US food giant Mars has launched an incubator programme to focus on new products in the health and wellness space. 

The thinking behind the Mars Edge project was revealed in a Bloomberg Businessweek interview with the confectioner’s chief executive Grant Reid, who said the Virginia-based firm and owner of the M&Ms brand was seeking to double the size of the business over the next decade.

To that end, Reid told Businessweek the family-owned company would expand its presence in non-confectionery nutrition and pet care, and plans to increase sales without taking the maker of Twix and Snickers snack bars public.  

Mars sales could rise to US$70bn from around $35bn now, based on Reid’s ambitions, the publication noted.

“Our vision is to keep our privately-held company forever,” Reid told Businessweek.

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The CEO added that he sees new sales being driven through acquisitions and growth in home-grown brands, such as those within the Mars Edge incubator. Through a partnership with India’s Tata Group, Mars Edge is developing a protein-rich pea and lentil-based snack called GoMo Dal Crunchies, Reid said.

Mars gave a description of its new incubator on the company’s website: “Mars Edge is partnering with others to create a world where nutrition empowers people to live fuller lives. It is set up to use the latest science, data and technology to create easy, enjoyable and tailored nutrition solutions that fit seamlessly into people’s everyday lives and deliver measurable benefits.”

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