Our Stories
Our Stories

GET TO KNOW MARS THROUGH OUR STORIES

Here at Mars, there’s always a story to tell. From our pet hospitals to farmers in our supply chain, new tales are unfolding every day. Dig into our stories and discover why so many of us are proud to be part of the Mars family!

ourstories

MARS STORIES

  • Nov 12, 2018

    WRIGLEY COMPANY FOUNDATION, PRATHAM, ASER CENTRE AND CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY’S REAL CENTRE JOIN FORCES TO STUDY IMPACT OF COMMUNITY-BASED LEARNING INITIATIVES

    The Wrigley Company Foundation is supporting Pratham Education Foundation by joining forces with the Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, and ASER Centre to study the impact of community-based education initiatives on students in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

    The evaluation will cover 800 government-run primary schools across 400 villages in Uttar Pradesh. Set to take place over two years, it will assess the foundational reading and arithmetic skills of students in grades 3-5 and aim to clarify and quantify the overall impact of Pratham’s educational interventions on students’ foundational learning outcomes, and, consequently, the perceptions and attitudes of guardians, teachers and stakeholders.

    Since 2013, the Wrigley Company Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Mars Wrigley Confectionery, and Pratham, India’s largest nongovernmental organization dedicated to education, have worked together to provide literacy and basic educational skills in more than 800 mint farming villages in Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest mint-growing region. More than 100,000 children have participated in the intervention, increasing literacy rates by 61 percentage points and math comprehension rates by 46 percentage points.

    “We are excited for the opportunity to increase the impact of Pratham’s work through the outcomes of this research, which will enable more communities in India and around the world to thrive,” said Anne Vela-Wagner, executive director of the Wrigley Company Foundation.

    Dr. Ricardo Sabates of the REAL Centre said: "Our research seeks to inform the potential that community-based programs have for enhancing the relationships between schools and their local communities. The goal is to improve foundational learning outcomes for all children.”

    The Wrigley Company Foundation will cover the cost of implementing the educational programming over a two-year period. The evaluation study will be funded by the U.K. Economic and Social Research Council and the U.K. Department for International Development.

    “As we enter the next stage of our partnership with the Wrigley Company Foundation, we continue to be committed to improving the quality of education in India,” noted Devyani Pershad, head of program management at Pratham. “The research project has enormous potential to help guide and shape our future strategy for working with children and communities, and we look forward to working with our partners in ensuring its success.”

    Pratham-article-image

    WRIGLEY COMPANY FOUNDATION, PRATHAM, ASER CENTRE AND CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY’S REAL CENTRE JOIN FORCES TO STUDY IMPACT OF COMMUNITY-BASED LEARNING INITIATIVES

  • Nov 08, 2018

    MOVE OVER GOAT YOGA AND TRAMPOLINING!

    There’s a new fitness craze in town that aims to keep you lean and the environment clean.

    “Plogging” encourages runners to pick up trash while jogging. The idea started in Europe—“plogging” being a mashup of jogging and the Swedish word “plocka upp,” meaning to pick up. Now, the concept is now gaining steam in China.

    Our Mars Wrigley Confectionery team in Baiyun Mountain, Guangzhou, China, hosted their inaugural Plogging Event in October. The initiative is in partnership with the Littered Gum Government Co-Op and the Guangzhou Spiritual Civilization Office.

    Plogging ambassadors—including Olympians and TV personalities—were on board to lend a supportive hand. More than 100 Mars Volunteer Program (MVP) participants also laced up their sneakers and set out for a socially responsible run unlike any other.

    Through our MVP, we give all Associates paid time off to volunteer, and what better way to give back than to promote anti-littering education while working out in the middle of a workday!

    For three years now, we’ve worked alongside local government in China to promote proper gum disposal. Ever since, our Associates and community activists have taken to the streets to spread the word (even distributing custom disposal bags), ultimately reaching more than 10 million people.

    It’s a win-win for athletes and environmentalists alike—a refreshing run while reducing litter. For us, it’s a chance to make our communities better and further our Sustainable in a Generation Plan.

    The plogging program continues for our MVPs in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu later this month.

    Interested in working for a company that gives back to the communities where our Associates live and work? Join us and let’s plog together!

