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A Comprehensive Overview of Mars, Incorporated

Introduction

The Mars company is an American based company which is based in McLean, Virginia. Founded in 1911, Mars was started as a candy company and eventually expanded its business to other arenas. Today, Mars produces items like candy bars, pet foods, chocolates, gums and so on. The company has within itself well known confections like Snickers, Wrigley’s gum, M&Ms and so on. Currently, the company stands at the number 7 position in the list of largest American companies, according to reports dated 2019 (Forbes, 2019).

The purpose of this report is to categorically examine the internal and external factors which influence the business of the company Mars. The report will first examine the external and internal factors which influence the functioning of the business, using PESTLE analysis and by doing internal audits and product innovation. Additionally, it will also examine innovation that the company can undertake and through the usage of Ansoff Matrix, determine which strategy the company can undertake in order to successfully expand its operations in the regions where it is operating and where it wants to operate. The report will mainly look at the chocolate production of Mars and pet food production wherever relevant.

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Essentially, the purpose of this report is to look at the strategies which Mars Inc. is undertaking in the marketing of its products currently and identify the areas for improvement for the company.

2. External Analysis

The following section will discuss the macro environment in which Mars Inc. is operating in a bid to understand the influential factors which the company needs to be mindful of. Additionally, it will also examine the position of the company with regards to its rivals and understand what are its relative advantages over its rivals

2.1 PESTLE Analysis

The following section will use the Political, Social and Technological Aspects of PESTLE to understand its external environment:

Political: Recently, the company has come under negative light when it was sued for failing to inform the consumer that the chocolate it was consuming could have been the result of child labour (Nieburg, 2017). A year before that, the company had to recall chocolate from 55 countries when plastic bars were found in the chocolates (BBC, 2016).

Social: Mars chocolates are well loved and recognised in USA and increasingly in other countries. A 2020 study concluded that Mars chocolate is the second most popular chocolate brand in the world, losing the top spot to Cadbury (confectionaryproduction.com)

Technological: Mars has been using the a digital and satellite farming technology called SAT4Farming which helps farmers will smaller productivity in farming. This is because Mars recognised that small farmers are the ones which produce most of the world’s cocoa (confectionarynews.com).

2.2 Rivalry

According to the social aspect of the PESTLE analysis, we discovered that the biggest competitor to the company, currently, is Cadbury. In terms of sales of products, 2017 reports show that the company falls second in line to the Hershey’s produced Reese Cups. Mars Inc.’s produced Snickers falls second and Kit Kat occupies the third position (Statista, 2017).

Mars faces stiff competition from brands like Mondelez International, which boasts of over 65% in market share and owns the hugely popular brand of Cadbury chocolates (in.mondelezinternational.com). However, in the pet food business, the company is currently at top, and the difference between the company and the next company in the competitive chain, Nestlé, is significant (petfoodindustry.com). Recently, the company came under fire as consumers found what looked like wires in their pet food (Monfort, 2018). Controversies like these could knock the company off the top position and could potentially be a cause of loss of sales. Increasing consumer awareness is one thing that the company needs to be mindful of and strive to improve the quality of its products. Another action the company could take is not shying away from the controversies and instead making it apparent through its campaigns that it has improved its products.

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came under fire as consumers found what looked like wires in their pet food (Monfort, 2018). Controversies like these could knock the company off the top position and could potentially be a cause of loss of sales. Increasing consumer awareness is one thing that the company needs to be mindful of and strive to improve the quality of its products. Another action the company could take is not shying away from the controversies and instead making it apparent through its campaigns that it has improved its products.

3. Market Analysis

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The following section will analyse the market in which the company operates, through the usage of STP. The STP stands for Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning, which gives the researcher an idea about the brand’s USP and current position in the market, their target customers and positioning of the brand in the market. This helps the brand capitalise on the aspects of its business which are already flourishing and also understand where it has scope for improvement. The STP analysis is as follows:

3.1 Segmentation

The segmentation for the market will be done in two methods, by segmenting it along demographic lines and around behavioural lines. Demographically, consumer preferences with regards to chocolate is uniform all across the world and is usually associated to self-indulgence and not particularly from a dietary point of view (Rousseau, 2016). The consumers who buy chocolates are usually looking to be treated and it is not a necessity. It has also been seen that the younger population is more likely to buy chocolates and higher percentages of chocolates were bought by women than men (Sahoo and Gang, 2012; Chuin and Mohamed, 2012).

3.2 Targeting

The company predominantly caters to the younger population, but adult chocolate lovers hold a big percentage of the customer share in the chocolate industry. One of the most popular brands of chocolates in the company, M&Ms, was initially manufactured for military men and the hard shell covering was meant to protect the chocolate from melting during hot climates (NBC, 2012). Hence, while the company primarily targets the younger demographic, it should also target the adults who buy chocolate as much as they can, taking a leaf out of Hershey’s book and come up with a product specifically for adults, like the Hershey’s Kisses.

3.3 Positioning

Based on the above sections, the research understands that the uniform appeal of Mars chocolate across age groups is an unique selling point of the company and the company needs to come up with a new product which appeals to the changing taste of the consumer. Keeping this in mind, the company needs to develop chocolates keeping in mind that a large majority of their customers are adults, who are increasingly becoming health conscious. This will be discussed in the section about new product innovations further.

4. Internal Analysis

This section will look at the internal resource capabilities of the company, in an attempt to understand the internal competencies and resources strengths of the company. The audit will categorically look at the resources, both tangible and intangible, available in the company and distinguish between basic and unique resources and core competencies.

