Campus Will Serve As Global Center of Excellence for Dry Cat and Dog Food
Mars Petcare officially has opened the doors of its new, state-of-the-art, Gold-LEED certified $110 million Global Innovation Center in Thompson’s Station, Tenn. The new campus, designed to help the company make A Better World for Pets™ through pet food innovations, is the third Mars Petcare innovation center and first in the United States. It will serve as the global center of excellence for the company’s portfolio, which includes five billion dollar brands: PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®, ROYAL CANIN®, BANFIELD® and IAMS®.
The new center joins forces with similar Mars Petcare Global Innovation Centers located in Verden, Germany and Aimargues, France, and will focus on dry cat and dog food in both the natural and mainstream pet food categories.
“Everything about this campus is dedicated to helping pets live longer and happier lives,” said Larry Allgaier, president of Mars Petcare North America. “Mars has been doing business in Tennessee for the past 35 years, employing nearly 1,700 Associates across our Petcare, Chocolate and Wrigley business segments. Our $110 million Global Innovation Center marks the sixth Mars site in Tennessee and will employ more than 140 Associates.”
The location in Thompson’s Station was selected in part because of a great working relationship with the state of Tennessee, which is already home to Mars facilities in Cleveland, Chattanooga, Lebanon and Franklin (two locations). Thompson’s Station also offers a growing business climate, quality of life and a central location, which provides easy access to customers, consumers, suppliers and manufacturing operations for the company.
“We want to thank Mars Petcare for creating these high quality jobs and continuing its investment in Tennessee,” said Gov. Bill Haslam. “Our state offers many advantages to both new companies and existing industries including a favorable geographic location, advanced transportation and logistics infrastructure, and a skilled workforce. Mars Petcare opening its first North American Global Innovation Center in Thompson’s Station is a significant step in the company’s 35-year history with the state.”
It’s All About the Pets
Much of the activity at the Global Innovation Center will be focused on caring for the pets – up to 180 dogs and 120 cats when fully staffed – many of which will be adopted from area shelters and rescues. In accordance with the caring science approach developed by Mars’ world-class Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition in the United Kingdom, each pet will be treated like a member of the family, regularly receiving grooming services, veterinary care, training and exercise. The campus also includes plenty of outdoor space designed for pets to relax and play with caretakers and their other furry friends who call the campus home.
Using the same insights to design the outdoor spaces at the Global Innovation Center, Mars Petcare has donated $100,000 to build the town’s first public dog park, improving the lives of people and their pets. The company worked closely with the town and Outdoor Encounter to design the four-acre park, which includes separate spaces for large and small dogs, sensory trails and bone-shaped benches. More than 90 Mars Associates volunteered 800 hours to ensure the park could open by October 1.