This post is sponsored by Mars Petcare. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about how Mars Petcare makes a better world for pets, but Playful Kitty only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Mars Petcare is not responsible for the content of this article.
When I agreed to be an ambassador for Mars Petcare during the BlogPaws Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, I really didn’t know what to expect. I was told that I would be going on a tour of Mars Petcare’s brand new Global Innovation Center in Thompson’s Station, Tennessee. My initial impression was that I was going to be going for a tour through a factory to see pet food being made. Considering my cats’ love for Temptations, Nutro, and Greenies, I thought it would be a wonderful experience for me.
Touring the Global Innovation Center
The tour of Mars Petcare’s Global Innovation Center was much better than anticipated. It wasn’t just a factory where I could watch food being pushed around by machines. It is a place where all of the great minds behind Mars Petcare’s US products come together to create and innovate. A number of the department heads from Mars Petcare were there to say hello and tell us (the group of pet bloggers on the tour) what it is that they do. Everyone was very nice and seemed really genuine. I got the impression that all of the Mars Petcare employees felt like equals.
It was a very busy day! First, we were told about why Mars chose to create the Global Innovation Center and how it plays a part in the community it is set in. Then there were demonstrations regarding Mars Petcare’s quality and cleanliness standards. Next, we were shown how Mars Petcare uses input from real pet parents to help make their products better. Then we got to go and see the dog and cat associates, the facility they live in, and learn about the program they are a part of at Mars Petcare. Finally, we got to hear from Dr. Tiffany, one of Mars Petcare’s nutritionists, about the elements that make each food in their portfolio a great choice for pets.
Mars Petcare at BlogPaws
Mars Petcare was a main sponsor of the conference. Their presence was felt everywhere in the hotel! During the opening ceremony, the President of Mars Petcare US, Mark Johnson, gave a great overview of who Mars Petcare is and where they are going as a company. The main goal of Mars Petcare is to make “a better world for pets.” Johnson showed a photo of his own pet, Ollie, a golden doodle puppy that he described as a “foot warmer.” He also spoke about the many ways Mars Petcare makes a better world for pets by helping the community (hosting pet adoptions, beautifying dog parks, helping animal shelters with renovations, etc) and about the 20 million pounds of food that has been given by the Pedigree Foundation since 2008. Beyond the community, Mars Petcare intends to help the world by sustainable sourcing all of the fish for their products by 2020.
In the exhibit hall, Mars Petcare had an entire aisle showcasing their 9 US brands. There was fun all of the way around their aisle; posing with a giant cardboard cut out of the westie from Cesar, a Temptations Snacky Mouse iPad game, and plenty of props for silly photos. Samples were given out too. My cats were thrilled that I picked up some Temptations for them! On the more serious side, I was able to talk to a supplier who manages a Nutro plant in California and a farmer that grows rice used in Nutro products. These two people gave me great, honest insights on the behind-the-scenes work that helps to create one of my cats’ favorite foods.
What Impresses Me Most About Mars Petcare
After my experience, 5 things really impressed me about Mars Petcare:
- Dr. Tiffany and the other department heads answered my questions without hesitation. I was worried that some of the questions I wanted to ask would cause them to become defensive, but that wasn’t the case at all. It even seemed that they were glad that someone was that deeply interested in what they do.
- The great care with which the pet associates are treated. A lot of thought was put into the facilities they would be housed in, the day-to-day care they would need, and the types of training that would be helpful to the pet associate in the long run.
- The “mutuality” principle that Mars Petcare follows. They don’t believe in doing things that will harm those they work with. If a deal is not mutually beneficial, it won’t be pursued.
- Mars Petcare is a privately owned company. This impresses me because it shows that Mars Petcare is able to make the kinds of decisions that can make the world a better place for pets without having to bow to the whims of stockholders.
- Mars Petcare sources as many of its ingredients from the US as possible and has 21 manufacturing facilities in the US.
What do you think would make a better world for pets?
This post is part 3 in a series about my experience with Mars Petcare.