Mars Bar
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Mars Bar (History, FAQ, Flavors & Commercials)

The Mars bar is a candy bar made from chocolate, and depending on the region its produced can include either nougat or roasted almonds. There are 2 versions of the Mars bar, the original being from the U.K, and another version sold in the United States.

The Mars candy bar has many fans but is most popular in the United Kingdom, where it was originally invented. The Mars bar has gone through some changes to its ingredients over the years, and when the Mars bar was first invented it used chocolate acquired from Cadbury.

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Mars Bar

History And Information

The Mars Bar was invented by Forrest Mars Sr. in the year 1932, but the history of the Mars bar started years before it was first made by its inventor. In 1923, Frank Mars, the father of the man who created the Mars bar, already had produced a candy bar called the Milky Way, which helped propel his company Mars Inc to success.

Frank’s son, Forrest Mars, was considered to be the black sheep of the family and worked for a time with his father before 1932 when he was then given a relativity small amount of money by his father to start his own candy operation due to their inability to resolve disputes between them. The amounts that were given to Forrest by his father to make his own candy operation have been reported as several different figures, but have been said to be anywhere from 5,000 Euros to $50,000 U.S dollars.

Either way, this was considered a small amount, as Forest, the one who invented the Mars bar, had to begin his operations with second-hand equipment and found it would be some time before he could make his own chocolate without having to buy other companies chocolate to make his products.

Forrest Mars Sr. began his company Mars Limited on May 17, 1932, in the United Kingdom, Slough, a town in east Berkshire. Mars Limited was the first International branch of the American-based Mars Incorporated, the company his father owned. Forest struggled with low funds during the founding of the company and the development of the Mars chocolate bar. Forest had second-hand equipment, a small and cold kitchen, and was sleeping in a room flat behind what little of a factory he could claim.

With as few as 4 employees, Forrest Mars created the Mars bar and produced it in his cold kitchen. Mars first used chocolate sourced from Cadbury, realizing it would be difficult to initially produce the Mars bar or other candy made by the company due to its limited funding.

The Mars bar was based on the Milky Way bar invented a decade earlier by Forrest’s father, and although there were some differences, the Mars bar much resembled the recipe for the Milky Way bar. The Mars Bar was a success, and remains popular many years later into the present, with the United Kingdom being the Mars bar’s biggest fan.

Frank C. Mars, Forest’s father, died 2 years after his son parted to form his own branch of the company and produce the Mars bar. It should be noted that the Mars company continues to be family-owned, and was merged into an international enterprise by Forrest Mars after his father’s death. The workers that produced the original Mars bars were treated well for their time period, with benefits such as pensions, in-house doctors, and newsletters, as well as a cafeteria.

There are differences between the United Kingdom version of the Mars bar and its less sold American counterpart. The United Kingdom version of milk is made with chocolate, caramel, and nougat. The American version of Mars Bar is made without caramel and includes toasted almonds and nougat covered in milk chocolate. The American version tends to be made in limited amounts, unlike the much more commonly produced UK version that is sold worldwide.

The American version of the Mars candy bar was discontinued in 2002, before returning to production in 2010 as an initially Walmart exclusive product, only to be discontinued in 2011. However, the American version of Mars went into production again as of September 2017 by Ethel M Chocolates, a gourmet chocolate subsidiary of Mars, Inc. Ethel M Chocolates is selling the original version of the American Mars through both its stores in the United States, as well as Amazon.

It should also be noted that the United Kingdom version of this candy bar is also sold in some American stores due to its popularity. The original American Mars candy bar was soon replaced with Snickers Almonds, however, the American Mars Bar does have its fan base, thus seeming to keep it floating in the American market.

The United Kingdom Mars bars are often compared to the Milky Way Bar, while the American Mars is often compared to Snickers. Over time changes have been made to the Mars Bar. In the second half of the year 2008, Mars UK reduced the weight of the regular Mars bar from 62.5 grams to 58 grams. Although the reduction in size was not publicized at the time, Mars claimed the reduction was designed to help tackle the obesity crisis in the United Kingdom.

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The company later confirmed that the real reason for the change was rising costs. In 2013, the standard Mars bar was again reduced in weight to 51 grams, a nearly 20% reduction of size in 5 years. In May 2009, the Mars Bar that is sold in Australia had its size reduced from 60 grams to 53 grams, with portion sizes and growing obesity debates claimed as the primary driver for the size reduction.

