Mars Opens Transformative $42m Snacking Research and Development Hub in Chicago

The new 44,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility builds on Mars’ 100-year pedigree of innovation and makes Chicago the largest innovation hub in Mars’ global stable of Snacking R&D sites

  • World-beating R&D hub designed for future ground-breaking research and snacking innovation
  • The new facility will be powered 100% by renewable electricity which is fossil-fuel free

CHICAGO, Jan. 18, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Mars announced the opening of its Global Research and Development Hub on its Goose Island campus, the global headquarters of the company’s Snacking business. One of seven Mars global innovation sites around the world, the 44,000-square-foot, $42 million facility will be dedicated to chocolate and nut testing, research and innovation. As Mars looks to double its Snacking business in the next decade, the new facility will give Mars’ 300 R&D Associates in Chicago runway to create and refine new products for the company’s multi-billion-dollar snacking portfolio before they are scaled at large around the globe.

The new site will centralize crucial innovation components under one roof while also serving as a testing ground for future-focused, sustainable ingredients. Recipes will be perfected in small batches in the plant’s contemporary test kitchen, while the flexible bar line, which mimics factory conditions, will allow Mars Snacking Scientists to hone the process of bringing new products to scale. A dedicated nut facility inside the plant will also enable next-generation testing, evaluation and application of peanuts and tree nuts within Mars products, key to brands such as SNICKERS®, M&M’S® and KIND®.

“This state-of-the-art facility will serve as the epicenter for the kind of groundbreaking research and development that will shape the snacking category for generations to come,” said Andrew Clarke, Global President, Mars Snacking. “Innovation has been at the heart of our success for over 100 years, and this significant investment reaffirms our unwavering commitment to staying ahead of the curve. With an assembly of trailblazing Associates, pioneering partnerships that ignite our creativity and unparalleled technology at our fingertips, we will continue to push boundaries in our relentless pursuit of delivering extraordinary experiences for our consumers around the world.”

From the next-generation science behind critical ingredients such as peanuts, to the easily adaptable pilot product line, the Hub is designed to not just keep up, but stay ahead of an evolving snacking landscape and rapidly shifting consumer demands. The world-class facility has been designed with sustainability front of mind. It will be powered 100% with renewable energy which is fossil-fuel free and covered by renewable energy credits from Mars’ wind farm in Ford Ridge, Illinois.

Chicago has been deeply embedded in Mars’ history from the turn of the 20th century when the company opened its first large-scale factory in the Windy City in 1929. It was also the longtime home of the Wrigley Company, the Chicago-born stalwart known for its gum and fruity confections, which Mars acquired in 2008.

“I applaud the dedicated team behind the Mars Global Research & Development Hub,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “With a commitment to sustainable innovation, this state-of-the-art facility not only doubles down on Mars’ century-long legacy, but cements Chicago’s status as an epicenter for food innovation and propels us to new heights on the global stage.”

“As Mars marks the opening of a new chapter, I am thrilled to join the resounding applause of the Chicagoland region’s business community in congratulating company leadership and team for the opening of the Mars Global Research & Development Hub,” said Michael Fassnacht, President & CEO, World Business Chicago. “In a region already renowned as the epicenter of food-related production and innovation, the arrival of the Mars Research & Development Hub propels Chicagoland to even greater heights. We commend Mars for its unwavering commitment to our city and region, and we are eagerly poised to witness the profound impact this expansion will have, cementing Chicagoland’s undisputed global standing as the ultimate crucible of food innovation.”

The Global Innovation Hub will join Mars’ network of existing global innovation sites in Chicago, Illinois; Guangzhou, China; Huariou, China; Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania; and Slough, United Kingdom.  

About Mars, Incorporated

Mars, Incorporated is driven by the belief that the world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today. As a global, family-owned business, Mars is transforming, innovating, and evolving to make a positive impact on the world. Across our diverse and expanding portfolio of quality snacking, food, and pet care products and services, we employ 140,000+ dedicated Associates. With more than $47 billion in annual sales, we produce some of the world’s best-loved brands including Ben’s Original, CESAR®, Cocoavia®, DOVE®, EXTRA®, KIND®, M&M’s®, SNICKERS®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, and WHISKAS®. We are creating A Better World for Pets through our global network of pet hospitals and diagnostic services – including AniCura, BANFIELD, BLUEPEARL, Linnaeus and VCA – using cutting edge technology to develop breakthrough programs in genetic health screening and DNA testing.

For more information about Mars, please visit www.mars.com. Join us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

SOURCE Mars Wrigley



Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mars-opens-transformative-42m-snacking-research-and-development-hub-in-chicago-302038485.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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