The company was founded by Frank Mars in 1911 in Tacoma, Washington. It originally started out as a Mars Candy Factory that he operated together with his second wife Ethel Mars. Unfortunately, the candy factory closed down. However, Mars had become known as a large company producing, selling, and distributing fresh candy.
In 1920, Frank Mars started another food business and named it Mar-O-Bar Company, this time in his home state of Minnesota. Three years later, Mar-O-Bar Company became Mars, Incorporated. Frank’s son, Forrest, together with his wife, who was also named Ethel, created and introduced the Milky Way Bar in 1923. They advertised the product as “chocolate-malted milk in a candy bar.” The candy bar became a best selling product in 1927 to 1928. By 1929, Frank Mars moved the company to Chicago, Illinois and in 1932, Forrest Mars started operating Mars Limited in the United Kingdom. Together with the launching of Mars Limited, was the introduction of the Mars Bar.
Mars, Incorporated also had an electronics sector, named Mars Electronics International. This division produced coin mechanisms, along with other products. Mars, however, sold MEI in June of 2006. In 2007, Mars, Incorporated underwent a re-branding of its divisions. Four Square has been renamed as Mars Drinks, Mar’s pet food division (which was previously a division of Masterfoods) was renamed Mars Pet Foods and the largest Mars division, Masterfoods, has been renamed Mars Snacks.
In April of 2008, Mars, Incorporated, in partnership with Berkshire Hathaway Incorporated, was able to purchase the world’s biggest chewing gum manufacturer, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. This buyout cost the partnership $23 billion in cash. Both Mars and Berkshire expect to generate $27 billion and more from this buyout.
Currently, the company has been ranked by Forbes as 5th in terms of the largest, privately held companies in the United States. The company is still fully owned by the Mars Family and is currently operating six business divisions which are pet care, food, Symbio-science, chocolate, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company and drinks.
Company Headquarter: McLean (unincorporated Fairfax County), Virginia, USA
Ownership: Privately owned
No of Employees: 70,000 (as of 2008)
Demography: young and old
Mars, Milky Way, Snickers, Pedigree, Uncle Ben’s, Juicy Fruit, Doublemint, Big Red, Winterfresh, Eclipse, HUbba Bubba, Starburst, M&M’s, Bounty, Twix, Exelpet, Skittles, Galaxy/Dove, Spearmint, Freedent, Extra, Orbit, 5, Life Savers, Big League Chew, Dolmio, Whiskas, Chappy, Ethel’s Premium Chocolates
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