Mars, Inc. is a family owned company, with six industry leading business units – Chocolate, Petcare, Food,
Drinks, Symbioscience and now Wrigley Gum and Sugar. It owns famous brands such as M & M's candies,
Snickers candy bars, Uncle Ben's rice, and Pedigree dog food.
1911: Frank C. Mars and his second wife, Ethel V. Healey (1884-1945), start making and selling butter
cream candies from their home's kitchen in Tacoma, Washington, USA. This leads to their renting their first
candy factory, the Mars Candy Factory, Inc.
1920: Frank C. Mars moves to larger quarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota where again he starts in the basket
candies business. Called "The Nougat House", the candy produced during this period is named "Patricia
Chocolates" after Frank and Ethel V's daughter.
1923: The Milky Way® bar is introduced and is an instant success. The first advertising is "A Chocolate
Malted Milk in a Candy Bar".
1930 The Snickers® bar is introduced and sold for five cents.
1940: Frank's son, Forrest Mars returned to the United States and founded M & M Limited in Newark, New
Jersey, to manufacture chocolate candies in a sugar shell. At that time, stores reduced their stock of
chocolate in the summer because of the lack of air conditioning, and Forrest hoped to capitalize on the
unique construction of M & M's to sell the candy year round. The name of the candy was derived from the
initials of Mars and an associate, Bruce Murrie. M & M's Peanut Chocolate Candies were introduced in
1954, the same year the famous slogan 'the milk chocolate melts in your mouth--not in your hand' was
1942 Hard covered rice, impervious to insects is developed in the U.S. by Converted Rice, Inc. for troops
in tropical conditions. Mars opens the first commercial rice parboiling plant in Houston, Texas, USA.
They began selling rice to the U.S. Army, which they continued to supply throughout World War II. The
company becomes known as Uncle Ben's® Incorporated in 1959. Uncle Ben's eventually became the
leading brand of rice worldwide
1960: The advertising slogan, "A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play" is first used in the UK.
1967: Forrest merged his business with the Mars Company owned by his father and took over operation of
the new company. He established a radically egalitarian system at the company in which workers were
called associates and everyone–from the president down–punched a time clock. Offices were eliminated
and desks were arranged in a wagon-wheel fashion, with the higher-ranking executives in the center, to
facilitate communication between individuals and functional areas.
1969: Mars Electronics International (MEI) began operating in 1969 and was responsible for the
introduction of electronics to the vending machine industry.
1982 Mars becomes the first candy in space when M&M'S® are chosen by the first space shuttle
astronauts to be included in their food supply
1983: The Flavia® fresh brew system is launched. It is an innovative system for the preparation of hot
drinks using fresh ground coffee and real leaf teas within a single portion pack.
1983: The first "Five Principles of Mars" booklet is published and distributed globally across Mars.
1984: M&M'S® Plain and Peanut Chocolate Candies and Snickers® bar are announced "Official Snack
Foods of the Olympic games". Mars paid $5 million to have M & M's and Snickers named 'the official snack
foods of the 1984 Olympic Games.' Commercials featured athletes getting quick energy from sugary snacks.
2000: M&M'S® Chocolate Candies become "The Official Candy of the New Millennium". MM is the
Roman numeral for 2000.
By introducing Milky Way II, Mars became the first candy manufacturer to try to gain or retain calorie- and
In early 2000, Mars launched a web site, Cocoapro.com, dedicated to celebrating recent research claiming
health benefits for certain of chocolate's plant-derived components.
2004: Klix® Outlook vending machine is launched featuring a choice of color schemes and a greater
range of drink choices.
2008: Mars acquires the Wm. Wrigley, Jr. Company, whose product offerings include gum, mints, hard and
chewy candies, lollipops and chocolate. The transaction makes Mars one of the largest confectionery
companies in the world.