Marathon Bar
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Marathon Bar (History, FAQ, Pictures & Commericals)

The Marathon Bar was a popular chocolate bar that covered a long piece of caramel. It had a distinctive twirled or curly shape to it. It was known to last a long time when eating it, helping earn its name. It was a popular snack but also a bit short-lived as well.

The good news is that you can still get a product rather like it, the Curly Wurly. However, for some, that may never truly replace the fondness that the Marathon Bar has instilled in their memories. You can read further down on this page more information about the Marathon, such as its history and more.

Please leave a review or any memories of this snack in the comments at the bottom of this page. Thank you!

The Marathon Bar


The Marathon bar was a chocolate bar that was made by the Mars chocolate company. Makers of the famous Snickers, Milky Way Bar, and of course, the wonderful Twix Triple Chocolate Bar. During the time the Marathon Bar had a presence in stores, they were packaged with ruler markings on the wrapper. Most notably, in all of the 7/11 stores in the 70s, you would always see Marathon bars on display there, packaged with ruler markings on the wrapper.

Probably as a marketing tactic that made it better for the Marathon bar to get recognized by children and other potential buyers when they were browsing the 70s candy section. The bar has since been discontinued in 1981 most likely because of its similarity to the other candy bars that mars was selling at the time and continues to sell today. It is often said that the Marathon bar did not meet expectations, however, it is a bit ambiguous to what that means.

The Marathon candy bar was basically a flat braid with chocolate-covered caramel. It was known to have had an appetizing and delicious taste to them and was nothing related to running marathons or receiving half Marathon medals. You might think that the Marathon Bar would sell well just on taste alone. However, Mars also used advertising to help sell the Marathon bar. If you knew someone that knows a thing or two about pop culture history, they would be able to tell you that mars would use a character they named Marathon John, portrayed by the popular western movie star Patrick Wayne. Marathon John would often get into battle using the Marathon Bar.

Although Marathon candy bars are not named after the marathon, for runners, the marathon bars are a good energy bar choice. Marathon bar brands are usually designated as the “official energy bar” of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon marathon series. For example, Mars Chocolate (North American Marathon Bar Brand) was designated as the “official energy bar” of the rock marathon series, encouraging athletes from all over the country to accept the promise of the marathon bar in 2012 as a healthy “Rock On”.

Although Marathon candy bars are not named after the marathon, for runners, the marathon bars are a good energy bar choice. Marathon bar brands are usually designated as the “official energy bar” of the Marathon series. For example, Mars Chocolate (North American Marathon Bar Brand) was designated as the “official energy bar” of the rock marathon series, encouraging athletes from all over the country to accept the promise of the marathon bar in 2012 as a healthy “Rock On”.

Cowboy movies were a popular topic at the time, and the movie star Patrick Wayne was used to help garner excitement about the “new” Marathon Candy Bar. Celebrity faces being used to market candy and soft drinks was not as common in the 70s as it is today. Commercials these days tend to be entertaining and humorous in a way that would ensure the viewer would remember their brand through a particular joke or story that the commercial was conveying.

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In the early years, commercials were more informative and direct like a college professor giving a lecture about a subject that nobody cares that much for. Aside from the celebrity that they used to market the bar through television commercials, the bar has left quite an impression on the people that grew up with its presence in the candy stores that they would visit if ever their parents gave them enough allowance to purchase one.

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A unique attribute to the Marathon bar was its non-standard size. The bar never seemed to fit on the shelves the way other bars would in the store since the grocery stores preferred slotting instead of putting the boxes that the bars arrived in on the shelves. This is more organized but bars were placed on the shelf outside of the box that they were shipped in. a bigger bar was apparently a big hit with children given that there was more substance for less money when compared to the other bars that were out there.

It doesn’t have much of a rich history since the Marathon bar didn’t enjoy a lot of longevity. Because of the poor sales performance of the bar, Mars was forced to pull the product from production and continue on making other bars that were selling more than the Marathon bar. This was probably due to its strange structure which seemed to resemble that of a DNA helix. Nobody has ever made a bar in this type of likeness before and it seemed that the people had spoken when the sales weren’t performing very well.

The only thing that the Marathon bar is remembered for these days is are the ads that were used on television in order to inform viewers about the bar. But to no avail given that people might not have liked them the way Mars had planned them to be. The Marathon chocolate bar really earned its name because the bar was known to have taken a long time to finish.

Probably due to the types of ingredients in the bar that made it extremely chewy and hence made it take a long time for the consumer to break it down well enough to swallow it. Consumers prefer to eat a regular bar with little likelihood of having to chew the bar for much longer amounts of time than they would’ve expected.

The Marathon bars are no longer being produced by the Mars company. However, A company called Cadbury seems to be making a bar that resembles the Marathon bar, The bar isn’t sold in the United States given its history of being short of success in the country. The bars are instead produced and sold from the UK which is where the Cadbury company is based in.

