Mars, Incorporated (alternatively known as Masterfoods«, especially in recent years) is a world-wide manufacturer of confectionery. Headquartered in the United States, the company is entirely owned by the Mars family, making it one of the largest privately-owned U.S. corporations.
Mars is most famous for their Milky Way, Mars Bars, M&Ms and Snickers (known in the United Kingdom as Marathon until 1990), as well as pet foods (such as the well-known Whiskas, Chappy and Pedigree brands), human foods (including Uncle Ben's) and non-confectionery snack foods (including Combos). Mars also makes vending machines for hot and cold drinks (through its Four Square division), and MEI sells electronic bill and coin acceptors and changers.
A division of Mars known as ISI manages the information systems for Mars. Their head offices are in the US, France, and the UK.
The company was founded in Tacoma, Washington in 1911, when Frank C. Mars and his wife Ethel started producing and selling candy. In 1923 he invented the Milky Way. The company grew quickly. In 1963 a large factory was opened in Veghel, the Netherlands.
Many of Mars' products are famous-name brands, including:
- Dove Bar
- Mars Bars
- Milky Way
- Snickers (The top-selling candy bar in the United States)
- Three Musketeers
Other confections, no longer produced, include:
Mars Limited is the name of the British branch of Mars, Inc. The company is based in Slough, England. Some Mars brands manufactured in the United Kingdom but not the United States include Galaxy Milk Chocolate, Maltesers and Tunes.
The bar called the "Milky Way" in the US is sold as the "Mars Bar" in the UK, where the name "Milky Way" is used for what in the States is called the "3 Musketeers". The bar formerly sold in the U.S. as the "Mars Bar", now marketed in that country as the "Snickers Almond Bar", is not sold consistently in the UK, but has appeared with other special editions that are released on a regular basis.
Mars, Ltd. was first to introduce the Starburst line, originally known as Opal Fruits.
- Mars Inc. corporate web site (http://www.mars.com/)
- MASTERFOODS (http://www.masterfoods.com/)
- Company profile (http://biz.yahoo.com/ic/40/40297.html) from Yahoo!