    MOVE OVER GOAT YOGA AND TRAMPOLINING!

  • Nov 07, 2018

    MARS ASSOCIATES SHARE ADVICE WITH WOMEN PURSUING CAREERS IN STEM

    We believe in the power of science. Whether it’s discovering the latest innovations in chocolate, perfecting a nutritious recipe for your pets’ favorite food or developing the science-based targets in our Sustainable in a Generation Plan—science is a part of everything we do.

    This year, the United States celebrated National STEM Day on November 8th. National STEM DAY is meant to inspire kids to explore and pursue their interests in science, technology, engineering, and math—or STEM. This is even more important for young girls, as there’s still a gender gap within STEM careers.

    We asked some of our own Associates to share their advice for pursuing a career in STEM, and experience at Mars, to help inspire the next generation of female leaders.

    “There are no limits, you should just do it! When you’re a woman in STEM, it’s important to dial-up your confidence, to use your voice and make sure your opinions are heard. Going out on a plant floor is not always easy, but have the awareness that you know what you’re there for and you know what you need to do! Using your voice is the best way to earn that respect and fuel your confidence.”

    Daniera T., Senior Product Development Manager, Mars Wrigley Confectionery

    “The roles that I have had at Mars really broadened my STEM knowledge. From getting to learn by hands-on experience formulating pet food diets, to being formally trained through courses early on in my career, Mars has set the right base-knowledge for my role in pet nutrition.”

    Adalin T., R&D Dry Global Innovation Product Design Manager, Petcare

    “Go for it– you can do it! It might be hard, but if you work hard and do the best you can, it’ll all work out. Your path often times isn’t the same as you expected or hoped, but keep going. I’m a full-time mom, full-time professional and full-time student—it can be done!”

    Atiereya A., Health, Safety & Environment Technician, Food

    “The STEM community at Mars is the best I’ve found! The difference is the comprehensive way Mars values the STEM disciplines. Look at how we always bring it back to the science, from perfecting our products to cutting edge research, science is a core strength. As a STEM professional, I know I have endless opportunities with Mars, and a very bright future.”

    Aileen S., Director of Strategic Initiatives, Royal Canin

    Interested in a career at Mars? Explore the options and find your perfect fit!

    MARS ASSOCIATES SHARE ADVICE WITH WOMEN PURSUING CAREERS IN STEM

  • Nov 05, 2018

    DISCONTINUING EVO™ PET FOOD IN SUMMER 2018

    After a great amount of deliberation and thought, we've decided to discontinue EVO™ pet foods, beginning in the summer of 2018. At Mars, we’ve loved helping to provide your four-legged family members with high-quality nutrition, and we know loyal fans of the brand are disappointed by the news. Thank you for being an EVO™ customer.

    Discontinuation of Evo®

    It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but we ultimately decided to discontinue EVO™ because the food simply became too expensive to produce at the level of quality we demand at Mars Petcare.

    Mars Petcare is still committed to making a Better World for Pets™, so as you look to transition to another food, please consider WILD FRONTIER™. This brand offers a range of protein-rich, grain-free recipes, including options with a high percentage of animal ingredients, nutrient-rich organs, and a variety of proteins. You can find more information about WILD FRONTIER™ online or by asking our local retailer.

    As you transition your dog to a new food, our experts at Banfield® Pet Hospital recommend you change their food gradually, mixing in the new food with the old. You can review their recommended transition schedule in this article on the Banfield® Pet Hospital website.

    DISCONTINUING EVO™ PET FOOD IN SUMMER 2018

  • Nov 05, 2018

    CALIFORNIA NATURAL™ WILL BE DISCONTINUED IN SUMMER 2018

    We’ve given this decision a great deal of thought and consideration, but we must announce that CALIFORNIA NATURAL™ Dog Food will be discontinued in the summer of 2018. It’s been an honor to provide your furry family members with the quality nutrition they need, and we understand the disappointment we’re receiving from loyal fans of CALIFORNIA NATURAL™. Thank you for being a faithful customer.

    Why Was CALIFORNIA NATURAL™ Discontinued?

