When Nestlé moved its US headquarters to Virginia last year, it became the second major sweet-treat company to operate out of our area, as Mars has been based here since the ’80s. How do the businesses compare?
|Quick history||Founded in the 19th century as a condensed-milk outfit, it now has 48,000 employees in the US alone.||Ever since Frank Mars started making candy out of his Tacoma, Washington, kitchen in 1911, the company has been owned by the same family.|
|2018 global sales||More than $90 billion.||$35 billion.|
|What else they make||Gerber baby food, Perrier water, Lean Cuisine frozen dinners, Purina dog food, and lots of other stuff in your local supermarket.||Pedigree dog food, Combos, Wrigley gum, Uncle Ben’s rice.|
|They own that?||Nestlé has an entire skin-care division, including Proactiv acne products.||In addition to pet food, Mars operates veterinary-hospital chains such as Banfield and BluePearl.|
|Unusual item we’d like to try||Thomy mayonnaise with hemp oil, sold in Switzerland; recommended “for next-level enjoyment moments,” according to our web browser’s translator.||Balisto bars, which are sold across Europe—a whole-grain candy with a name possibly derived from the German word for roughage.|
|Odd controversy||Nestlé’s Poland Spring water is currently facing a class-action lawsuit claiming that its H2O is fraudulent because it doesn’t come from a spring.||In 2007, Mars UK decided to start using an enzyme from calf stomachs in its candy. Vegetarians were furious, and the decision was quickly reversed.|
This article appears in the October 2019 issue of Washingtonian.