Mars Incorporated is one of the most prominent producers of brands in the world. This family-owned company generates more than $30 billion in sales every year. The foundation of their success is not money, but rather the company's constant creativity and sharp instinct for trends that have continually brought Mars forward, step-by-step, after almost a century of business.
A recipe for success
Mars, Incorporated began in the kitchen of Frank C. Mars’ Tacoma, Washington home, where he started making candy in 1911. Ten years later, he moved his business to Minneapolis, Minnesota and in 1923 the Milky Way® Bar was first introduced, propelling the company from a $100,000 business to almost $800,000 in only a year. By 1929, the growing company was in need of a more centrally located facility with railroad access to other parts of the country. Therefore Mars, Incorporated moved its operations to a plant in Chicago, Illinois, that continues to be part of the Mars network today. At this time Frank Mars’ son Forrest also joined the family business and headed for England, where he developed a sweeter bar with combined layers, the Mars® Bar. Within a year his workforce had grown from 12 to 100 employees.
Feeding pets and soldiers
In 1935, Forrest Mars made the first move into pet food and pioneered the combination of modern manufacturing techniques with nutritional science. However, with war approaching, he returned to the USA, with a revolutionary idea to give chocolate a protective candy coat to stop it from melting. In 1940, he produced the world-famous M&M’s® Chocolate Candies. Forrest Mars also bought a stake in a packaged rice firm and success was ensured when M&M’s® and Uncle Ben’s Long Grain Rice® were adopted as staple rations for US forces.
Growth, expansion and innovation
Things have changed quite a bit since those modest beginnings and over the years the company has gone through periods of massive global growth, expansion and broadening of product lines. With innovative ideas like putting pet food into pouches, providing two minute microwaveable rice and creating ice cream versions of favorite chocolate bars, Mars, Incorporated continues to stay ahead of the competition.
Today, Mars, Incorporated is one of the world’s largest family-owned companies, and one of the fastest growing food companies, with six distinct global business segments - Chocolate, Pet Care, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience and Wrigley. The combination of Mars and Wrigley brings together two strong international food businesses, which share similar heritages, cultures, principles and beliefs as well as common foundations as family led businesses. Our best-in-class global brands continue to be supported by world-class associates with the goal of delivering the highest quality brands to our customers and consumers.