    We came to this decision because this food simply became too expensive to produce at the level of quality we demand and your pets deserve.

    We’re still very committed to making a Better World for Pets™. So, as you make a decision about your next dog food brand, please consider NUTRO™ LIMITED INGREDIENT DIET, which is manufactured by the same makers as CALIFORNIA NATURAL™. NUTRO™ offers a range of grain-free recipes with ten key ingredients or less, ideal for pets with food sensitivities. You can find more information about NUTRO™ LIMITED INGREDIENT DIET online or at your local retailer.

    As you begin the move to a new dog food, consider using a transition schedule. Our dog experts at Banfield® Pet Hospital recommend you change your pet’s food gradually to avoid any digestion issues. You can review the suggested transition schedule in this article on the Banfield® Pet Hospital website.

    CALIFORNIA NATURAL™ WILL BE DISCONTINUED IN SUMMER 2018

  • Oct 25, 2018

    MARS COCOA FLAVANOL RESEARCH: WHERE WE’VE COME FROM AND WHERE WE ARE NOW

    As a family-owned, global Petcare, Confectionery and Food business, we’re proud to take a long-term approach to research. We strive to contribute to research efforts being made by academia and other organizations around the world in key areas, such as food safety, sustainable agriculture and global health.

    For example, our research into the potential health benefits of cocoa flavanols started 20 years ago and continues today. When we began researching in the 1980s, the obvious place for us to start was at our foundation—with chocolate. However, our approach has changed significantly since then.

    More than ten years ago, we decided to stop researching cocoa flavanols in relation to chocolate. We know chocolate is a treat, not a health food, and we don’t want to contribute to a misperception that chocolate has health benefits. What we’re still interested in, though, is the flavanols in cocoa.

    Why are cocoa flavanols so exciting to us? Because they have a wide range of possible health benefits we think are well worth exploring. They’re part of a larger group of plant compounds, called bioactives, which have been under-researched, despite making up a large part of our daily diets.

    A growing body of evidence shows cocoa flavanols can support the function of our blood vessels. What we know is that flavanols increase nitric oxide, a natural substance our bodies make. By improving blood vessel elasticity, nitric oxide plays a crucial role in the healthy functioning of our cardiovascular system.

    At Mars, we take a partner-led approach to investigating these little-known, but important compounds. We work with established academics and institutions, and we ensure our research partners publish studies we’ve collaborated on, irrespective of whether the outcome is favorable for us.

    For example, we’re working with the scientists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital on the COSMOS study—the largest clinical trial on bioactives. The COSMOS study is a randomized, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled trial exploring the link between bioactives and cardiovascular health. But clinical trials are just one part of a much broader and holistic research program.

    Our research on cocoa flavanols is diverse. It not only covers health impacts of flavanols, but also their analysis, chemistry and interactions in food. We’ve already established a process that retains flavanols when we extract them from the cocoa bean. Additionally, we’ve standardized a way to measure flavanols in food, helping researchers draw comparisons more easily.

    We’ve even dedicated a research program to understanding what happens to flavanols once they’re consumed and how they’re metabolized in the body. This work has enabled us to develop robust research methods and a broader understanding of flavanols.

    We firmly believe we can play a progressive role in research and, in turn, have a positive impact on society. We don’t want to simply wait on the side-lines. This is why we’ve put huge effort into mitigating the effect of bias in all our research. To ensure our research adheres to strong scientific standards, we rigorously apply the Scientific Method and well-established principles of good scientific practice. We recently detailed our approach to research in our Mars Science Policy. These principles firmly underpin all research we do.

    The way our research has evolved over the years is exciting. Bioactives are an interesting and important area of study, and there’s much more to uncover. What’s important is that we recognize chocolate isn’t the best source of these unique compounds. We’re clear that our research is not about promoting chocolate as healthy.

    Our next aim is to translate two decades of scientific insights into products that deliver evidence-based health benefits. We want to harness the power of cocoa flavanols so our consumers can support their health.

    At Mars, we’re continuing to learn and develop our partnership-led approach to cocoa flavanol research. We’re proud of the journey so far, and are looking forward to contributing to science in the future.

