Mars Bar

Posted by in Chocolate Reviews on March 6 2007 | Leave A Comment

Mars BarA year of Chocablogging, and we’ve somehow managed to avoid reviewing the granddaddy of all chocolate bars – Mars. Well, today I’m going to rectify that.

First off, I do need to explain to our American readers that what you know as a Mars Bar and what the rest of the world knows as a Mars Bar. This (proper!) Mars Bar is similar to – but not exactly the same as – what you know as Milky Way in the U.S. And what the rest of the world knows as a Milky Way is more like your 3 Musketeers bar… which in turn, is quite like our Mars Flyte.

And now my head hurts. It’s all just too complicated for me – but luckily (!) someone has made a web site devoted to showing the differences: The Visible Mars Bar Project

With that out of the way, we should talk a little about the history of the Mars Bar. According to Wikipedia, the Mars Bar was invented in Britain (Slough, of all places) by an American – Forrest Mars – in 1932. Historical documents show that it is the only interesting thing ever to have happened in Slough.

Mars BarFor the first few years of production, Mars apparently bought in chocolate from Cadbury for the Mars Bar because they weren’t able to produce mass produce enough chocolate. Personally, I think it would be fun if this partnership had continued… just think of the possibilities… Mars Bar with Creme Egg filling anyone?

Anyway, the basic design of the Mars Bar hasn’t changed much over the years: Malt nougat, topped with caramel and coated in milk chocolate. And there really isn’t any need to change it, because frankly, it’s perfect for what it is.

A Mars Bar is what you buy when you want a quick snack on the move or an energy boost for those long afternoons in the office. Sure, there are hundreds of similar chocolate bars in the shops, but none do the trick quite like a Mars Bar. It’s chewy, filling and very sweet.

Which brings me on to the advertising… or more precisely, the old advertising slogan: “A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play”. Genius. That’s exactly what Mars does, and you have to wonder why they changed it for a series of wishy-washy meaningless slogans. I couldn’t even tell you what the current slogan-du-jour is. And I don’t really care.

1986 Mars commercial

You see, “Work, rest and play” perfectly describes a Mars Bar for me. It’s a quick, tasty unpretentious snack. It’s most definitely not the kind of chocolate you’d buy your girlfriend for her birthday (unless you enjoy being slapped in the face and having a Mars Bar inserted somewhere painful).

But the Mars Bar along with Cadbury Dairy Milk are the very essence of every day British chocolate. Even if it was invented by an American. In Slough.

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Comments On This Post

  1. And there was that French translation : une barre mars par jour, au travail, au repos et dans les loisirs! I can even remember the way I used to hold it, as in your you tube ad video… Quite sexy!

  2. Thanks for clearing that up.

  3. It’s not as confusing as it used to be. They discontinued the Mars bar (the nutty one) about seven years ago, so soon American’s will forget all about it.

    Personally I think Milky Way is a better name for the bar, because of the fluffy malted milk nougat and milk chocolate coating.

    I prefer them in the mini sizes, something about there being more chocolate.

  4. Ah, good old Slough – actually, Wernham Hogg, the paper merchants in Ricky Gervais’ brilliant comedy were based in Slough.. Damn shame it was fictional!

  5. “A Mars a day keeps the dentist in pay” as I used to say when I lived in the UK

  6. “Personally I think Milky Way is a better name for the bar, because of the fluffy malted milk nougat and milk chocolate coating.”

    But our Milky Ways are fluffy and coated in milk chocolate. They’re like Mars bars, only with a white fluff and no caramel. And they’re smaller.

  7. lol have you tried a deep fried mars bar

  8. Chocoholic123

    mmm i love mars bars there like the twix always on the shelf and you dont think of them until you eat one and think how did i forget this bar!!!:P:P

  9. Chocoholic123

    has anyone tried mars planets? if so what are they like?

  10. freakyfriend

    What are Mars Planets like? My friends all say they’re not that nice cos they’re just like split up mars bars and only taste as good if you stuff them all in together so i’ve been trying to avoid them!

    They sound like a less interesting version of Revel’s too but far less fun trying to work out whether the one you’ve picked out is one of the ones you like (mmmm… coffee flavour!!)

    Personally i’ll stick to the Mars Bar itself

  11. freakyfriend: That is essentially what Mars Planets are. One has nougat, one has crispy stuff (Mars Delight), and I forget the other. But they’re all pretty poor on their own.

  12. Cool site.
    “And there really isn’t any need to change it, because frankly, it’s perfect for what it is.” They have changed it – from this month they’re now using animal rennet in its production rather than a veg-based enzyme: that means an awful lot of veggies won’t touch them anymore (a real shame as I used to live off the damn things :))

  13. chocodude

    mmm strange enough as i am i would love to try a white chocolate mars bar mmm :P..but to be honest i think im standing alone on this one lol :)

  14. ciana

    me love mars…but milkyway is sooooo much better!! :)

  15. Leigh

    these are only good when they are frozen solid!!!

  16. Ray Leight

    I love mars bars and if you eat one with a bag of peanuts ….you get a Marathon….mmmmmmmmm

  17. trevor jordan

    i used to love mars bars until i found out it was them that caused my migranes. what can u do for people like me who would love a mars but cant because they give very bad migranes. email back to me asap thanks look forward to your comments.

