We live in an era of truly incredible wealth and vast inequality between the richest billionaires and every day middle class people. The world’s 50 richest families have a net worth of $ 1.2 trillion. The Mars family is the third richest American family in the world, with a net worth of $ 94 billion, up from $ 90 billion two years ago. The Mars family is primarily in the candy business. They are the ones who gave us Snickers, M & Ms, Skittles, Milky Way, 3 Muscatiers, Mars Bar, Twix and dozens of other delicious, sweet treats. This alone justifies his amazing $ 94 billion net worth. The Mars family is super secretive, family-owned, and led through four generations, and closely associated with the company’s cuisine and secrets. Mars, Inc. US Worldwide has the sixth largest privately owned business with $ 35 billion in sales.
Mars, Inc. was founded 111 years ago in 1911 by Franklin “Frank” Mars. Frank had learned to give chocolate candies to a young boy growing up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, while dipping from his mother. He and his second wife, Ethel V. Mars started the Mars Candy Factory in Tacoma, Washington in 1911. They made and sold fresh candy wholesale but were interrupted by another established company to do the same thing. So in 1920, Mars moved back to Minneapolis and re-established his Mars, Incorporated Venture.
In 1923, his son (along with his first wife Veronica) Forest Mars made a suggestion for a new candy bar based on a popular milkshake at the time. The result was the Milky Way Bar, which was advertised as “chocolate malted milk in a candy bar”. It quickly became the best-selling candy bar in the market. Sneakers debuted in 1930 and in 1932 3 Muscat stepped into the market.
Frank Mars died of a heart attack in 1934 at the age of 50. He passed on the family candy business to his son, Forrest Mars, Sr. Forrest had three children, Forrest Jr., John and Jacqueline. He elevated them to be frugal and private. His father never taught him to rely on outsiders or the press. Forrest Sr. continued to run Mars Inc. well in his senior years. Forrest was eager to handle Junior and John. One year in the 1990s, John lost his temper with his father and reportedly said “How long do I have to work for Dad?” John was 60 at the time of this incident. Forrest Mars retired in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson, Nevada, and Ethel M. Founded Chocolate, which is named in honor of his mother. He died in 1999 at the age of 95. Forrest Jr. took over the family business. Jacqueline Mars joined the family business in 1982 as president of the food products group. She retired in 2001. John and Jacqueline run the Mars Foundation, which donates to education, the environment, health and culture.
Mars Inc. does not just make candy. It is also the company behind Uncle Ben’s rice, pedigree dog food, and many other brands. The company has been wildly successful and most people have not lost business since the early 1980s. He was approached to do a product placement for a short film called “E.T.” The filmmakers wanted M&M in the film. Mangal turned it down and the studio replaced Hershey’s Reese’s piece. Since that time, Mangal has been losing to his main rival Hershey. Mars is the largest in America’s second largest candy company, Hershey.
Forrest Mars Jr. died of a heart attack in Seattle in 2016. The company is 100% owned by John and Jacqueline Mars. Today, the fourth generation of members of the Mangal family runs the company. Forrest and Virginia Mars had four daughters. Forrest Jr.’s daughter Victoria Mars is the company’s chairman following in the footsteps of her father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He is the president of Mars, Inc. since 2014. He has spent his entire career in the family business.
Marijke Mars, works as a regional manager for Kal Ink Foods, one of the pet food companies of Mars Inc. Nowadays she works in Mars Food.
Pamela Mars-Wright has several roles in Mars Inc. He started as an Operation Supervisor in 1986. She became the plant director manager at the company’s pet care factory. He worked as Director of Manufacturing at Mars Australia. Merizke has been a member of the board of directors since 2001. He was the Chairman of the Board from 2004 to 2008. Today, he is the ambassador of the Mars family in the pet care division.
Valerie Mars, Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Development for Mars. He is also involved in businesses outside the family empire. She is a board member of Fiat Chrysler since 2014 and is also a board member of the Finnish-Swedish paper company Ahlstrom-Munxjo.
Mars Inc. recently made the news when it announced that it, Kind, Inc., maker of Kind Bars, in a $ 5 billion deal.
The Mars family is determined to keep him in the company. If it is not possible to pass on the family business to the next generation, the Mars family would be more likely to sell to a larger company – perhaps Nestle – especially if this sale would stick to their rival Hershey.