Mars owns brands far beyond its iconic chocolate bar in sectors spanning drinks, savoury food and even pet care, with 11 of these worth more than a billion dollars.
Operating in 74 countries with more than 75,000 employees (called Associates) and 100,000-plus suppliers, the family-owned conglomerate has been recognised not only as a global branding powerhouse, but also among the top 25 best multinational workplaces.
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Among its brands which do not make up the company’s biggest 10 are the likes of Starburst, Dolmio, Uncle Ben’s, Sheba and Skittles, all huge names within their fields.
Here are Mars’s top 10 billion dollar brands.
Mars acquired Banfield in 2007, a leading group of 770 pet hospitals. He brand was established in 1955 by vet Warren Wegert, who envisioned making high quality pet care available to pet owners across Portland, Oregon, USA.
#9 Mars/Milky Way®
Forrest Mars created the first Mars bar in 1932, and the fusion of chocolate, caramel and nougat has been a huge worldwide hit in the years since. Milky Way is even older, created in 1923 and named after a malted milk drink, not the Milky Way galaxy.
Another iconic chocolate bar, though originating far later than Mars and Milky Way (1979). Where the Mars bar incorporates chocolate, caramel and nougat, the Twix combines chocolate, caramel and biscuit to give it the famous snap.
One of the world’s most well-known chewing gum brands, and one which has received the American Dental Association's Seal of Acceptance. The history of Orbit gum dates back to the Second World War, when Wrigley’s shipped several flavours out to the US armed forces.
Renowned for its smoothness Dove/Galaxy bars have evolved to take on new twists such as cookies and cream, counters and ice creams. Greek-American founder Leo Stefanos began the journey in the 1950s in his Chicago candy store.
Wrigley’s best seller and the one of the most prolific gum brands in the world, Extra was founded in 1984 and has now expanded to include flavours tailored to local trends and tastes across the world, including Australia, Germany, China and Canada.
For more than 40 years Whiskas has been a leading brand among cat owners, who can now benefit from educational videos and articles in ‘Cats’ Corner’ on the Whiskas website.
Snickers is the world’s best-selling candy bar, combining chocolate, caramel, nougat and peanuts and recently featuring Mr T in its advertising. The brand has a rich history dating all the way back to 1930, making it one of the group’s oldest products.
#2 Royal Canin®
Royal Canin is a key player in the pet health and nutrition market with particular focus on developing products to help enrich the lives of dogs and cats. The brand was founded in 1967 and became part of the Mars group in 2002.
Pedigree has been a leader in the dog food market for decades having been founded more than 75 years ago. It is Mars’s biggest earner and the Waltham Centre for Pet Care and Nutrition (In Leicestershire, UK) is one of the leading research sites in the industry having been established in the 1960s. The site houses 150 dogs and 230 cats in eco-friendly lodges with special sensory gardens, with the dogs walked twice a day.