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

  • Feb 18, 2019

    DOGS, CATS AND KANGAROOS—OH MY! PETCARE AUSTRALIA LOGS 880 HOURS FOR HOMELESS ANIMALS

    Mars Petcare Australia Associates recently took on a lofty challenge: help put an end to animal homelessness by spending 1,000 hours over one year volunteering with shelters and rescues across the country.

    And they were definitely up for the task. After all, Australia is a nation of animal lovers, boasting some of the highest pet ownership rates in the world—with more than 24 million pets nationwide. Yet pet homelessness is still an issue. Shelters are overcrowded, underfunded and understaffed and more than 200,000 animals are euthanized every year.

    It’s a startling statistic that got Associate Natasha Hedrick thinking. Working so closely with rescue groups as champion of our annual multi-million-dollar pet food donations in the country, Natasha had an insider’s perspective on the challenges these organizations were facing. What’s more—she knew we could help.

    Through our Mars Volunteer Program (MVP), we give Associates paid time off to volunteer. Natasha took the MVP concept even further by asking our Associates to come together on a single day for a united cause: help homeless animals.

    “I wanted Associates to get exposure to local rescue work and to feel involved while doing something so deeply ingrained in our business—giving back,” Natasha said.

    Word soon spread from one Mars site to the next. Animal-loving Associates across the country wanted to get involved. Soon we had eighteen teams across three Australian states ready to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of animals.

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    When the big (and rainy) morning arrived, eager workers across the country grabbed gloves, soap, mops and more and got busy. Some walked guide dogs, others painted walls at a rabbit orphanage. Several cleaned dog kennels and cages and there was no shortage of volunteers ready to feed baby kangaroos and wombats. Of course, there was still time for belly rubs, head scratches and tail-wagging kisses. 

    In all, 120 Associates logged an unprecedented 880 volunteer hours in a day. It was a phenomenal achievement—setting the bar incredibly high for a second volunteer day this coming year. Associates promise that the second annual Mars Petcare Australia MVP Day will be bigger…better…and furrier than ever.  

    Are you looking for a career that encourages you to give back to causes important to you? Come join us!

    DOGS, CATS AND KANGAROOS—OH MY! PETCARE AUSTRALIA LOGS 880 HOURS FOR HOMELESS ANIMALS

  • Feb 15, 2019

    MARS NAMED A BEST EMPLOYER

    We’re celebrating some great news today: for the seventh consecutive year, Great Place to Work® and FORTUNE Magazine have named us one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For®!

    This year, we’re ranked #98 on the list, which is based on survey responses representing more than 4.3 million employees, who rated their workplace culture on 60-plus elements of the workplace.

    This year marks the 22nd anniversary of the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For list, and 2019 winners continue to show that a high-trust workplace culture fuels better business results. Great Place to Work® research also shows that list winners beat industry peers when it comes to talent retention and demonstrate higher levels of productivity than peers.

    We’re honored to once again be recognized and want to thank each and every one of our Associates for helping us get here! Whether it’s our unique approach to business or our strong, principles-led culture, this award is a celebration of our Associates’ success and dedication.

    Interested in having a career with one of the world’s best employers? Join us!

     

    MARS NAMED A BEST EMPLOYER

  • Feb 11, 2019

    STANLEY CUP WINNER TJ OSHIE TEAMS UP WITH M&M’S® CARAMEL FOR A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME FAN EVENT

    Call it a sports slump. For more than 25 years, Washington D.C. didn’t see a national championship win. But that all changed in 2018, when the Capitals took home hockey’s top honor soon after M&M’S® began our sponsorship of the team. Right winger TJ Oshie had been playing professional hockey for more than a decade when he snagged his first Stanley Cup win—making this victory that much sweeter.

    Following the win, each team is given time in the off-season to pass around the Cup. When TJ had his turn, it was an easy decision—he’d take it home to rural Minnesota. But on the heels of his hometown visit, it was back to the city he now calls home for a sweet surprise for some very deserving fans.

    As part of the “Have you tried M Yet?” contest, fans had to tell TJ their favorite thing about M&M’S® Caramel…and why they should be selected to meet the NHL star.

