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How did Snicker's parent company Mars Inc. become a Monopoly?

We all have heard of Snickers, Milky Way, M&M's, Pedigree, or Whiskas but do you know that all these brands are owned by a single parent company? Yes, you heard it right.

Mars.Inc (Mars, Incorporated) is the parent company behind all these successful brands which operate across various verticals in the market. This article delves deep into the

Mars.Inc and how it crafted an ecosystem of brands around its parent company.

The History of Mars.Inc

In 1884, "Frank C. Mars" was born in the state of Minnesota. At a young age, Frank was struck by the crippling polio disease. As he had very restricted movement due to the inefficiency of his legs his mother involved him in a fun sport of hand dipping chocolates to keep him busy. This kindled in young Frank a passion for chocolate.

By the age of 19, the passionate Frank had started a business selling candies. However unfortunately his business suffered massive losses and he had to close the business. These were some of his initial failures in the process of establishing his business.

In 1910, Frank started a new business with his wife wherein they started producing buttercream candies. And this was the beginning of the success of the Mars corporation.

In just 5 years, Mars's Candy factory had more than 125 workers working round the clock, producing candies and transporting the same day to various distributors due to the unavailability of refrigeration techniques at that time. These candies quickly started getting traction in various departmental stores and malls across America.

By 1920, The production moved to a new space and produced another candy named "MAR-O-BAR". This candy became an instant failure in the market due to transportation issues but this failure became the stepping stone for the creation of the famous chocolate brand "Milky way". The "Milky way" chocolate malted milk bar became an instant success product and became directly responsible for a massive increase in sales.

Frank Mars's son "Forrest Mars" parted ways with his father and took a meager amount from his father along with him the formula of curating the chocolate. With this, he settled in the UK and started an organization "Mars limited" in the UK and started producing chocolate bars.

Forrest Mars had a very hard time running his chocolate production units. The new chocolate "Mars bar" was released across the UK and it was an instant hit, however it was the remake of the original"Milky way" chocolate with some minor tweaks. After parting ways, Forrest Mars's father died and after some years they merged both the UK division and the US division under a single umbrella while massively expanding across new markets.

Brands under Mars Inc.

Today, Mars.Inc has a very large list of brands under the parent company expanding across various verticals. However, if we sum up the whole business the company operates across four major segments. These four major segments are Confectionery, Pet food, Mars Wrigley, and Mars Edge. Where Mars Wrigley consists of some of the most famous brands like M&M's, Snickers, and Skittles. Along With these brands, various other brands operate under this segment catering to a specific niche market in every country.

Mars's Wrigley produces "Orbit gum" which is one of the most widely consumed chewing gums across the globe. Mars started operating across the pet care market after buying out a pet food supplier "Kal Kan". They operated across two segments ie. Dog food and Cat food. These were individually restructured and "Pedigree" and "Whiskas" were introduced in the market. Since then Mars started producing various products focusing on pet care and controls a sizeable portion of the market.

The company revealed that its sales grew 50% to almost $45 billion in 2021, According to a statement. While total revenue can also include supplementary income sources, sales typically make up the bulk of it. This makes Mars Inc. bigger than Coca-Cola, Hershey, and Mondelez in terms of revenue. Most of this growth is contributed by its pet care brands such as Whiskas and Pedigree which saw tremendous growth.

Acquisitions by Mars Inc.

Mars. Inc has merged with a total of 19 companies in its history. The most famous acquisition by was initiated in 2008, When the company incorporated itself with Berkshire Hathaway and conducted a buyout of Wm. Wringley Jr. (Wrigley Company) for $23 billion in an all-cash deal. This was one of the most successful and ambitious acquisitions by Mars.

Apart from this Mars.Inc integrated Aquarium Pharmaceuticals to expand its fish food offering. It was later renamed Mars Fishcare. Today, Fishcare business operates a horde of brands that cater to various fish care products.

Apart from this some of the famous brands incorporated by Mars are a chain of premium chocolates "Ethel M chocolates". Another acquisition of "Doanna Petcare" in the year 2007 positioned Mars as a significant player in the dry pet food market.

Along With these various acquisitions since its inception which later became world-famous brands some of the recent acquisitions by Mars.Inc was the incorporation of a "KIND" chocolate bar at an undisclosed amount.

Is Mars Inc. a Monopoly?

Mars.Inc has always kept a low profile since it is a private family business it doesn't have to reveal its financial statements. The conglomerate works in the most secretive way ever with little information about any of its business information. However, it has adopted a holistic approach to controlling the market. It primarily focuses on aggressive advertising to promote its food products. Secondly, It invests a huge amount of money in market research before curating any product. Thus its major expenditures are its advertising and market research (R&D) which form the basis for dominating the market.

The second component is responsible for establishing Mars.Inc monopoly in the market is its focus on value. The production houses work round the clock with excellent quality control. The firm always focused on quality and as a result, it dominated the market. The company operates on a simple philosophy wherein it believes that customers will pay you if you provide them with massive value.

In present times Mars. Inc considers itself a dominant force in the food business market. It has repositioned itself as an organization operating in the food market. If we look at the statistics the company is larger than Coca-Cola and also controls nearly 35% of the pet care market and registers a major portion of sales across the market. The company has recently started including the nutritional segment across its food products to reposition snacks, not as junk food but as nutritious healthy snacks.

With such a holistic approach towards the market Mars.Inc has turned out to be the major market player across various segments and along with the various mergers and acquisitions across the market Mars.Inc is on the path to achieving complete market domination


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