With half of Mars’ business stemming from pet care, the candy company continues to incubate and acquire new wellness and health brands to increase sales from $35 to $70 billion.

Why it matters

  • Mars has tapped into the $86 billion U.S. pet market and the $54.8 billion North American wellness industry. This will be increasingly important to keeping the 107-year-old company growing as consumers remain skeptical about sugar.
  • Though they appear incongruous, both pet products like Whiskas cat food and confections like Twix are sold at supermarkets, as are healthy candy alternatives like CocaVia, which means that Mars isn’t selling in unknown territory—it’s just enhancing its relevance to shoppers with a wider assortment of products. Though many holding companies grow through acquisitions, Mars Edge, the company’s brand incubator, is a sign that it is looking to innovate internally, rather than just tack on new brands to its ecosystem.
  • This may help Mars avoid the struggles of fellow candy company Nestlé, which sold Butterfinger, Laffy Taffy, Raisinets and other brands in 2018—all of which amounted to only 3% of sales—in order to reorient its business to focus on coffee products that better match consumer interests. Procter & Gamble is also trying to avoid this fate by going into bug spray.