Mars and Alibaba strike a sweet deal

Mars Incorporated has inked a global strategic business partnership with Alibaba Group to establish an integrated online and offline business model and enhance e-commerce food safety.

All of Mars' brands in China, including six brands worth over US$1 billion each – Dove, Snickers, M&M's, Extra, Pedigree and Royal Canin – will be available on all Alibaba platforms including and Rural Taobao.

Both companies will also put a focus on food safety through collaborating with the Mars GFSC. The Mars GFSC will work with Alibaba to enhance food safety management, promote consumer education and share the latest scientific research findings with industry stakeholders.

Under the partnership, consumers will be able to enjoy a more convenient and international "one-stop" shopping experience. For the first time, all of Mars' brands in China will be available online to consumers in its various Tmall flagship stores and to rural consumers through Rural Taobao. Mars will leverage Alibaba's marketing services, media properties, mobile reach, big data and consumer insights to directly engage with its consumers. Alibaba's supply chain management and logistics network will also help expand Mars' efficiency and reach.

"China's younger generation is the new driving force of consumption. They rely on e-commerce, and place great value on the trustworthiness of the companies behind their brands and products," said Cecilia Li, vice president and managing director of Wrigley China, a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated.

"Alibaba is a significant strategic partnership for Mars, as this relationship demonstrates Mars' principles of 'quality' and 'mutuality'."

"Alibaba and Mars share a common commitment to improving safety standards, quality monitoring, and consumer awareness in China,” added Jet Jing, vice president of Alibaba Group.