The company sells a bar that they call the Curly Wurly, due to its curly construction. These bars aren’t likely to be found in the United States inside of the average convenience store and supermarket. You would have to go to a specialty store that sells imported goods that you wouldn’t find anywhere else.

A nice store to potentially find these bars is World Market. The world market has been known for selling its large imported supply of wine, tea, furniture, Italian soda and a random assortment of candy from countries like China, Italy, and the UK where the Cadbury company is based. The figures and sales statistics for these bars aren’t known since these new bars have gone unnoticed by the public from the average person’s perspective who would casually purchase these types of foods. So there is very little way for someone to give information about how these are selling. But potentially they should be selling decently in the UK if they are selling them here.

If you have a product that is good enough there is no way to resist reaching out to other parts of the world. Coca-Cola has built an empire operating on these principles. Compare that to Pepsi which isn’t known for being as common ad Coke but is one of Coke’s biggest competitors. The competitors for Cadbury are very diverse because there are dozens of candy companies in every country.

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Given that not all candy companies are likely to sell their products outside of their country there is likely a chance that the bar is struggling too far well with other candies in these parts of the world where preferences and purchasing habits when faced with the impulse shoppers instance when purchasing a treat that they never had expected to purchase when the day began.

What these bars lack in history and influential characters that may have participated during its development, makes up for it in the small and obscure legacy it has left behind. Although the Marathon might not be known for its flavor and how appetizing it was when it was being sold as much as it would be known for its unusual shape and form in addition to its television advertisements.

There is a small following on the internet that is hoping that one day mars would bring back the bar. Not just the bar itself but also its elementary school-style ruler print on the wrapper. And its color scheme shouldn’t be confused with the one hundred grand bar which is also produced by the Mars company. This may never happen but these old fans of the Marathon bar can still reminisce of the old days by purchasing a curly wurly from their closest import store.

The Year Marathon Bar Was Invented:

The Marathon Bar was invented in the year 1973. This candy bar first hit shelves in the month of August. Marathon Bar seemed to do well at first, but as time went on its production slowed and then was ceased by the Mars candy company.

The Company that Invented The Marathon Chocolate Bar

The company that made the Marathon Bar is the famous Mars candy company. Mars incorporated makes many different types of candy such as Crispy M&M’s and the PB Max bar.

Do they Still Make The Marathon Chocolate Bar?

Many people wish to know if the Marathon chocolate bar has been discontinued. Yes, the marathon bar is no longer made by the Mars company anymore.

Why Was The Marathon Bar Discontinued?

It appears that the Marathon Bar was discontinued because it did not meet sales expectations. However, regardless of the reason the Marathon chocolate bar is no longer made, one thing is sure many people would like it back. There have been many requests from fans that the Marathon candy bar be returned to production, but as of yet, no word has been said of it being made again.

When Was The Marathon Bar Discontinued?

The Marathon Bar was officially discontinued in the year 1981 by Mars. It is thought that the marathon bar was discontinued apparently due to not meeting company expectations.

Can I Find The Marathon Bar For Sale?

Sometimes production candy is still in stock. However, if you are looking for the name-brand Marathon Chocolate Bar, then sadly we have not found any sources for them. Not the ones actually produced by the Mars cooperation at least. We do however have an almost identical replacement, The Curly Wurly.

The Alternative – The Curly Wurly

The Curly Wurly is basically the replacement for the Marathon Bar. The Curly Wurly looks, feels, and tastes almost identical to the Marathon Bar. In fact, many people believe the Curly Wurly tastes even better than the Marathon bar. It is not made by Mars however, it is instead produced by Cadbury. Cadbury is a famous British chocolate producer, who makes products such as Caramello and Cadbury’s Dream Chocolate.

Recollection Story

I still miss the Marathon bar to this day, despite all the time that has passed. It’s been years since I tried one, but I still rue to the day the Marathon bar got discontinued. I tried the Curly Wurly and I liked it, but there is something about the taste and memory of the Marathon that just reminds me of the golden days as a child. I grew up around the time it was popular, and I was so disappointed when it was discontinued in the ’80s. I was an only child so I and my friend would often eat these after going trick-or-treating for Halloween candy, it was good times.

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Marathon Bar Logo


Here are the ingredients of Marathon Bar.

  • Sugar
  • Peanuts
  • Glucose Syrup
  • Skimmed Milk Powder
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Cocoa Mass
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Palm Fat
  • Lactose and Protein from Whey (from MILK)
  • Whey Powder (from MILK)
  • Milk Fat
  • Emulsifier (SOYA Lecithin)
  • Salt
  • Coconut Oil
  • EGG White Powder
  • Natural Vanilla Extract
  • MILK Protein
  • Milk Chocolate contains Milk Solids 14% minimum
  • Milk Chocolate contains Vegetable Fats in addition to Cocoa Butter.


