This is one of the best-known and most familiar candy bars in the US. The candy bar has been around since 1930 and has delighted people who love nutty, caramelly and chocolatey treats. Snickers bars are still sold everywhere in the US, from movie theaters to grocery stores. This is one of the most familiar products that is made by the Mars company and for good reason.
If you have loved Snickers for years, you probably were not aware of just how long this candy bar has been delighting people who love a good snack. If you want to learn more, we will dive into the details of this popular candy bar’s history.
Snickers were introduced in 1930. The candy was named after the Mars family’s favorite horse at the time. The nougat, peanuts, and caramel ingredients were a popular combination at the time. The candy bar was sold as the Marathon bar in the UK and in Ireland all the way until 1990. At that time, the bar was aligned to be named the same thing as the US version.
Mars briefly marketed another candy bar of a different type under the Marathon name in the US during the 70s, so the simplification of the name was intended to reduce confusion about the products.
When Snickers was first sold, it caused a lot of controversy for the price that it was sold at. At the time, most candies were sold for 5 cents. Snickers were offered at 20 cents apiece, which was held to be a ridiculously high price. This clearly did not hold the candy bar back, but it did make quite a stir at the time and elevated the candy to a notoriety point that might have helped to increase attention on the product.
Over time, Snickers became so popular that it was sold in different forms. There were Snickers minis, a dark chocolate version, ice cream products, and even protein bars added to the lineup of Snickers products. The UK required that candy bars be downsized with the Manifesto for Food and Health of 2004, and the king-size version of the candy was no longer sold there after that date.
The original bars weighed 62.5g in the UK. After this manifesto, the weight was reduced to 58g. By 2013 the Snickers bar weighed in at 48g in the UK. In the US, the weight has held steady at 52.7g for quite some time. Australian versions of the Snickers candy bar were originally made locally and weighed in at 53g, but the production was moved to China in 2010 and the weight was reduced to 50g.
Scotland sells deep-fried Snickers at many of their fish and chips shops and this tradition has made the leap to American state fairs as of the early 2000s. Famous UK Chef Antony Worrall Thompson made a Snickers Pie in 2012 that was rated as the unhealthiest dessert ever. Each slice came in at 1,250 calories!
Snickers were named the official snack of the 1984 Olympics after Mars paid $5 million to secure that status for the candy treat. This launched new attention for the candy and helped to make it an international snack.
Snickers have always been really good at creating memorable and effective ad campaigns and the various different versions of the ads that have been made over the years are readily seen online. There are so many good ads that it is hard to pick just one!
- Milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, skim milk, lactose, milk fat, soy lecithin, artificial flavor)
- Corn syrup
- Palm oil
- Skim milk
- Egg whites
- Artificial flavor
This is a great candy bar as far as simplicity goes and it’s nice to be able to recognize all of the ingredients that are listed!
Snickers bars are made with 16 peanuts per bar, which means that the company needs more than 100 tons of peanuts to make the 15 million bars that are made each day. This heavy dose of nutty goodness has long been the brand’s way to associate the candy bar with a healthy snack that provides lasting energy for your sports needs and brainy activities like studying or working.
Snickers Wrapper Design
The Snickers wrapper design has not changed much in the last 40 years or so. The candy has almost always been sold in stripped-down and rather plain wrappers that are brown in color. The only variance for this color scheme is the unique varieties like Snickers White.
These candy bars are sold in brown wrappers with the blue lettering on a white background that most people would recognize immediately as being on a Snickers bar. When Marathon was sold in the UK, the wrappers looked much the same as the US Snickers wrappers. This consistent branding is much like the branding that M&Ms have always stuck with. Keeping the wrapper the same helps people to know for sure what candy they are getting.
While the wrappers of Snickers bars are a little boring, the branding is immediately obvious and you can spot a Snickers bar from a mile away. Even the minis and the small size bars are immediately apparent in a large bowl at Halloween. People will reach for Snickers before other candies, largely because they recognize the wrappers and know precisely what they can expect from this candy that has been around since the 30s.
There are various forms that you can enjoy Snickers in as well as various different varieties that are sold.
- Snickers Ice Cream products – ice cream bars and brownie ice cream bars
- Snickers Almond
- Snickers Brownie
- Snickers protein bar – original, peanut butter, white chocolate, and crisp
- Snickers White
- Snicker Crisp
- Snickers Peanut Butter
- Snickers Minis
- Snickers bites
- Snickers Mix
- Snickers Hazelnut
- Snickers Crisp Duo
- Snickers Duo bar
- Snickers yard
Some of these varieties are only sold regionally, and the more common mainstay flavors will be the ones that you will be most likely to see when you head to the movie theater or look for Snickers products at your local stores. The unique varieties are often sold online, however. You might be able to source many of these unique flavor offerings from sites like Amazon and other online sellers.
The Snickers bites and minis are sold in the highest numbers around Halloween when they are used for Trick or Treating, but you can get these smaller sizes year-round when you order online. There are also some limited-edition popcorn products and other Snickers flavored items that crop up from time to time for a year or so.
Snickers have always had an amazing ad team behind the product and the memorable and exciting ads that they have made are a big part of why the candy is so recognizable. In the early 80s, the tagline was “It’s too satisfying” and the focus was on the peanuts and the other healthy ingredients that were in the bars. This link between Snickers bars and a healthy snack that would give you energy was made forever at this stage and the ad campaigns that have been made ever since have leaned on this connection.
In the mid-90s, the Snickers ad campaigns used the tagline, “Hungry? Why Wait?” and showed sports figures and hungry kids eating Snickers to get them through challenging situations that required that they be energized and alert.
One famous ad campaign was done in 2007 and featured Henry VIII declaring a Snickers Feast. The commercials were revised and created in a series that continued the theme as the feast continued on. A controversial ad was created for the 2007 Superbowl which showed two mechanics accidentally kissing while eating a Snickers and then proceeding to perform all kinds of antics to prove they were manly.
Mr. T starred in Snickers ads in the UK where he rode a tank and shot at a runner. There were various versions of this ad that ran in the 2000s in the UK. NASCAR was also affiliated with the Snickers brand and there were a series of ads that featured Kyle Busch and other race car drivers.
The most famous ad campaign associated with Snickers has been the “You’re not you when you’re hungry” campaign. This clever campaign design has been rehashed and used since 2010 when the first commercial with this tagline was used for the treat.
This campaign features people acting in ridiculous ways and not like themselves until they eat a Snickers and resume their normal abilities and appearance. Betty White and some other famous people have been used in these ads and they have been lastingly popular. The most recent version of this ad style has been the 2020 version of the ad which used the tagline, “Confused? Maybe you just need a Snickers”.
Snickers have had many Superbowl ads:
Here is an Olympics commercial:
A Mr. T Ad:
Some great classic Snickers commercials that have made the brand stand out: