Sunday, January 25, 2009

Where Have All the Mars Bars Gone?


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

19 comments:

  1. This is great! I even went out and bought a Snickers Almond Bar...ummmmmmmmm-good. I loved the video.

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  2. The Mars bar is back, yes our original... My wife just bought 4 of them at Wal-Mart, she cut it open and it is the real Mars Almond recipe.

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  3. I just bought another 4 from Wal-mart today, 2 last week. Had considered buying the whole box off the shelf!

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  4. Original Mars bars had no caramel.They were plain white nougat ,with whole almonds on the top,then coated with chocolate.

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    1. Tha'ts the Mars bar for me but in midnight chocolate ummmmmmm.

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    2. I agree people keep saying the snickers almond bar is like the original mars but news flash, it isn't. The original mars bar like you said had "only" nougat and almonds then dipped in chocolate so the taste isn't the same. Don't get me wrong I like the snickers almond but its not the same as the original mars bar and that's what I miss the most. My thing is if it isn't broke than don't fix it:-) all of our classic foods and snacks has been discontinued or recipes change on some of our snacks. I really wish the mars company bring back the originalmars bat. What's wrong with having both to see how the consumer like one over the other. Be blessed all:-)

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  5. Regardless...it is the one that they had been selling in the 1980s-1990s and discontinued for 10 years. It passes as original to a lot of people.

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  6. The so-called almond Mars bar now made is nothing but a Snickers hybrid- not even close to the real orginal Mars bar in taste or texture. Dont fix it if it's not broken!
    It was the best tasting candy bar made. I'd give ten dollars for one.

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  7. I had been wondering, too. What had happened to my all time favorite, chocolate almond bar? I moved abroad from 1974 on. Any and every time I would get back to the States I would treat myself to a Mars bar. I was really disappointed for many years at not finding the delicious Mars bar, the best! Now this is good news.

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  8. I am truly disappointed that the original Mars Bar is gone! It was my mother's favorite. She now has Alzheimers and is obsessed with looking for her favorite candy bar at every store.:( She will not settle for a substitute.

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  9. i love the mars bar and am shocked that i'm just finding out now that it was relaunched in 2010. i was faked out in 2006 when i was in italy and found "mars" bars all over the place. little did i know that the european version is more like a milky way - what a disappointment! now i have to see if i can find it somewhere other than walmart...

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  10. I wrote the company too(it's 2013 now) and also got a response from them, which prompted me to start a facebook group where we could all come together in attempt to save the Mars almond bar by voicing how much we still love them and want to buy them. It's called "Bring Back The Mars Almond Bar Because It's Super Awesome!" I hope to see you guys join me in these efforts.

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  11. I am a huge fan of the Mars Bar. I am not a small man either, believe me when I say I like my candy.....and, I want my Mars Bar back, PLEASE? A lot of people in the south are missing it. Don't get me wrong, but the Snickers w/almonds IS delicious, but it is not a MARS BAR. Hell, I believe we will all settle to just have both. And if you want a vote, then package the two of them together for a real treat to THE PEOPLE. Plain and simple....... :) Bring it back, bring it back, bring it back!!!!!!!!!!!!! David W. Smith~~~Pineville, Louisiana

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  12. I knew it, I knew it. I knew the original American Mars bar had almonds. Someone sent me the Mars bar from Canada, and it just isn't the same. Will have to try the Snickers Almond. Thanks for unraveling the mystery.

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  13. I am glad I'm not the only one missing mars bars next time I find the original bar I'm buying the whole box

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  15. Why not bring the original Mars Bar back, so many people thoroughly enjoyed them, including me. A snickers is just that, a snickers, it's good but it's not the Mars Bar. :(

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  16. I don't like it. It doesn't taste the same at all

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