    The tweets poured in! One fan said, “Chocolate and Caramel go together like the Caps and The Cup!” Others kept it short and sweet, with a simple, “Everything!” It was hard to tell who was more popular…TJ or M&M’S® Caramel!

    Seven lucky winners and their guests joined TJ at the Capitals practice rink for some rinkside fun. TJ took part in a meet and greet, question and answer session and even showcased his skills during a quick demo.

    It was also primetime for a quick 10 Questions with TJ. Like…if he weren’t playing hockey, what would he be doing? Would he be a personal chef or stay-at-home dad? (His answer might surprise you!) We also asked which M&M’S® he’d be, what he’s looking forward to in the upcoming season and how his hockey career began. It’s an interview you don’t want to miss. TJ also took to Twitter to share his experience, noting it was truly one sweet adventure.

    STANLEY CUP WINNER TJ OSHIE TEAMS UP WITH M&M’S® CARAMEL FOR A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME FAN EVENT

  • Feb 04, 2019

    CARE BIG. BE COURAGEOUS. DELIVER EXCELLENCE.

    The goal sounds simple enough: do the right thing at the right time to ensure the best possible outcome for every pet. But delivering veterinary care can be complex. Pets can’t tell you what they’re feeling…or where it hurts…or what caused their symptoms. And they come in hundreds of breeds, each with its own set of health issues.

    So several years ago, our Banfield Pet Hospital set out on a quality journey, something never done on this scale in veterinary medicine. We began by launching our Quality Declaration — a statement of our commitment to quality and a call to action for each of our Associates: Care Big for their patients. Be Courageous in the work they do. And Deliver Excellence every day.

    From building a culture of safety to developing best-in-class Medical Quality Standards, our journey has been an exciting one, but it’s not done because quality is the relentless pursuit of excellence.

    “Quality doesn’t just live with our veterinary professionals; it’s everyone’s responsibility,” said Dr. Daniel Aja, our chief medical officer. “Quality is how we show up for every pet, every time.”

    Last fall, we hosted our first-ever Quality Week, to celebrate and focus on every aspect of our quality journey. Throughout the week, Associates participated in guided daily discussion topics and engagement activities.

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    As the largest general veterinary practice in the country, we don’t define quality as a program or a project. It isn’t the responsibility of one Associate, one hospital or even one team. Quality is a way of thinking about what Associates do every day. It’s how we approach work, solve problems, and implement new programs and show up for those we serve: pets, clients and each other.

    “Every day, we see the positive impact people have in the lives of pets, and the transformative effects pets, in turn, have on the lives of people,” Dr. Aja said. “This is why we got into veterinary medicine in the first place.”

    Interested in working for a company that’s committed to making a better world for pets? Join us!

    CARE BIG. BE COURAGEOUS. DELIVER EXCELLENCE.

  • Jan 30, 2019

    HOW HACKATHONS ARE SPARKING INNOVATION ACROSS THE GLOBE

    It’s a concept widely popularized by Hollywood in movies like “The Social Network.” A group of computer programmers come together, working into the wee hours of the morning to create something spectacular. The idea changed the face of social media forever and the concept is gaining steam worldwide as corporations look to stay on the cutting edge of technology.

    We pride ourselves on our Science and Innovation efforts and know that in order to succeed, need to tap into every creative outlet possible. That means assembling the best and brightest minds in the business, whether they are Associates at Mars or the like-minded professionals in the community ready to help us grow. So, a “hackathon” seemed like a natural fit.

    We traveled to Brazil for the inaugural event, partnering with University of São Paulo State to bring together 80 of the best and brightest technology-minded students and professionals. While events can last anywhere from a few hours to several days, this hackathon gave 20 teams just eight hours to develop an innovative solution to real-life business challenges.

    Only 10 teams finished, with the winning team developing a live dashboard that could predict sales curves by region, product and season.

    The top prize included a visit to the Mars Global Service Hub in Guararema and the opportunity to interact with our leadership team.