4.1 Resources and Competencies

The physical resources available to Mars mainly depend on chocolate suppliers. According to Statista (2019, 2020), the biggest chocolate supplier remains The Ivory Coast, followed by Ghana and Ecuador. Mars details that most of their cocoa comes from The Ivory Coast and they have been purchasing cocoa from them for over 60 years (www.ibm.com). Having sourced chocolate from the region for a long time, the region has more or less established old lines of trade and had trusted suppliers, which gives it a definitive advantage over other suppliers. Another competency the company has acquired recently is the patenting of the heat resistant chocolates that doesn’t melt and retains its shape even in very hot climates (Southey, 2020).

4.2 BCG Matrix

The BCG matrix can be divided into four sub-groups, namely Stars, Cash Cows, Question Marks and Dogs. They are discussed below:

Stars: The most popular Mars product is their pet food chain, namely Pedigree and Royal Canin. After that, Snickers becomes the most sold Mars item (businesschief.eu). Mars has been a dominant name in the pet food business for decades and most likely will continue to be so.

Cash Cow: The brand of Kit Kat, Snickers and M&Ms can be understood as the cash cows of the company, barring that it doesn’t overly saturate the market with these products or make them more expensive than their regular price.

Question Mark Products: The new product, which is Marsorg, an organic variant of the Mars Bars. The traditional Mars Bars is a significantly popular product from the brand and an organic variant of the product is something that needs a lot of investment. The product will be made with 100% organic chocolate, so it is likely the sourcing and production will cost more as well.

Dog Products: The products which failed previously were Cookies & and Pacers. Currently, pet products like Frolic , Kit-e-Kat and My Dog are not brining in as much profit and need to be discontinued.

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The TOWS analysis is an extended version of the SWOT analysis, whereby the company can not only analyses the threats, opportunities and strengths, but can also apply them practically, relating them to each other, in order to find out what can be done. The analysis, which has been done keeping in mind the Mars company, encompasses the present and future strengths and weaknesses of the company and makes calculated discussions on what the company could do in order to The TOWS analysis of the company is presented as follows:

6. Strategic Choice Using Ansoff Matrix

The Ansoff matrix is a tool used by organisations to analyse opportunities and devise strategies for attaining growth. It essentially consists of four distinct strategies to achieve growth namely the following:

Market Penetration: This strategy focuses on increasing sales of existing products and services in an existing market.

Product Development: This strategy focuses on introducing new products and services in an existing market.

Market Development: This strategy focuses on entering a new market using existing products and services.

Diversification: This strategy focuses on entering a new market with the introduction of new products and services.

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7. Conclusion and Recommendations

The document was an intimate inquiry into the strategic position of the Mars Inc. and an analysis into the factors which are assisting it in keeping its strength. The document also looked at the portion of the company in the contemporary market and the future it could face.

In America, the price of a milk chocolate bar is increasing and the same is the case with Europe (zmescience.com). In this scenario, it is important for Mars to take into consideration certain things to cut down on costs to avoid increasing price.

The company needs to put in capital in achieving sustainable sources for its raw materials and also initiative policies inside its own offices in order to bring positive change in the the external and internal environment around them. Some initiatives have already been taken by them in the form of measures in reducing carbo footprint, aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals (Mainwaring, 2020).

References

Forbes. 2021. Mars. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 February 2021].

confectionerynews.com. 2021. Cocoa child labor lawsuits against Mars and Hershey filed. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 February 2021].

Confectionery Production. 2021. Cadbury and Mars emerge as global ‘top of the chocs’ | Confectionery Production. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 February 2021].

confectionerynews.com. 2021. Mars adopts digital and satellite tech for cocoa farmers in Ghana. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 February 2021].

Statista. 2021. Snack size chocolate candy brands sales U.S., 2017 | Statista. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 February 2021].

2021. Our Business | India | Mondelēz International, Inc.. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 February 2021].

Monfort, A., 2021. Possible metal pieces found in Pedigree dog food, woman says. [online] https://www.nbc12.com. Available at: [Accessed 26 February 2021].

Rousseau, S., 2015. The role of organic and fair trade labels when choosing chocolate. Food Quality and Preference, 44, pp.92-100.

Sahoo, D. and Garg, S., 2012. Buying Motives in the purchase of Cadbury Chocolate among Young Indians. Romanian Journal of Marketing, (4).

Chuin, T.P. and Mohamad, O., 2012. Young Malaysians' chocolate brand familiarity: the effect of brand's country of origin and consumer consumption level. Business Strategy Series.

NBC News. 2021. America's favorite chocolate brand? Snickers. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 February 2021].

Www-03.ibm.com. 2021. IBM100 - Sustainable Cocoa. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 February 2021].

foodnavigator.com. 2021. Mars patents heat-resistant chocolate that maintains taste and shape in hot climates. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 February 2021].

Mainwaring, S., 2021. Purpose At Work: How Mars Is Scaling Sustainability Goals Across Generations. [online] Forbes. Available at: [Accessed 26 February 2021].

Economic Journal |. 2021. What’s Up With Coffee In The UK? | Economic Journal. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 February 2021].

Flook, B., 2021. [online] Bizjournals.com. Available at: [Accessed 26 February 2021.

Mars, M. and Petcare, M., 2021. Mars Petcare | Mars, Incorporated. [online] Mars.com. Available at: [Accessed 26 February 2021].

Trihatmoko, R., Napitupulu, S., Purnamasari, D. and Kurniawanto, H., 2018. An Assessment of The Demand for New Products of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG). Business Management and Strategy, 9(2), p.18.


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