Members of Mars Food – including regional vice-president Jarek Swigulski (fifth from left) – cut ribbon on the new HQ.
Mars Food has opened a new headquarters for its North American business in Chicago, uniting it with other parts of the Mars family in the Goose Island area of the city.
According to the company, the relocation “brings 75 jobs to the city and signifies a significant investment in this growing business unit” at a time when the company is growing its portfolio – last month it agreed to acquire Preferred Brands International, which makes the Tasty Bite brand of Asian food products.
Upon closing of the acquisition of Tasty Bite, Mars Food will expand its all-natural vegetarian offerings in the US, and leverage Tasty Bite’s strong product development pipeline, flavour expertise and strategic sourcing of ingredients.
Mars Food had previously been based in Los Angeles.
“Moving the Mars Food North America headquarters to Chicago enables our long-term growth objectives by bringing us closer to our factories, our customers and other parts of our business,” said Jarek Swigulski, regional president of Mars Food North America. “We are excited to join the long-standing relationship and community involvement that Mars has already established in Chicago.
“This is a very exciting time to be part of Mars Food. Our associates have made it possible for us to remain agile and bring the entrepreneurial approach that we need to deliver on our bold promises.”
The new office space occupies the first floor of a Goose Island building originally built in 1905. It was designed to reflect Mars Food’s commitments to health and wellbeing, sustainability and inspiring people to share meals. These ideals are brought to life in the form of standing desks at every workstation and available treadmill desks; a ‘living wall’ that boosts air quality; motion-activated lights, desk lamps and LED bulbs that reduce lighting energy by 45% compared to traditional office lighting; and a full kitchen at the centre of the office to encourage staff to cook and eat together.
Although Mars Inc’s global headquarters are in Virginia, the company operates an innovation centre, engineering technology centre and corporate office for its Wrigley’s gum brand on Goose Island – as well as an office for Mars Global Services. The company also operates a manufacturing facility for Mars Chocolate North America in the city.
The mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, said: “Mars is a great corporate partner, and its international reach and importance are a testament to Chicago’s position at the forefront of the global food industry. The entire city of Chicago welcomes Mars Food and looks forward to watching them continue to grow and thrive for years to come.”
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