Food Culture

Power, Wealth, and Food: Unveiling The Real Succession Family, The Westons and Mars Family

Discover the captivating parallel between the gripping world of Succession and the real-life families who wield vast power in the food industry. Unveil the intriguing tale of the Westons, whose generations have skillfully navigated the succession game, and the Mars family, where a legacy of candy empire greatness is passed down from one remarkable generation to the next. Prepare to delve into a world where wealth, influence, and the pursuit of power collide, leaving you hungry for more.

Published on 08/06/2023

Discover the captivating parallel between the gripping world of Succession and the real-life families who wield vast power in the food industry. Unveil the intriguing tale of the Westons, whose generations have skillfully navigated the succession game, and the Mars family, where a legacy of candy empire greatness is passed down from one remarkable generation to the next. Prepare to delve into a world where wealth, influence, and the pursuit of power collide, leaving you hungry for more.

Published on 08/06/2023

With the ending of Succession comes many discussions about the show’s characters, plots, metaphors and easter eggs. All of which will help to solidify the show as one of the greatest of all time. I mean, how can you not like a tragic story about the rich and the famous vying for more money and power when they already have more than 99 percent of us ever will? The saddest part of the show is that there are many real-life Roy families out there. Maybe not ones with members as polarizing as Kendall or Roman or as ruthless as Shiv, but still goliaths in their industries. Around here, we like to bring it all back to food because, well we’re only here for the food. So let’s explore a few families that own some of the biggest food companies that are close to RoyCo Status.

The Westons

Like Succession, most uber-rich families have a long history of family wealth and a patriarch that built it all from the ground up with their bare hands. Nowadays, it’s usually the grandfather or great-grandfather, and the Westons are no different. Their version of Logan Roy is George Weston (March 23, 1864 – April 6, 1924). Who was an American-born Canadian businessman and the founder of George Weston Limited. He was a salesman, politician and baker and built his fortune in Toronto through Weston’s Homemade Bread and Weston’s Biscuits. Picture a man with bare hands, a loaf of bread, and a dream. That’s George Weston.

The Succession runs deep here, so try to follow along. George was succeeded by W. Garfield Weston, who continued to grow the family legacy as he led George Weston Limited and various subsidiaries for half a century while building one of the world’s largest food processing and distribution companies.

Next was his son Galen Weston (October 29, 1940 – April 12, 2021), who really took things to the next level when his father let him take over the Loblaws supermarket chain in Canada. As this grew, he held the controlling interest in Loblaw Companies and was the chairman of Selfridges Group, which he acquired in 2003.

Galen Weston is survived by his two children, Alannah Weston and Galen G. Weston Jr., who ran various entities of the empire. Alannah chairs Selfridges, and Galen held the CEO position of George Weston Ltd. until recently.

I don’t think anyone can reasonably be as horrible or ruthless as the Roys, but if we’re drawing parallels here, Galen Jr. would be the Kendall of the bunch. Only because he recently had to step down as CEO because of the backlash that surrounded him regarding the price increases in all grocery stores. He claimed it was because of the pandemic, but it was really just an excuse to raise profit margins and screw over people who can barely afford food as it is. So that he could stack the billions in play money even higher, sound familiar?

But like any good drama, there had to be a twist. Galen Jr., the Kendall of the bunch, recently stepped down as CEO amidst a storm of controversy. He blamed it on the pandemic, but let’s be real, it was all about those profit margins.

With a net worth of a mere 10.53 billion, the Weston family has played the succession game very well over the course of 4 generations and continues to build generational wealth that will see favorable gains for many many years to come.

The Mars Family

The Mars family patriarchy started off with inventor Frankin Mars (September 24, 1883 – April 8, 1935) the original founder of Mars Inc. who got the “chocolate” gravy train rolling when he invented the Milky Way bar.

The Logan Roy of this family is none other than the candy king himself Forrest Mars (March 21, 1904 – July 1, 1999) – son of Frank, who invented M&Ms and introduced the world to the Milky Way and the flag shop product with the family namesake, the Mars Bar. This legend invented some of the greatest candy ever made, I mean come on, M&Ms!? Although his father got the ball rolling he was really the Logan Roy of the family and the driving force behind the Mars Candy Empire.

Forrest had 3 chidren, get this, 2 boys and a girl (just like the Roys) Forrest Mars Jr, John Mars and Jacqueline Mars. Forrest Mars Jr, (August 16, 1931 – July 26, 2016) the eldest son served as co president of Mars Incorporated from 1975 to 1999. His brother John Mars also served as co president and is currently the chairman of Mars Inc. Jacqueine served as food product group president for many years before retiring in 2019. I’m sure these siblings have had their “Succession” moments over the years but nothing seems to pop out as too drama-y, so it’s safe to say they all avoided the downfalls of their Succession counterparts. They definitely never have to worry about handing out Halloween candy…

The Succession of Mars Inc., now goes to (you guessed it) the children of Forrest Jr, John, and Jacqueine Mars. They are the fourth generation of family members who continue to add to the candy empire giant’s legacy.

Written by Joshua Varkey

A finance and marketing intern at Hungry Pixel, where he combines his passion for food, drinks, and branding to create engaging content. As a passionate storyteller, Josh aims to captivate audiences with fascinating insights into the origins and artistry of our favourite culinary and beverage experiences.

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