Mars was the first chocolate company to reduce the saturated fats in its bars to 8.3g per 100g. This was said to be 45% less than the average of the top 25 chocolate brands at the time. Even with the reduction in saturated fat, it was purported that Mars candy bars still retained the same taste.

READ MORE:  Frank Mars - Story Of His Success

Mars has many versions and spin-offs to its mainline, such as Mars Almond and an orange-flavored “Mars Lava” variant of the candy bar that was sold in Australia. Other products made as spin-offs to the original Mars bars include Mars dessert bars and energy drinks.

In 2019 Mars Wrigley Confectionery has offered paid internships to those over the age of 21 that give free candy to the intern from the subsidiary’s brands, such as Skittles, Snickers, and Mars. In 2018 it was reported that a warning was issued that the United Kingdom may not be able to import some confectioneries, including Mars bars, due to a possible threat of increased prices resulting from trade deal-related issues involving Britten’s departure from the EU.

This warning was issued to Michael Gove, secretary of state for environment, food, and rural affairs. As of 2019, it is still unclear what impact any withdrawal or possibility of it from the EU may have or have had on the Mars bar in the United Kingdom.

The Company That Makes Mars Chocolate Bar

The company that makes the Mars chocolate bar is Mars Incorporated via its subsidiary. Mars Inc. is a global producer of snacks, chocolates, food, and pet supplies. The company was created by Franklin Clarence Mars, the father of the inventor of the Mars chocolate bar.

The company is a family-owned company, and in addition to the Mars candy bar, Mars Inc. also invented and produces candy like the Milk way Bar and Snickers. MasterFoods is responsible for the manufacturing of the Mars bar in the region of Australia.

The Year The Mars Bar Was Invented

The Mars bar was invented in the year 1932 by Forrest Mars Sr., son of the man who invented the Milky Way. The Mars candy bar was an attempt for the son to strike out his own with his own creation and company.

The United States Mars Bar VS United Kindgom Mars Bar

The Mars candy bar from the United Kingdom is different from the Mars bar from the United States. Both versions of the candy bar look rather similar, although the U.K’s version of Mars is lighter in color than its darker American counterpart. The U.K version of Mars includes caramel, while the U.S version does not. The American version’s laying of the flavors is also more subtle than the easier to distinguish flavors in the U.K Mars bar.

This results in the UK version of the candy having a more easy-to-identify flavor pallet and the American version having a more blended flavor tone. The American version adds toasted almonds to its mix and tends to be more sweet, like many American chocolates vs their U.K counterparts. The U.K version of Mars is often compared to the Milky Way candy bar. The United Kingdom version of the Mars bar is a bit more solid than the U.S version and is the more well-known of the 2 candy cohorts.

Product Recalls

Mars has had some recalls by its manufacturer. In Australia, during July 2005, an extortionist directed threats at Sydney’s Star City Casino, alleging that up to 7 Snickers Bars and Mars Bars in the Sydney area had been contaminated. It is believed that an unknown but foreign substance may have made its way into random Mars and Snicker bars in New South Wales.

Mars and Snickers were recalled by MasterFoods, the manufacturer of Mars bars in the Australian region, and over 3 million bars of Mars were destroyed. The MasterFoods company gave out over 100,000 of the first produced Mars bars since its relaunch after feeling assured the product was safe for consumption.

In February of 2016, Mars, Snickers and various other Mars, Inc. candy products were recalled in 55 countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. The recall was a precautionary one, issued after a customer found pieces of plastic in a Snickers bar purchased in Germany on January 8th, 2016.

The error was traced back to a Mars, Inc. factory in Veghel, in the Netherlands. The spokeswoman from Mars Netherlands said about the recall that “We cannot be sure that this plastic was only in that particular Snickers,” she said. “We do not want any products on the market that may not meet our quality requirements, so we decided to take them all back.”


