Multinational snack and pet food manufacturer Mars, known for household brand names including M&M’S, Royal Canin and Snickers, has collaborated with engineering software giant Ansys on simulation software for its packaging.

Mars is set to leverage the new simulation approach to perform virtual testing and prototyping on new packaging innovation, initially across its Snacking portfolio.

The multi-physics simulation technology provides in-depth insights into various aspects of the complex production phases, including wrapping, drop tests and failure scenarios.

According to Mars, its researchers have already reported reductions in development time of up to 40% through computer modelling and in the quantity of plastic purchased by Mars for testing by approximately 246 tons.

The investment is part of Mars’s aim to achieve the use of 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging for its products.

The company also hopes to facilitate a more nimble, digital-first development environment, spanning from design to manufacturing, making the process easier and more efficient for its team of R&D (research and development) experts as the company looks to expedite the pace of progress across its packaging ecosystem.

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Mars is reportedly working to redesign more than 12,000 packaging types across its portfolio to fit with the recycling infrastructure that either exists today or is likely to exist in the future, making it easier for consumers to recycle their packaging.

Mars Snacking vice president of R&D global innovation Qing Qi commented: “In the world we want tomorrow, no packaging becomes waste. This vision will only become a reality by taking unconstrained strides, leveraging breakthrough science, innovative thinking and partnerships to push the boundaries of what’s possible.”

In late 2023, the company published its Net-Zero Roadmap, detailing its plan to spend $1bn to cut its carbon emissions footprint in half by 2030.