Masterfoods was formed in January 2002 by the merger of Mars Confectionery and Pedigree Masterfoods.
The company operates as a division of Mars UK in Britain and globally as a division of Mars Incorporated. It has three divisions: snack food, which includes the Mars and Snickers brands; main meals, containing Uncle Ben's rice and Dolmio pasta sauces; and petcare, which manufactures the Whiskas cat food and Pedigree dog food brands.
Combining the three divisions under the Masterfoods umbrella was intended to enable privately owned Mars Incorporated to unite its different businesses and improve selling opportunities. However, retailers and consumers are often confused by the relationship between the two, many thinking they are separate companies.
The decision follows news that Mars in the US is axing the Masterfoods North America name as part of a move to decentralise its three divisions after it concluded that centralisation slowed down innovation.
Masterfoods UK denied that it is about to change its name. 'There are no current plans for Masterfoods to change its company name,' said a spokeswoman.