Mars Bar Logo

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Flavors and Types

Here is a list of the different types and flavors of Mars

  • Mars Gold
  • Mars Maple (introduced in Canada)
  • Mars Almond
  • Mars Lite (Australia released version featuring “50% less fat”)
  • Mars Red (Australia) – Mars bar featuring half the fat of the original Mars bar. It has a red wrapper with ‘Mars’ written in black.
  • Mars Honeycomb (introduced in January 2013 in Australia . It’s a mostly like the standard Mars Bar but with the nougat being honeycomb-flavored instead.)
  • Mars Chill (Introduced in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. The wrapper featured ‘Mars’ written in white on the label, and turned to blue when it got cold.)
  • Mars Dark
  • Mars Light
  • Mars Original UK
  • Mars Original U.S
  • Mars King Size (UK edition)
  • Limited edition Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest Mars bar
  • Mars Lava (Australia edition Orange flavored Mars bar)
  • Mars Miniatures (5 small fun size bars in the same package)
  • Mars Vanilla flavored (introduced in Australia in April 2012. It is a typical Mars Bar but features vanilla flavored nougat)
  • Mars Fling (Australia edition lite version Mars bar that made to appeal to health conscious consumers)
  • Mars Loaded – (Australia version Mars bar introduced in January 2014. It’s a Mars with chocolate flavored nougat, chocolate flavored caramel and also a slightly darker chocolate coating to go with it.)
  • Mars Midnight. (A version of Mars with white filling inside but it is also covered in dark chocolate. Now renamed to Mars Dark and is on permanent release in Canada, and was on sale as a Limited Edition in the UK, as of October 2009.)
  • Mars Triple Chocolate (Released in Australia as a special edition of the original Mars. It is sold in a gold wrapper and features chocolate flavored caramel and nougat.
  • Mars Rocks (Introduced in Australia and New Zealand. This version of Mars was released by Mars Snackfood Australia in August 2007. It is made of chocolate-malt nougat, topped with a layer of caramel and covered with milk chocolate embedded with “crispies”, whose main ingredients consist of wheat flour and sugar.)
  • Mars 100% Caramel (Released in Australia in January 2011. This version of Mars contains no nougat so that the caramel stands out. It is also available in the UK as a limited edition as of 2012.)
  • Mars World Cup version. (Introduced in England as a Mars bar with the St George’s Cross on the package. It was made to commemorate England’s participation in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.)
  • Mars Delight (A lighter version of the Mars that was discontinued in the UK as of 2008. It contains caramel with a creamy filling and a rounded ridged look.)
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Mars Spinoff’s

The Mars candy bar has enjoyed enough popularity that its flavor and likeness has spread to various Spinoff products. Here is a list of the various Spinoffs of the Mars bar’s brand.

  • Mars Mix (Bite sized Mars candy pieces with an assortment of filled centers.)
  • Mars Thick Shake (A chocolate shake version of the Mar’s brand sold in a plastic bottle)
  • Mars chocolate drink. (A chocolate drink version based on the flavor of the Mars bar, can be served hot or cold.)
  • Mars Refuel energy drink.
  • Mars Extra Chocolate Refuel energy drink (Marketed as Extra Choc Refuel. With the slogan Work. Rest. Play Longer.)
  • Mars Mini Eggs (An egg shaped confection inspired by the Mars bar that is available around the Easter holiday)
  • Mars Ice Cream bars (Mars candy bars made into an ice cream bar version.)
  • Mars Midnight Ice Cream bars (A dark chocolate styled ice cream bar that is a spin-off from the Mars Midnight bar.)
  • Mars No Added Sugar Drink (A low sugar version of the Mars bar flavored drink.)
  • Mars Frozen Dessert Bar (A frozen dessert styled after the Mars bar that contains layers of chocolate sponge mousse and caramel, cover in milk chocolate.)
  • Mars Candy Rocks
  • Mars Planets. (A round bite sized candy containing an assortment of pieces ranging from chewy, to crispy, to soft.
  • Mars Pods (Introduced in Australia and New Zealand. Mars Pods contain small crunchy chocolate wafer shell with Mars tasting caramel filling, and comes in several variants)
  • McVities Mars Mini Rolls (A Mars spin-off product that is baked by McVities and is a mini roll with soft caramel filling and is covered with smooth milk chocolate.)
  • Mars Brownie ( A Limited Edition Mars Bar shaped and tasting brownie. Comes in orange and black packaging in both single and 5 packs.)
  • Bite Bouchees (Small square versions of Mar Bars.)
  • Mars Protein (A Mars candy bar flavored protein bar spin-off.)

