Mars, Inc. has named Jean-Christophe Flatin as its new president, Global Chocolate, effective Oct. 1, 2014.   

Flatin is currently global president of Royal Canin, a unit of Mars Petcare. He replaces Grant Reid, who recently became president of Mars, Inc. 

Jean-Christophe Flatin
Jean-Christophe Flatin 

As the leader of the Global Chocolate business, with iconic brands like M&M'S, SNICKERS, DOVE, GALAXY, MARS, MILKY WAY and TWIX, and a growing population of more than 17,000 associates, Flatin will be responsible for setting the global agenda for all aspects of the business.    

"We are very pleased to have a leader of Jean-Christophe's caliber at the helm of the global chocolate business," says Reid. "Jean-Christophe's proven leadership, strategic mindset and background in finance and general management will help continue the growth of this important segment within our business."

Flatin will be a member of the Mars Leadership Team, reporting directly to Reid.

"It's always fantastic when we live out our goal of promoting from within our own business,” Reid adds. “Appointments like this remind us of how fortunate we are to have such depth and diversity of talent within Mars."

Since becoming president of Royal Canin in late 2007, Flatin has led his team to become one of the fastest-growing business units at the Mars.  Prior to that, he has established an impressive record of leadership and collaboration through various roles with Mars over the past 22 years.

Mars accepting Chocolate Research Grant Applicaitons

In other news, Mars also announced that it is currently accepting submissions for its 2014 Chocolate History Research and Investigative Studies Grant through October 1, 2014.

The grant provides funding for innovation in the areas of chocolate history research, scholarship and education. A minimum of three one-year grants will be awarded, with two $10,000 grants focused on chocolate programming development or expansion at living history, historic or museum locations in North America, and one award of $5,000 focused on new research in chocolate history.

"At Mars, we are committed to uncovering all there is to know about the rich history of cocoa and chocolate," explains Harold Schmitz, chief science officer. "We consider ourselves fortunate to be able to work with leading researchers, historians, scientists and scholars across North America and this grant is awarded to encourage discovery and inspire activity in this uniquely interesting field of research and scholarship."

Submissions can be made on the American Heritage Chocolate website.

American Heritage Chocolate is a line of authentic chocolate products based on an 18th century recipe developed by Mars Chocolate North America. Meant to bring chocolate's sweet history to life for visitors to America's cultural institutions through chocolate history demonstrations, chocolate drink sampling and retail availability, the product is currently available at more than 150 living history and museum gift shops in the United States and Canada.

The Chocolate History Research and Investigative Studies Grant winners will be announced at the annual meeting of the Colonial Chocolate Society — a group formed in 2003 with the mission to investigate the history of chocolate in the Americas — at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, Nov. 18-20, 2014.  

Previous grant winners include Fort Ticonderoga, Old North Church Foundation and Old Salem Museum and Gardens.