Mars makes most of partnerships for people and pets
Founded by the Mars family in 1911 to become one of the world’s largest privately-owned companies, Mars Inc specialises in confectionery, food, pet food and veterinary health brands in more than 180 countries.
Best-known in Australia for household brand- names across three segments – including Mars Wrigley treats and snacks such as M&M’s®, Maltesers® and Skittles®; the Mars Food Australia flavours used in Australian kitchens since 1945 such as Masterfoods® and Dolmio®; and Mars Petcare as one of our nation’s largest manufacturers of pet foods including Whiskas® and Pedigree®.
In partnership with Mars Australia, Manildra Group supplies the premium-quality local ingredients for all three of the Mars Inc manufacturing segments across six Australian factories – in New South Wales at Asquith, Bathurst and Wyong; in Victoria at Ballarat and Wodonga; and in Queensland at Wacol.
The Ballarat factory – Mars Wrigley Australia’s Regional Technical Hub for regional product development and innovation – has long been considered a global network leader for the business. Through an on-ground approach to innovation, many of Mars Wrigley’s most- celebrated innovations, including Pods® and M&M’s® Honeycomb, have been invented and manufactured exclusively by the business’ local Ballarat Associates, using locally grown and made ingredients such as sugar, glucose, and flour supplied by Manildra Group.
Mars Wrigley Australia General Manager Andrew Leakey attributes Mars Wrigley’s longstanding partnership with Manildra to shared values that stem from a heritage of family ownership.
“We’re proud to partner with Australian suppliers, like Manildra, who demonstrate shared commitments to mutuality and delivering the highest quality ingredients for our Australian- made products,” he said.
For Australians’ furry friends, Mars Petcare has produced premium pet food from factories at Wodonga and Bathurst for more than 50 years. Using Australian-owned, grown and made ingredients including Manildra Group’s vital wheat gluten and mill mix.
Mars Petcare and Manildra Group have recently partnered further in the Cool Soil Initiative to help farmers reduce on-farm greenhouse gas emissions from wheat crops.
Mars Petcare General Manager Craig Sargeant said a focus on tailored nutrition, including breed- specific recipes, had met with a “perceptible shift in terms of how we view our pets” in the past decade.
“With two-thirds of households in Australia owning a pet, the relationships people have with their animals has deepened – so it is vital we manufacture pet food that keeps Australian pets happy and healthy,” Mr Sargeant said.
In kitchens across our nation, Mars Food Australia manufactures a portfolio of products including the iconic MasterFoods®. that brings, easy, convenient, healthy and tasty meals solutions to the ‘dinner table’. For more than 75 years, MasterFoods® has kept Australians connected through flavour across its range of products which includes. herbs and spices, condiments, table sauces, recipe bases and cooking sauces.
Mars Foodservices, a division of Mars Food Australia, supplies more than 150 bespoke products – including dry herbs and spices, seasonings, salt blends, sauce, mayonnaises, salad dressings, mustards, and relishes – to restaurants, cafes, pubs and clubs, corporate catering and commercial kitchens across Australia.
Both the MasterFoods and Mars Foodservice ranges of dressings, mustard, relishes and sauces are made with premium wheat starch and flour locally grown and made in Australia by Manildra Group.
Mars Food Australia General Manager Bill Heague said MasterFoods has a long history of setting food trends and introducing Australians to multicultural flavours and recipes.and we continue to expand our range to suit Australians’ evolving tastes and needs and provide healthy, tasty, more convenient dinner time options”.
“We want Australians to try new things and go rogue in the kitchen, and we want to help families and friends discover the joy of cooking and sharing dinner,” said Mr Heague.
Being a family-owned, private business also provides freedom for Mars Australia to take a long-term view (rather than thinking in financial quarters) for a culture of organisational pride in supporting local communities and partnering with like-minded suppliers, to foster a prosperous supply chain and grow the food manufacturing industry in Australia.
COVID-19 has also motivated Mars Australia to invest in the resiliency
of the entire supply chain – including how the business works with partners to drive investment in Australia and ensure the total supply chain continues to thrive.
Manildra Group Managing Director John Honan acknowledged Mars’ vision and success in becoming one of the world’s leading confectionery, food and pet-food manufacturers – and Australia’s second-largest confectionery producer – while remaining a 100 per cent family-owned business.
“With family ownership also at the heart of Manildra Group for successive generations, we share Mars’ values of positively impacting the people and places our businesses touches – from investing in regional communities to discovering new and innovative ways to feed the world,” said Mr Honan.