    Event creator Jorge Sakaguchi, Site IT Services Senior Manager for Mars Global Services Brazil, said their Hackathon taps into the strength of local universities where we can tailor a curriculum fit for our demands and take advantage of hundreds, even thousands of brains to solve problems traditionally solved internally by just a few.

    “This journey is just getting started,” Jorge said, “and it’s been driven by a simple, but powerful question: what’s the problem to solve or avoid?”

    Marcelo Oliveira, Customer Relationship Manager Lead, said the event was a huge success.

    “In this fast-moving world, organizations can no longer be locked inside their walls. A Hackathon reaches out to new talents, solves real business challenges and envisions future possibilities. You build the scenario and invite the best people. It’s all about creativity and partnership.”

    The events are now gaining popularity with our businesses and Associates across the globe.

    • In the U.S., a 24-hour event in Chicago with more than 80 students resulted in three worthwhile ideas ready for further testing. One featured an automatic way to determine product inventory, ultimately preventing out-of-stock products. Two students from Purdue University won the $7,500 grand prize.
    • In China, hackers worked to redefine retail by creating a new consumer shopping experience. The Beijing event lasted three days and challenged teams to solve real-life problems involving the retail industry. Scenarios included developing better ways to gather real-time customer feedback and improving in-store shopper engagement with technology like facial recognition.

    Judging by the success of each of these Hackathons, it’s clear we’ll continue to rely upon the unconventional events to keep seeking the next big thing in retail technology.

    Think Mars would be a great place to grow your technology talents? Come join us!

    HOW HACKATHONS ARE SPARKING INNOVATION ACROSS THE GLOBE

  • Jan 28, 2019

    Victoria Mars and Head of UN Foundation Co-Host Women Leaders Discussion

    It’s a distressing projection: it will take women 202 years to be on even footing with men. This, according to a recent World Economic Forum report showing women are disproportionately affected by poverty, climate-related risks, and other barriers to sustainable development.

    Against that backdrop, our Board Member and former Board Chair Victoria Mars spoke at last week’s Mars and United Nations Foundation’s co-hosted panel, Women Leaders Advancing Sustainability, where she helped shine a light on women’s leadership delivering long-term benefits for business, society and the environment.

    Just ahead of our Women of Mars campaign this spring and in our own backyard—Washington D.C.— Victoria joined the UN Foundation’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Kathy Calvin, as well as Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson for the Global Environment Facility, Radha Muthiah, President and CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank, and moderator Ann Compton, a former news reporter and long-time White House correspondent for ABC News Radio.

    Kathy set the tone for the gathering with an African proverb: if we wish to move mountains tomorrow, we must lift stones today. For her part, Victoria was steadfast in building awareness and momentum for our Sustainable in a Generation Plan, our continuing efforts to unlock opportunities for women, and our support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

    She emphasized in particular the goals of the Thriving People pillar of our sustainability plan: respecting human rights, improving incomes for smallholder farmers and unlocking opportunities for women. As women are at the core of our approach to our Thriving People agenda, Victoria said, women themselves are critical to help drive the change in each of these areas.

    ”Women work in our supply chain, they drive purchasing decisions in families, and they serve in our company as Associates and business leaders” she said.

    And while we’ve made advancements — as with our programs for female farmers, and mentoring women at Mars, where 42 percent of our leadership is female — we’re still fighting a system of cultural bias. In the fields and  in the boardroom.

    Studies show:

    • Women make up more than 50% of the population but own just 1% of the world's wealth.
    • Some women still lack rights to own land or to inherit property, obtain credit or earn income.
    • In legislatures around the world, women are outnumbered 4 to 1, with even lower percentages on corporate boards and in head offices.

    Yet, as panel members pointed out, women's political and societal participation is crucial for achieving equality—and genuine democracy. Closing the gender gap is not a side issue. It’s an economic and social necessity. Programs and policies designed to reduce bias and ensure fairness don’t just benefit women. They benefit everyone.

    Near the close of the session, the moderator asked each panelist to share a new year’s resolution to advance gender equity and sustainability.

