Mars Petcare has officially opened the doors of its new, state-of-the-art, Gold-LEED certified US$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 petfood innovations, is the third Mars Petcare innovation center and first in the US. It will serve as the global center of excellence for the company's portfolio, according to the company.
The center will join 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 petfood 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 US$110 million Global Innovation Center marks the sixth Mars site in Tennessee and will employ more than 140 Associates."
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' 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 outdoor space designed for pets to relax and play with caretakers and their other furry friends, says Mars.
The center will include a product development center, pet feeding center and learning center.