Serving Size: 1 serving % Daily Value *
Amount Per Serving
Calories 220.0
Total Fat 7.0g
Saturated Fat 2.0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 5.0mg
Sodium 210.0mg
Potassium 125.0mg
Total Carbohydrate 32.0g
Dietary Fiber 2.0g
Sugars 18.0g
Protein 9.0g
Vitamin A 35.0%
Vitamin B-12 100.0%
Vitamin B-6 0.0%
Vitamin C 100.0%
Vitamin D 0.0%
Vitamin E 100.0%
Calcium 45.0%
Copper 0.0%
Folate 0.0%
Iron 35.0%
Magnesium 35.0%
Manganese 0.0%
Niacin 100.0%
Pantothenic Acid 100.0%
Phosphorus 25.0%
Riboflavin 100.0%
Selenium 0.0%
Thiamin 100.0%
Zinc 35.0%
  • *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


Advertisements and Commercials

The Marathon Bar used a unique marketing tactic for its time to sell its product. Back in the 1970’s most commercials were more flat and explanative, more like a brief informative lecture, rather than a mini TV episode as we know TV commercials today.

In order to help promote the Marathon bar, a famous cowboy film star was enlisted to play Marathon John, the Marathon candy bar touting cowboy! In contrast to the slower and dull commercials of the time, the marathon bars advertisements aimed to be fast-paced and exciting.

Marathon John and his arch-nemesis “Quick Carl”, would often duke it out on TV for viewers. The commercials would typically show Quick Carl causing mischief, proclaiming himself to be extremely fast at everything. When Marathon John comes riding in to save the day. Marathon John would toss Quick Carl a Marathon Bar, daring him to be able to eat it fast. The nature of these commercials likely revolved around the idea that the Marathon Bar was large and lasted a long time as you eat it.


Is the Marathon Bar Discontinued?

Yes, the Mar’s Marathon Bar is now discontinued.

What was the reason for Mars Marathon Bar ending?

It was claimed that it was due to the candy not meeting sales expectations.

What year did the Marathon Bar cease production?

Production ceased in 1981, 8 years after the Marathon caramel candy bar was introduced to American Markets.

Can the Marathon bar still be bought?

Everyone wants to know if the Marathon bar is still for sale, but any unsold bars should have expired by now. It’s likely no good Marathon bars still left in edible condition.

What year was the Marathon Candy Bar first made?

The Marathon candy bar was first made in the year 1973, released in the United States.

Who made or makes the Marathon bar?

The Marathon bar was formerly made by Mars, Incorporated. Mars is a major food producer and a major candy distributor.

What is the difference between a United States Marathon Bar and a United Kingdom Marathon bar?

The United States Marathon bar is a long piece of twisted breaded caramel and chocolate. The United Kingdom is a rectangular and much more normal shaped chocolate peanut butter bar, it was eventually renamed the Snickers bar in the U.K. (It was already called that in the United States)

Are there any other versions or alternatives to the United States Marathon bar?

Yes, there is the Curly Wurly, most find this a suitable alternative. The Curly Wurly is very similar to the Marathon, but they do have some slight differences. Mars Incorporated is not the producer of this one however, it is made by Cadbury, the popular British chocolate manufacturer.

Please leave a review or any memories of this snack in the comments below. Thank you!

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  1. Beinng German, i susprisingly do remember the Marathon bar – though over here it was sold as “3 Musketeers” – probably referring to the three strands of caramel. In addition it was sold with a collectible quartet set – three cards per bar, hidden in the packaging (and hard to even get one full set of four, not to speak of all eight). it was sold in 1974/1975 IIRC, maybe as early as 1973, but rather short-lived over here as well.

  2. The marathon bar was my favorite candy bar throughout its time in production. How sales could ever be bad for a caramel and chocolate combination, I’ll never understand. They need to bring it back!

  3. Hi, I was in American bar commercial when I was young. I was a little boy in the middle 70s it was what did you could help me find a commercial

  4. In the uk, our Marathon bar was actually what is now known internationally as Snickers, it was re-named to match the rest of the world in the early 90’s!

    Curly Wurly remains a popular uk snack bar, although it has shrunk in size, but the US Mars Marathon was a copy of the uk Curly Wurly, which was launched in 1970, while the US Marathon was launched in 1973.

    In a strange turn of things, when Mars Bars and Uk Marathons were launched in the uk in 1932, they were originally covered with Cadbury not Mars Chocolate, as Mars UK was separate from the US company!

    One thing I’ve always found odd about Mars naming conventions, is they used the same name for different products in different markets, one example being Marathon, another being Three Musketeers!

  5. If you eat just the caramel and chocolate off of the top of a Twix bar (it peels off if you do it just right) it tastes EXACTLY like the old Marathon bar of the seventies. No surprise since they’re both Mars candies.

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