    “It’s time that each of us in this room makes it a priority within our organizations to be allies, advocates, and mentors for women in our realms of influence,” Victoria said. “We must educate, empower and support women… we all need to be empowered to speak up and allow our voices to be heard, because it is only when women’s voices are respected that we will be able to drive the system change that is needed to reach gender parity.”

    The UN Secretary General has declared 2019 a “year of action” with distinct focus on women and climate action and priority emphasis on peace, human rights, and advancement of economic and social wellbeing for people around the world. Watch for these upcoming sustainability events where we’ll also be playing a visible role: the World Ocean Summit in Abu Dhabi in March, the U.S. National Climate Leadership Conference where Mars is being considered for an award, and the UN’s 63rd Commission on Women.

    Kaysie Brown (UNF) and Lisa Manley (Mars) issued a joint blog with highlights from the discussion, including a call to action to change power systems in order to save the planet.

    Victoria Mars and Head of UN Foundation Co-Host Women Leaders Discussion

  • Jan 23, 2019

    Grant Reid talks transformation, Purpose and sustainability with Bloomberg

    Read the full Bloomberg article here or watch Bloomberg TV to catch the broadcast.

    As C-suite level attendees looked on from the live audience, our CEO Grant Reid shared insights on everything from his role as CEO to how we’re reinventing century-old business to tackle future challenges. “Our vision is to keep our company privately-held forever,” he noted in the wide-ranging interview.

    More specifically, Grant discussed opportunities and challenges to adapt and evolve in today’s fast-moving business, social, and environmental landscape. Grant shared that we aim to double sales to $70 billion through acquisitions, like VHA, taking advantage of “massive opportunities” in both mass and personalized nutrition and by expanding existing brands in our core portfolio.

    Grant also highlighted the importance of our Purpose, corporate activism and taking a stance on societal issues, like climate change. 

    For more on Grant’s perspective—from the Family’s involvement in the business to why a confectionery company chose to expand into pet care—read the full Bloomberg article here or watch Bloomberg TV to catch the broadcast.

     

    Grant Reid talks transformation, Purpose and sustainability with Bloomberg

  • Jan 22, 2019

    MARS WRIGLEY AFRICA TACKLES TOOTH DECAY IN KENYA

    By the age of five, nearly half of African children will experience tooth decay. That’s a startling statistic when you think how critical oral health is to overall wellbeing. Poor oral hygiene can lead to serious health issues like heart disease, diabetes, stroke and more.

    That’s why our Mars Wrigley Confectionery Africa Associates are committed to providing dental care to 20,000 children across Kenya. The two-year project is funded through the Wrigley Company Foundations Oral Health Service Grant. Named “Meno Yetu, Afya Yetu” (Swahili for “Our Teeth, Our Health), the program is in partnership with the Kenya Dental Association (KDA) and targets children ages 6 to 8 by providing free dental screenings and basic treatment.

    Since January 2018, our teams have treated more than 9,000 school kids, giving them check-ups and fillings. Our dental professionals are also providing extractions and fluoride therapy. It’s also a chance for our partners to teach kids about proper oral hygiene.

    Phase two targets the remaining 10,000+ plus children next year when schools re-open. And our Associates across Kenya will be standing ready help through our Mars Volunteer Program (MVP), which gives Associates paid time off to volunteer. Volunteers plan to donate oral care items and teach children additional ways to improve their oral hygiene.

    Our oral care program is just one more example of what makes Mars a great place to work. Interested in the opportunity to positively impact the lives of children worldwide? Consider joining our team!

    MARS WRIGLEY AFRICA TACKLES TOOTH DECAY IN KENYA

  • Jan 17, 2019

    MARS AMBASSADOR PROGRAM TRAVELS TO THE COCOA COAST TO STUDY THE SCIENCE BEHIND CHOCOLATE

    Chocolate can certainly satisfy a sweet tooth, but what about using cocoa as currency? It may sound crazy, but thousands of years ago, cocoa was literally a cash crop for the Mayans, used in place of money.

    Chocolate is just as important to its farmers today as it was to the Mayans. Those small-scale farmers are at the heart of our chocolate business—ensuring the delicious crop makes it from harvest to your home. But nearly three decades ago, the face of cocoa was changed forever, when a deadly fungus ravaged South American rainforests, reducing cocoa production by 80 percent.

