In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington, kitchen and established Mars’ roots as a confectionery company. Family-owned since its founding in 1911, Mars is a leading U.S.-based food company that generates more than $33 billion in annual revenues.
Mars produces some of the world’s favorite brands, including M&M’S®, SNICKERS® and DOUBLEMINT® chewing gum. In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. A natural entrepreneur, Forrest Sr. began the geographic expansion and diversification of the Mars business. Forrest E. Mars Sr. made the Washington, D.C. area the headquarters of his diversified company, Food Manufacturers, which eventually grew larger than the original confectionery business that his father had started. In the late 1960s, Forrest Sr. acquired the business founded by his father, which had been headquartered in Chicago since 1929. He named the combined company Mars, Incorporated. In 2008, Mars became a leader in gum and confections with the purchase of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company and its world-famous brands such as EXTRA®, ORBIT®, DOUBLEMINT®, and 5® chewing gums, and confectionery brands ALTOIDS® and LIFE SAVERS®.
The Mars family is deeply involved in the business and takes a long-term, principled approach to its operations. The next generation of the Mars family, Forrest E. Mars Jr., John F. Mars and Jacqueline Badger Mars, led the globalization of Mars, Incorporated. They also carried forward the cultural foundation established by their father with the articulation of the Mars Five Principles: quality, responsibility, mutuality, efficiency and freedom. These themes continue to be deeply woven into the fabric of the Mars culture, its operations and its long-term view. Today, the stewards of these principles include the Mars family and thousands of Mars associates.
Led by non-family management since 2001 and headquartered in McLean, Va., Mars continues to prosper as a principles-based business. Today, Mars associates worldwide are putting the five principles into action to make a difference for people and the planet through performance.
Mars employs more than 72,000 associates, 25,500 of whom are in the U.S. Mars operates 68 sites across 43 states in six business units: Chocolate, Wrigley, Pet, Food, Drinks and Symbioscience. Named one of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2013 and 2014, Mars’ goal is to be “suustainable in a generation” by eliminating fossil fuel energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, minimizing its impact on water quality and availability, and mitigating the impacts of waste by 2040.
U.S. Employees: 25,500
Exports to Other Countries: Yes
Grant F. Reid, Office of the President, Mars, Inc.
Mars, Inc. and the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company have a broad portfolio of brands across the confectionery industry.