Information On Buying

Buying the Mars candy bar can be tough for Americans at the time this was written. You can try checking Ethel M Chocolates retail stores or specific Cracker Barrel stores, and some other locations may have them as well. Mars is not as common as some candy bar products, such as the Hershey Bar. You may still be able to find Mars Bars in some stores however, you just may have to look around a bit.

If you cannot find Mars candy in a location around you then there is always buying them online as an option. Buying the Mars Bar online may also be a good option if you are looking for a specific type of flavor of Mars to purchase. You can check the sections below if you would like to buy the Mars Bar online and also check out the list of stores known to sell the Mars bar for any updates.

Stores That Sell

Here is a list of stores that sell or have sold the Mars candy bar:

  • Ethel M Chocolates retail stores
  • Cracker Barrel stores

How The Mars Bar Got Its Name

There is no currently known explanation for how the Mars candy bar got its name, but it is always fun to speculate, so let’s do that. The Company “Mars” already existed for some time before the Mars bar was invented, so it may come as a mild surprise that the company did not already decide to use the name Mars as a candy bar name to play off and create a connection to its namesake.

However before the Mars company even was called “Mars”, it was first called the Mar-O-Bar company and had a candy bar named Mar-O-Bar that evolved into the Milky Way bar. Maybe this is why they did not bother to create a product called a Mars bar by the time Forrest Mars created it with his new Mars international company branch in 1932.

Perhaps Forrest thought it was a smart idea, as Mars is a well-known name, and his company and parent company were called Mars. Ideas such as this are common, and perhaps Forrest was just doing what he thought was a smart business decision, naming your product after your company. In hindsight it may have been a good idea, the Mars company was already well known with an easy-to-remember name, and this helps keep the Mars candy bar in people’s minds.


The Mars bar has had several slogans used to promote the product and form an association between consumers and the candy bar. Early advertisement posters for the brand show slogans being used such as “Mars Are Marvelous”. Another tagline used back in the product’s early days is “You can do so much with Mars!”.

A more modern slogan for Mars Bar is the longstanding “Work Rest Play” tagline for the product, introduced in the 1970s. A new slogan for Mars was introduced in April of 2015, a spin on their own slogan, with the new slogan being “Put some play in your day”. The shift from the Work Rest Play tagline marks a new direction for advertising possibilities for the brand. A slogan that was often used in the UK was “Another way to make your day”.

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Packaging Style

The mars bar is fairly consistent with its packaging style. The original Mars bars usually come with black-colored wrapping with its name “Mars” generally across the center of the package’s artwork in red-colored writing. Some variations of the Mars Bar have different colored packaging to show they are different flavors. One example of this is how the “Mars With Almond’s edition is more lightly colored to help show that the product has Almonds.

Another example is how Mars Lite has a light-colored portion on the side of the package art, to help show it is the “Lite” variant of the candy bar. One consistent theme among almost all of the Mars candy bar flavors is that the name of the candy, “Mars”, is always red in color and shown in the center of the product’s packaging, taking up much of the available space for the packaging art. This may be to help make a mark on consumers in order to promote the candy bar and the Mars brand.


I used to eat the American version of the Mars bar when I was younger. I always liked it, thinking it was better than the more plain “chocolate bars” out there. Mars bars added something extra to the mix, and I liked that a lot more than just plain chocolate slabs like many candies were back in the day. Now I guess the Mars bar has more competition out there than it used to have. Even though I have more options than I used to, it is still one of my favorites. I have less experience with the European Mars candy but I still think it is pretty cool.

Mars Bar Vs Hershey’s Bar

One competitor of the Mars bar is the Hershey’s Bar, which In terms of market share, Hershey’s has surpassed Mar’s ability to outrank in market share and sales. In 2017 for example, the market share of Hershey’s was at 43.8%, while the market share for Mars was at the close second of 30%. Perhaps the success of Hershey’s has been due to its ability to stick with the name brand and incorporate its new creations with varying ingredients. Mars, on the other hand, has developed its Mars candy bar to be called something entirely different.

The original Mars bar, developed in Britain, was made with caramel, nougat, and milk chocolate. Although there are varying types of nougat, white nougat has four main ingredients, egg whites, sugar, nuts, and honey together. In 2002, the shortly-lived reconstruction of the Mars candy name came about. To introduce the new bar to appeal to more women and youth, Mars created a bar with the same ingredients but slightly modified, lighter nougat, thinner chocolate, and a smaller bar.

