Snickers bar broken in the middle

Mars Opens Global Research and Development Hub in Chicago

Jan. 18, 2024
The 44,000-square-foot, $42 million facility will help the company achieve its goal to double its snacking business in the next decade, the company says.

Mars Inc. has opened its new, 44,000-square-foot Global Research and Development Hub at the global headquarters of its snacking business in Chicago, according to a release from the company.

The state-of-the-art, $42 million facility is the largest of Mars’ innovation sites around the world for its snacking business and will be powered 100% by renewable electricity. Mars has targeted doubling its snacking business in the next decade as a company goal, and this new facility will enable the company’s 300 R&D workers to help achieve that goal.

Mars first announced the project in April 2022 and broke ground in June of that year. The hub centralizes innovation and will serve as a testing ground for future sustainable ingredients, the company said. It features a test kitchen, flexible bar production line and dedicated nut facility within the building.

The facility was designed with sustainability in mind, with the power needed to run the facility covered by renewable energy credits the company earns from its wind farm in southern Illinois.

Mars’ network of existing global innovation sites now includes Chicago; Guangzhou, China; Huariou, China; Elizabethtown, Pa.; and Slough, United Kingdom.

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

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