    MARS COCOA FLAVANOL RESEARCH: WHERE WE’VE COME FROM AND WHERE WE ARE NOW

  • Oct 25, 2018

    SCIENCE IS AT THE CENTER OF WHAT WE DO AT MARS. HERE’S WHY.

    At Mars, we have more than 100 years of experience bringing fantastic products to people and their pets all over the world. Many of our best-loved products have started with scientific research, from finding the right flavor of Skittles® to creating the right food for your breed of pet. We start with scientific research to make sure our consumers can be confident our products are safe and of the highest quality.

    When it comes to research, we take our responsibility seriously. Earlier this year, we launched our Scientific Research and Engagement Policy, which governs how we conduct and monitor all the research that we’re involved with. Our policy is based on well-established standards of scientific conduct, quality, credibility and integrity. We know we have a responsibility to contribute robust and credible science, and we’re proud of the rigorous research approach we take, both within Mars and throughout our global network of research partners.

    We know there’s a healthy criticism of industry involvement in science, and some have called for companies to play a "hands-off" role. At Mars, we believe we have a positive impact by making research more relevant and rigorous. We strive to publish research in the wider public interest. We always encourage our research partners to publish studies we’ve collaborated on, whatever the outcomes. Since our goal is to contribute to science through our research—and both positive and nil findings in research advance understandings in science—it is critical this information also get published.

    One example is our work to wipe out a foodborne carcinogen called aflatoxin.Together with a set of global partners, we launched a project aimed at eradicating aflatoxin using a computer game called Foldit. Foldit is a crowd-sourcing science puzzle game that allows anyone in the world to figure out how amino acids are folded together to create proteins, the workhorses of our bodies. Within a matter of months, we should know whether one of these computer-generated designs has the potential to degrade aflatoxin.

    Elsewhere in the world, we’ve teamed up with Google, UNICEF and others to sequence the genomes of 101 staple African crops. Using the power of genetics, we want to improve these crops’ nutritional content and ability to withstand climate change. These 101 crops include the baobab tree, papaya and Bambara ground nut. All information from the African Orphan Crops Consortium (AOCC) will be freely available in the public domain to help those who really need it. For the 600 million smallholder farmers in rural Africa who depend on these crops, this project could mean a more secure future.

    A good example of how our research has evolved is our work with cocoa flavanols. We’ve been studying these bioactives for more than twenty years now, and our work has led us to understand that these little-known compounds could play a really important role in tackling public health issues. As we age, our blood vessels stiffen and our research has shown that the regular intake of cocoa flavanols can help keep your blood vessels flexible and functioning at their best. Maintaining the health of these vessels is an important part of your overall cardiovascular health.

    While chocolate may have led us to look at cocoa flavanols twenty years ago, we made the decision more than a decade ago to stop researching into chocolate. We do not want consumers to think that chocolate is a reliable source of these important bioactives. Chocolate is a treat, not a health food. Our work continues in investigating the potential applications of cocoa flavanols, but we work with other cocoa-based forms like cocoa extract rather than chocolate.

    The ingredients we use were a natural place for our research to start, but our current research programs extend far beyond this. Today, we contribute toward global research efforts by academia and other organizations around the world in areas like food safety, sustainable agriculture, and better health for people and pets. When it comes to scientific research, we take our responsibility seriously and we’re proud of the work we’re doing with our partners to tackle these issues.

    SCIENCE IS AT THE CENTER OF WHAT WE DO AT MARS. HERE’S WHY.

  • Oct 18, 2018

    MARS AUSTRALIA STEPS OUT IN FORCE FOR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY FUNDRAISER

    When the whistle blew to signal the end of Steptember, the competitive and enthusiastic Associates of Mars Australia were stunned by their numbers:

    • 161 Mars teams registered
    • 606 Associates participated
    • 168,103,085 steps taken
    • 134,482 kilometers covered
    • $ 20,596 raised for Cerebral Palsy Alliance

    Every member of the Mars Australia teams had committed to walk 10,000 steps per day—the equivalent of walking around the world 2.95 times—all while raising money for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance. Steptember organizes this worldwide physical activity fundraiser to support research and give people with Cerebral Palsy a chance at living the most comfortable, independent and inclusive lives possible.

