In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington, kitchen and established Mars’ roots as a confectionary company. In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and after 12 years working side by side on products like the MILKY WAY® bar, Forrest Sr. moved to the United Kingdom. Over the following years, Forrest Sr. grew and diversified the business. Delivering consistent, reliable quality has been the foundation of building our Mars brands and our business.
Here’s the thing about Quality: it’s not just for the Associates who make our products. It’s for everyone at Mars, in every job and region around the world. Quality is the first of our Five Principles, the bedrock we rely on to deliver consistently high standards across our brands.
Quality is the basis of the brand loyalty and consumer trust that has made Mars the company it is today. We pride ourselves on delivering quality products and we make the vast majority of these ourselves but when we use external partners to make our products, we require them to meet our strict quality and food safety expectations, as set out in our External Manufacturing Quality Management standard.
Quality is the first of our Five Principles and states that: “The consumer is our boss, quality is our work, and value for money is our goal.” We bring this Principle to life through our “QUALITY in ACTION” strategy, which has the ultimate objective of leading in quality and food safety to ensure access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food for all. We are committed to providing high quality products and services which conform to specification, with world class food safety and which are in full compliance with all legal and regulatory requirement in the markets in which they are sold. This is our broad definition of quality, and it is considered everyone’s job at Mars. We work hard to ensure all Associates understand their role in bringing quality to life. Among the accountabilities clearly defined for all leadership roles are the following:
- Deployment of the “QUALITY in ACTION” strategy
- Ensuring the organization, resources and capabilities meet corporate and business requirements
- Defining measurable objectives with progress reviewed for all teams and all individuals
- Ensuring frequent engaging communications on the importance of quality
We ensure excellence in quality through our “Mars Quality Management Process” (QMP) framework. Deming’s “Plan Do Check Act” (PDCA) management cycle is embedded in these core processes. The QMP spans our entire business defining all our quality requirements for design, procurement, manufacture, sales and distribution, and listening and responding to the voice of the consumer and customer. At the heart of our approach is designing quality and food safety into our products and processes to ensure their quality, rather than “inspecting” quality in. The QMP framework demands full compliance to all our quality and food safety standards and regulatory requirements and it also drives continuous improvement in our quality performance and the effectiveness of the quality processes.
The Mars senior leadership expect and require that all leaders and Associates conform fully to the letter and spirit of this commitment. This approach is reviewed regularly, proudly displayed at our corporate headquarters in McLean, Virginia, and is communicated to all Associates.