    Today, experts at the Mars Center for Cocoa Science (MCCS) are working to breathe new life into cocoa crops worldwide. Last fall, eight of our Associates came from other sites around the world to see the Center’s revolutionary research firsthand. It was all part of our Mars Ambassadors Program (MAP), which sends Associates on volunteer assignments to develop their skills, while supporting our partner organizations in communities around the globe where we work and live.

    Ambassadors travelled to Bahia, Brazil, where the MCCS sits on 370 acres. We founded the Center in 1982 to educate farmers on best practices for sustainable cocoa production—including developing disease-resistant cacao trees and working with small-scale farmers to increase productivity.

    Ambassador Kim Heagy, a Product Development Technologist at Mars Drinks USA, said experiencing every aspect of cocoa production was fascinating.

    “We went to the cacao fields, pollinating, planting, and harvesting. We spent time in the greenhouse, seeding and grafting. We visited the labs, where we tested for diseases and tempered chocolate. We even had the chance to taste some chocolate!”

    Sustainability is at the heart of our Cocoa for Generations plan, which we launched in 2018, putting the interest of farmers front and center. Because we know when they thrive, so do we—and that’s how we’ll ultimately become Sustainable in a Generation.

    Furthering the sustainability ambition, the MAP team took to the fields, planting trees with their names on them. They had the added duty of reporting back to previous ambassadors to let them know whose older trees had produced cocoa pods!

    Everyone agreed the highlight of the trip was a visit to the Virginia Mars Municipal School, which family member Virginia Mars founded more than 20 years ago to give children of cocoa farmers a quality education. Ahead of the trip, Ambassadors raised money, bringing suitcases full of supplies to the students. They were able to meet with the students, serve them breakfast and even join in for some dancing!

    Ambassadors say the greatest takeaway was seeing firsthand how our company is creating a better tomorrow for both people and the planet.

    “The MAP experience allows you to see the impact Mars has on the local communities, the Associates and the planet,” said Natalie Cammerino, Annual Portfolio Planner for Mars Wrigley Confectionery in Hackettstown, NJ. “I’m returning to work educated, humbled and completely changed.”

    Looking for a career that could change the world, one cocoa plant at a time? Come join us!

    MARS AMBASSADOR PROGRAM TRAVELS TO THE COCOA COAST TO STUDY THE SCIENCE BEHIND CHOCOLATE

  • Jan 15, 2019

    CULINARY CARE COOK-OFF DELIVERS ONE LESS WORRY FOR CANCER PATIENTS

    Cook. Compete. Contribute. For four years, Chicago’s Culinary Care organization has brought together local businesses for a lively cook-off, competing for the coveted “Best Dish” crown. But behind the saucy rivalry is a philanthropic purpose: raise funds to deliver free meals to people undergoing cancer treatment. And that’s how the non-profit organization gives cancer patients one less thing to worry about and a chance to spend precious time eating with their families.

    We’re proud to partner with Culinary Care, honored to be the ingredient sponsor for the cook-off, and delighted to conquer this Chopped-style event to carry home the “Best Dish” award for the second year in a row.

    This year’s Mars Food teams—named after our U.S. brands, Uncle Ben’s® and Seeds of Change®—grabbed their aprons, created low sodium and vegetarian recipes using our grains and sauces, and whipped up what turned out to be a masterpiece: Curried Rice Fritters with Burnt Eggplant Garlic Puree, made with our Seeds Of Change® Seven Whole Grains.

    At the end of the night, it wasn’t about the win, though. The event raised nearly $100,000 for this truly commendable cause and continues to be a satisfying team-building activity for our Associates, not to mention a fantastic way to give back to the community where our Food North America Business is headquartered.

    "No one fighting cancer should ever have to fight to put food on the table," said Culinary Care President and Founder, Courtney White. "I’m incredibly grateful to have a partner like Mars Food that shares this vision and understands the importance of bringing people together around a meal."

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    CULINARY CARE COOK-OFF DELIVERS ONE LESS WORRY FOR CANCER PATIENTS