    Associates were excited about an initiative that got them out of their seats and moving—a big boost for a healthy workplace. “The experience was great,” said one participant. “Great team building, and great to be able to exercise on the walking track. Though Steptember is over, I expect we’ll all continue.”

    Mars Petcare Associates from the Wodonga site had the benefit of their newly opened 360-meter Pet Set Go walking track. Starting at the office, one lap around and back logs an impressive 1,000 steps and foot traffic was heavy all month. Wodonga didn’t have the largest team, but they walked the farthest and raised the most money!

    While some Associates were grateful for lost weight (and dropping a buckle size) and others especially enjoyed the boosted camaraderie, everyone was thrilled to support such a good cause.

    “I often take for granted my mobility, so this past month I decided to be thankful for what I have. I moved every single day to achieve at least 10,000 steps,” said one enthusiastic participant. “My intent is to continue for the year ahead!”

    Interested in joining our energetic workplace? Find out more here!

    Related: Read more here about how Mars Australia has contracted to generate enough solar power to cover the energy requirements of all six of the country’s Mars factories. 

    MARS AUSTRALIA STEPS OUT IN FORCE FOR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY FUNDRAISER

  • Oct 17, 2018

    Mars, Coke and BSR Join Forces for Climate Resilience

    News from the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit: Mars has joined BSR™’s (Business for Social Responsibility™) new corporate leadership platform, The Climate-Resilient Value Chains Leaders Platform, to help companies in the fight against climate change. 

    Together with The Coca-Cola Company, Mars is among the first multinational corporations to join, with the aim of improving the ability of businesses to monitor and diagnose climate risk throughout their supply chains. “Supply chains, the engines of global growth, are broken,” said Barry Parkin, Chief Sustainability and Procurement Officer, Mars, Incorporated.  “To fix them, we must shift to long-term models for corporate buying that are anchored on building mutuality, reliability, resilience, and risk management into the core of our buying patterns.” 

    Participating companies have committed to develop shared tools and methods that help them prioritize climate resilience in corporate value chains. This includes efforts to investigate physical climate risks in their supply chains and explore how to build climate resilience through a science-based approach that draws lessons from the Science-Based Targets initiative and RE100.

    “These companies are coming together out of a shared understanding that the private sector requires a common, science-based approach to value-chain resilience that will maximize the benefits to communities and business,” said David Wei, Climate Director at BSR. “Fortifying supply chains is one of the best ways that companies can act to mitigate climate change-related impacts.”

    Want to know more about our commitments to sustainability? Read our Sustainable in a Generation Plan.

    Mars, Coke and BSR Join Forces for Climate Resilience

  • Oct 17, 2018

    MAKE-A-WISH LETS FEDDE RUN OUR DUTCH CHOCOLATE FACTORY FOR A DAY

    What do you do when a 7-year-old’s Make-A-Wish dream is to visit your confectionery factory? You roll out the red carpet and give his family the keys, of course!

    Young Fedde played director for the day at Mars Wrigley Confectionery in Veghel, Netherlands, giving our plant director, Martijn Derks, a break from his daily duties (and 101 reasons to smile). Veghel is one of the world’s largest chocolate factories, producing 8 billion Mars chocolate bars a year.

    The day began with a Make-a-Wish limo ride to a special VIP entrance. After a tour of the facility, Fedde rolled up his sleeves and got to work in the Research & Development lab, mixing and tasting. As a special surprise, the factory team unveiled a chocolate bar with a logo of his favorite soccer club prepared especially for Fedde. 

    To end the day, Fedde enjoyed dinner at the Forrest E. Mars company restaurant, then hesitantly returned the keys to the factory.

    “It was so rewarding to provide Fedde with such a thrilling experience,” said Martijn. “We were all honored we could help create special memories with him and be a part of his Make-A-Wish come true.”

    Learn more about the ways we’re making a difference in the world and giving back to our communities with our Mars Volunteer Program – where Associates get paid time-off for volunteer projects. And if you’re interested in a career at Mars, learn more here!

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    MAKE-A-WISH LETS FEDDE RUN OUR DUTCH CHOCOLATE FACTORY FOR A DAY