The Snickers bar became the most closely related bar to the Mars bar, and soon thereafter, the U.S version of Mars bar was discontinued, while the European version still exists in some U.S stores today. Hershey’s variations on chocolate bars have far exceeded its competition, including the following types of chocolate bars- Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with almonds, Hershey’s Special Dark, Hershey’s special dark with almonds, Hershey’s cookies


Here are the ingredients of a Mars bar, taken from the official website.

  • Sugar
  • Glucose syrup
  • Cocoa butter
  • Full cream milk powder
  • Cocoa mass
  • Vegetable fat
  • Lactose Skimmed milk powder
  • Whey powder
  • Milk fat Soya lecithin
  • Emulsifiers (E471)
  • Fat reduced cocoa
  • Barley malt extract
  • Salt, Egg white powder
  • Glazing agent (pectin)
  • Natural vanilla extract

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving % Daily Value*
Amount Per Serving
Calories 230
Calories from Fat 0%
Total Fat 8.6g 13%
Saturated Fat 4.2g 21%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Potassium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 35.3g 12%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 30.5g
Protein 2.2g 4%
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0%
Iron 0%



Watch some video commercials of the Mars Candy Bar





Frequently asked questions about the Mars Candy Bar:

What year was the Mars candy bar invented?

Mars was invented in the year 1932.

What is the difference between UK Mars and American Mars?

The American version of Mars has toasted almonds, while the UK version includes caramel and is less sweet.

Does the Mars chocolate bar have a mascot?

No, it does not appear that the Mars bar has a mascot. No mascot could be found for the brand.

Who invented the Mars bar?

The mars bar was invented by a man named Forrest Mars Sr.

How many flavors of Mars bars exist?

At least 20 flavors of Mars Bar exist. Not including some spin-offs.

What company makes Mars?

Mars is made by Mars Inc by its Mars Wrigley subsidiary.

Does the Mars bar have a slogan?

Slogans that have been used for Mars include “Put some play in your day”, Work Rest Play, And “Mars Are Marvellous”

Read About More Candy!

Hershey Bar

The Hershey Bar is a square chocolate bar made in 1990. Considered an American classic candy bar, you can read all about The Hershey Bar here!

Dove Chocolate Bar

This page is about the Dove Chocolate Bar. Dove is a range of chocolate and ice-cream products with its origins in Chicago.

Crunch Bar

The Crunch Bar is a chocolate candy bar made with crisped rice mixed into milk chocolate. Read about the Crunch Bar or buy the Crunch Bar by checking out this page!


Whoppers are chocolaty-coated balls of malted milk. This candy was first sold in the year 1939 under the name Giants before being called Whoppers.

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  1. I still long for the original Mars Bar that seemed to last forever! We used to get a slice of Mars bar each day if we were good!
    Why can we not see a limited edition original Mars bar say at Christmas and Easter…..the Classic Mars Bar and at a premium price that would make you a profit?

  2. Hi i think you should bring back the marathon bar was and still my all time favorite i just bought some curly wurlys does not come close been looking for them awhile

  3. What was the year that Mars bars milky ways and bounty and marathons had letter that you collected off the wrappers to make words think it was something you sent off for

    1. This was in the 1970s as I collected them.i am thinking somewhere between 1974 and 1977.i have been looking for details of this promotion luck so far

  4. I have just visited Australia and was delighted to be able to sample Honey comb and raspberry flavour Mars bars. Over the years in Australia I have tasted many versions of the Mars bar and think is strange that these flavours are not available more widely outside Australia. The UK and Europe would love the alternative flavours and the half fat/sugar various. Please consider distribution outside Australia.

  5. I’m british and aprox 1958 I bought a Mars bar that was unlike the usual UK Mars Bar, it was nougatty and I thought much nicer and chewier, I can only think it must have fallen off a lorry ( : …. the US airbase wasn’t too far away and from descriptions here think it must have been the US version. The shopkeeper was extremely evasive when I asked for another the same, describing it in detail, he even went as far as breaking one in half and giving me it for free whilst hotly denying they ever sold different Mars Bars.

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