For years Mars Italy has been in the top ten companies in the ranking by the Great Place to Work Institute, which identifies the Best Workplaces in Italy.

Our history

Mars Italia is the associated company of Mars that markets on the national territory some of the most popular brands included in four different business segments: Chocolate, Food, Gum and Petcare.
Mars, International started operating in Italy in 1966, with six Associates working for two different companies: Mars Italia S.p.A., in charge of distributing confectionery products, and Petfood Italia S.p.A., dedicated to the distribution of pet food. In 1978 both companies were merged together into one entity and gave life to DOLMA S.p.A., which changed its registered name into Masterfoods S.p.A. on May 1, 2002. In July 2007, within the framework of a process aimed at harmonizing the group’s companies, the original registered name, Mars Italia S.p.A., was reintroduced.

Mars products first landed in Italy with the world-renowned MARS® chocolate bars, later followed by BOUNTY®, TWIX®, and SNICKERS®. Pet food soon joined in: the brands CHAPPI®, and KITEKAT® make Mars a major player in the establishment of Petcare brands in Italy. PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®, SHEBA®, CESAR®, and CATSAN® were introduced by the company at a later stage and contributed to the sector’s history.

Mars Italy stands out for innovation in the Food sector too: it was one of the first companies to distribute ethnic food products in Italy, including UNCLE BENS®, EBLY®, and SUZI WAN®.

How we operate

Mars Italia, the Italian associate of the U.S. multinational company Mars Incorporated, is a young national company.
But thanks to its ability to manage its brands and to the commitment of its Associates, Mars Italia has developed a consolidated footprint on the Italian food market with three product divisions: Petcare, Chocolate, Food. The brands distributed by Mars Italia are available through all trade channels, from large-scale modern distribution to specialized retail.

Efficiency, flexibility, a dynamic interpretation of developments on new markets and of consumer needs, with special focus on quality and price, are the main strengths of Mars Italia.

At Mars all the Associates are aware that a clear strategic vision, combined with motivation, training, in-house communication, commitment, and teamwork, is crucial to achieve top quality and build a great business.

The Five Principles of Mars

The Five Principles of Mars - Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency, Freedom

The Mars Five Principles of Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom are the foundation of our culture and our approach to business. They unite us across geographies, languages, cultures and generations.

Our Five Principles are synonymous with Mars and have been guiding Mars Associates throughout most of our company’s history. Every day, we do our best to put our principles into action through our work and our relationships with our consumers, customers, business partners, communities and one another.

  • Quality
  • Responsibility
  • Mutuality
  • Efficiency
  • Freedom


The consumer is our boss, quality is our work and value for money is our goal.

Our company is dedicated to the highest quality in all the work we do. Quality is the uncompromising standard for our actions, and it flows from our passion and our pride in being part of the Mars community. Quality work, which results from our personal efforts, is the first ingredient of quality brands and the source of our reputation for high standards.

Everybody has a voice...anybody can question the quality of any order. And the standard is very simple: put yourself in the position of the consumer, and if you wouldn’t be happy with what you’re going to give them, don’t give it to them.


As individuals, we demand total responsibility from ourselves; as Associates, we support the responsibilities of others.

We choose to be different from those corporations where many levels of management dilute personal responsibility. All Associates are asked to take direct responsibility for results, to exercise initiative and judgment and to make decisions as required. By recruiting ethical people well suited to their jobs and trusting them, we ask Associates to be accountable for their own high standards.

Howard Shapiro - We feel responsible if we’re going to start the industry here, and help it grow, we really needed to make sure that the best of the best methodologies are brought to form.


A mutual benefit is a shared benefit; a shared benefit will endure.

We believe the standard by which our business relationships should be measured is the degree to which mutual benefits are created.

These benefits can take many different forms, and need not be strictly financial in nature. Likewise, while we must try to achieve the most competitive terms, the actions of Mars should never be at the expense, economic or otherwise, of others with whom we work.

You help your customer; you customer helps you. These guys stayed with us (Mars) through that crisis, all of them, and we stayed with them.


We use resources to the full, waste nothing and do only what we can do best.

How is it possible to maintain our principles, offering superior value for money and sharing our success? Our strength lies in our efficiency, the ability to organize all our assets – physical, financial and human – for maximum productivity. In this way, our products and services are made and delivered with the highest quality, at the least possible cost, with the lowest consumption of resources; similarly, we seek to manage all our business operations with the most efficient processes for decision making.

Being able to act, to make lasting improvements, is a pleasure. It’s personally satisfying to know that I helped make things work better.


We need freedom to shape our future; we need profit to remain free.

Mars is one of the world’s largest family-owned corporations. This family ownership is a deliberate choice. Many companies began as Mars did, but as they grew larger and required new sources of funds, they sold stocks or incurred restrictive debt to fuel their business. To extend their growth, they exchanged a portion of their freedom. We believe growth and prosperity can be achieved another way.

The way we carry out our research is absolutely unique; it is what we call ‘Caring Science.’ In research, because there are so many unknowns, freedom is an absolute requirement.

About Mars, Inc

Mars Italia is the Italian associated company of Mars, Incorporated. Learn more about Mars, Inc. here.
mars.com:italy:en:about mars:landing