Mars Petcare opened its state-of-the-art, $110 million, Global Innovation Center in Thompson's Station, Tennessee. 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.
The facility 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. According to the firm, 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.
According to the firm, the Thompson's Station, Tennessee center’s 39,904 square ft. Quality and Innovation Center houses research and development associates working in an office setting, in addition to a state-of-the-art microbiological and analytical laboratory. New technologies and products will be developed and produced on a small scale at the 56,589 square ft. Product Development Center before full-scale production is implemented throughout the company's manufacturing network.
The 28,461 square ft. Pet Feeding Center is where the pets will live. It has unique circular kennels where dogs will live in pairs, as well as indoor/outdoor play areas for resident dogs and cats. The 10,302 square ft. Learning Center features an interactive learning environment and Mars history museum for guests. The Learning Center also includes space for focus groups, a conference center, workout room and break areas for Associates.
"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, the company said. 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 Governor 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.”