Thanks to Lisa Byrnes of Clairemont, I now have the topic for my next CandyBlog! Lisa asks, "Can you tell me why Mars Bars disappeared... and can only be found in dark chocolate English style now?"
After doing some research, I found several possible explanations. Some of my favorites include:
"George W Bush doesn't care about Mars Bars."
"God blessed us with the High 5 Bar and nothing else matters anymore."
"The English can't be trusted to determine what tastes good."
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the above quotes do not necessarily reflect the views of CandyGirl or any of her affiliates. I apologize if George W. Bush, English palates, or the makers of the High 5 Bar are hurt or offended by the above opinions.
While all of these theories are truly fascinating, none of them explain the strange and sudden disappearance of the "original" Mars bar in 2000. But first, a little history lesson on the Mars Candy Company, which I will refer to from here on out as "The Nougat Empire". Follow closely, deciphering Mars corporate history is a little like unravelling the Da Vinci Code.
The Mars Candy Company started in 1911 when "The King of Nougat", Frank C. Mars, began selling butter creme candies from his kitchen in Tacoma, Washington. One thing led to another, and by 1929, the Nougat Empire had moved to Chicago, where they make their nougat-filled confections to this day. In 1932, the King of Nougat gave his son, Forrest E. Mars, some seed money and the Milky Way recipe so that he could start his own candy company. The Prince of Nougat sailed off to England to find his fortune, and began selling the Mars Bar, which we in the States called a Milky Way. The Mars Bar was introduced in the United States in 1936 with a slightly different formula, since the English Mars Bar already existed in the United States as the Milky Way. The United States Mars Bar contained nougat and almonds topped with caramel and covered in chocolate as opposed to nougat, caramel and dark chocolate. And everyone was happy (if not a little confused) until 2000, when the Mars Bar mysteriously disappeared.
So I asked the folks over at Mars, what the heck happened? And this was what they had to say:
The MARS ALMOND BAR is no longer being marketed. Instead we have taken the MARS ALMOND BAR and enhanced the formula to create a better tasting chocolate and almond bar. The new bar is being remarketed as SNICKERS ALMOND BAR.
SNICKERS ALMOND BAR is now available in stores. We hope you will give it a try.
Have a great day!
Your Friends at Mars Snackfood US
While this doesn't really answer the question of why, it does prove that at least the Mars tradition of constantly changing a candy's name is alive and well! But all kidding aside, I decided to run over to the 7-11 across the street and give this new and enhanced formula a try. Let me start by saying that there are several blogs out there devoted to tasting and rating candy with a system so elegant and precise that it would put the best French sommelier to shame. This is not one of those blogs. But my humble opinion of this candy bar is this: if you love nougat, the King of Nougat will not disappoint you in this candy bar. Is it exactly the same as the original U.S. Mars bar? Not quite, but it's pretty darn good. I agree with our friends at Mars Snackfood US - you should give it a try.
And now, a little nostalgic entertainment for you, compliments of Old Time Candy