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About Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company

Mars makes chocolates, snacks, and other products for Earth's consumers. It makes globally recognized brands M&M's, Snickers, and the Mars bar, as well as other confections such as 3 Musketeers, Dove, Milky Way, Skittles, and Twix. Through the world's largest chewing gum maker Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, Mars owns the Juicy Fruit, Orbit, Altoids, and Extra brands. Its product portfolio also boasts Seeds of Change organic food, Combos and Kudos snacks, Uncle Ben's rice, and pet food made under Pedigree, Sheba, Whiskas, and nearly 50 other brands. The Mars family owns the historically secretive company, making Mars one of the nation's largest private companies and the family one of the nation's wealthiest.

Operations

Mars operates through four primary product groups: Mars Wrigley Confectionary, Mars Petcare, Mars Food, and Mars Edge.

Mars Wrigley Confectionary, based in Chicago, distributes billion-dollar brands M&M's, Snickers, Dove/Galaxy, Mars/Milky Way, and Twix, among other chocolate, candy, and gum products in more than 180 countries.

Mars Petcare, based in Brussels, spans 50 countries and includes some 50 brands, with billion-dollar brands such as Pedigree, Whiskas, and Royal Canin, as well as Nutro and Sheba. The segment is a leading provider of high quality, science-backed nutrition and therapeutic health products, also includes veterinary clinics Banfield, VCA, and Bluepearl.

Mars Food, based in London, consists of about a dozen brands that are available in more than 30 countries. The unit's billion-dollar brand –Uncle Ben's (rice) –is more than 70 years old. The segment also has several other brands: Dolmio, Masterfoods, Seeds of Change, Ebly, Royco, Kan Tong, Suzi Wan, and Raris. The business includes Mars Foodservices, which is focused on making brands available through foodservice channels such as restaurants, schools, hotels, hospitals, and other out-of-home outlets. The food business boasts about a dozen manufacturing sites.

Lastly, the company's newest segment, Mars Edge, is dedicated to nutrition. It includes Mars Symbioscience, which offers CocoaVia cocoa extract dietary supplements. The company also partners with one of the world's leading philanthropic organizations, the Tata Trusts, to create GOMO — a nutritious product in India.

Geographic Reach

The McLean, Virginia-based food company runs a global business with hundreds of factories in some 80 countries in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Americas. In addition to its headquarters, Mars' primary US locations include Chicago; Germantown, Maryland; and New Jersey.

Sales and Marketing

With approximately 130,000 associates in 80 countries around the world, Mars sells its products worldwide through retailers.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In 2020 Mars and KIND, a healthy snacking leader announced the next step in their strategic partnership, with Mars acquiring KIND North America. KIND North America will join KIND International to create one organization operating across approximately 35 countries, functioning as a distinct and separate business within the Mars Family of Companies. This provides the opportunity to further the KIND Promise, a set of nutrition principles that have guided the company's innovation since its founding, and KIND's mission to create a kinder world. Terms were not formally announced, but people with knowledge of the deal said it valued Kind at about $5 billion.

Also in 2020, KIND has entered an agreement to acquire Nature's Bakery, a family-owned company that offers wholesome & delicious snacks, such as its beloved Fig Bars and other soft-baked foods. This partnership will extend Mars' portfolio of businesses in the health & wellness space and build on KIND and Mars' shared vision to build out a platform of brands and products that make wholesome snacking choices more readily available to people everywhere.

Company Background

Frank Mars invented the Milky Way candy bar in 1923 after his previous three efforts at the candy business left him bankrupt. After his estranged son, Forrest, graduated from Yale, Mars hired him to work at his candy operation. When Forrest demanded one-third control of the company and Frank refused, Forrest moved to England with the foreign rights to Milky Way and started his own company (Food Manufacturers) in the 1930s. He made a sweeter version of Milky Way for the UK, calling it a Mars bar. Forrest also ventured into pet food with the 1934 purchase of Chappel Brothers (renamed Pedigree). At one point he controlled 55% of the British pet food market.

During WWII Forrest returned to the US and introduced Uncle Ben's rice (the world's first brand-name raw commodity) and M&M's (a joint venture between Forrest and Bruce Murrie, son of Hershey's then-president). The idea for M&M's was borrowed from British Smarties, for which Forrest obtained rights (from Rowntree Mackintosh) by relinquishing similar rights to the Snickers bar in some foreign markets. 

Forrest merged his firm with his deceased father's company in 1964, after buying his dying half-sister's controlling interest. (He renamed the business Mars at her request.)

Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company

930 W Evergreen Ave
Chicago, IL 60642-2437
Phone: 1 (312) 280-4710

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Privately Owned
Manager Personnel: Kelly Jackson
Director: Debra Lucidi
Pres: Dushan Petrovich
Employees (This Location): 345
Employees (All Locations): 16,400

Major Office Locations

Chicago, IL

Other Locations

Flowery Branch, GA
Chicago, IL
Romeoville, IL