    • David Scott

      Hi Trevor, I started eating Mars Bars in the last 2 weeks, because all the supermarkets had them on a very good deal.

      I ate 2 per day, sometimes 3..for an energy boost.

      I started getting really bad head aches and sore eyes.

      I looked into it, and it is caused by the SUGAR in them! … a 58g Mars Bar contains 38g of sugar !!! …no wonder mars bars have a shelf life of 4 years.

      We can’t trust food manufacturers to care about our health, they just want a product that has a long shelf life and maximum profit. It really is disgusting what gets passed off as food today.

      http://www.livestrong.com/article/116901-sugar-causing-headaches/

      • Ralph Gilpin

        Are you stupid, who the hell eats 3 mars bars a day?

        • Bumsy

          …why would it be stupid to eat 3 mars bars in one day ?

          Is there something really unhealthy about them that would cause him some negative reaction ?

          I ate 3 pieces of fruit today, is that stupid also ?

  18. megan

    i hate mars bars!!! but i love mars bar ice cream. so nice!!!
    lol
    btw interesting site

  19. Jim

    I am campaigning to bring back the MARS BAR. Remember? The semi-sweet chocolate candy bar with the little almond on top in the beige wrapper? If you liked it too, please sign my guestbook with any information and comments you’d like to. Here is the link to the guestbook:
    http://www.mars-bars.com/
    If you don’t mind, please include your name and email address – I’d like to show how much support there is out there for this candy bar. Then, maybe they’ll make it again! Thanks!! Jim

  20. ellis

    did they ever make mars bars with peanuts in them?

  21. 4 vegies

    why have you put glucose in mars that sucks i liked mars whats the point in adding animal products in mars.

  22. HELOOOO….MARZ IS PENGG

  23. hemi770

    Bring back the Midnight Mars bar,(dark choc).

    Best bar ever

  24. Dark Chocolate

    >Bring back the Midnight Mars bar,(dark choc).

    Ditto

  25. I have being researching mars for a college project in marketing and i have to find out about there main comprtitors but i am having a little difficulty if ya can help please feel to do so tanx …

  26. Stine Marie

    Doing a bachelor thesis at the moment on the american chocolate industry and I need the price development for chocolatebar prices? Could anyone assist me?

    Thank you so much in advance!

  27. i have just been hearing and seen an advert on television saying that u get a chance of getting a free football i am just wondering if that is true as i have a son that might be interested in getting one that is all i am wondering i am sorry for being so rude with my question sorry

  28. Dom (Chocablog Staff)

    John: Seems to be true – details are here:
    http://www.mars-bar.co.uk/Balls/giveaway.aspx

  29. ViK

    all the ‘goodness’ lol
    yeah right

    its tastes great but its sure as hell aint good for ya!

  30. mars bars are great out of the fridge in this hot weather

  31. chockadooby x x x x x x x x x x

  32. yummy yummy in my tummy

  33. emily & kerry

    bring on a WHITE CHOCOLATE MARS BAR :P

  34. I remembered the time when I first tasted Mars Chocolates, my father brought us chocolates when he came home to have a short-time vacation.. I really love Mars chocolates.

  35. I never in my life have tried a Mars bar,but it sounds good!;]

  36. P.s.,Awesome website!

  37. marie

    can i have mars bar is it ok as i cant have gluten please help

  38. Billy

    Awesome thanks mate :)

  39. Marlene

    Author may want to check his facts. To say the design of the Mars bar hasn’t changed is not true – back in the 1960′s and possibly into the 1970′s, the Mars bar was a flat bar with the almonds running along the top (usually about five or six of them). I liked it better because it had less nougat and was more chocolate and almonds (it wasn’t the narrow fat bar, such as the current Milky Way), but it was wider and flatter. It was SO much better back then – when they changed the shape, it changed the taste. I wish they would bring the old Mars bar back.

  40. Angela

    I just found a Mars Chocolate Almond Bar (tan package) at Walmart in Bloomington, IL. There was a big display of them for 50¢ each. I have yet to find them on the http://www.mars.com website. I did call the number on the package but they were closed but was able to check the packaging date and it was packaged in Oct. 2009.

  41. Anon

    Yeah, the Mars bar is back. I bought two at Wal-Mart yesterday, as did the guy in line in front of me.

  42. Tyjock

    Yeah Mars bars were made with peanuts they are called Snickers!
    Mars Bars came back as of January 1 2010 they hit the shelves and they are doing very well, they are not a limited time candy bar but a candy bar that M&M Mars is selling exclusively at Walmart, you will not find them anyplace else except I imagine Sams Club. It is about time the Mars bar returned because the Snickers with almonds was weak in comparison and for goodness sake the company is M&M Mars and to have stopped making the Mars bar are you kidding? Also it would not kill them to run a commercial or two!

  43. saintd

    I just purchased a box of Mars Chocolate Almond bars in the tan wrapper while visiting a Walmart in Katy, Texas (Houston). Creamy chocolate, whole almonds, soft nugget (like in Milky Way not like snickers)and caramel. Snickers are not the same, even when they say “with almonds”, they are still snickers. The orginal mars bar is better. I used to get one occassionally when I rode the entire school bus route with my dad as a child. They were the wide bars with almonds on top. The wrapper was a translucent pale green (wax paper) material. Mars bar was in yellow letters and cost 10 cents. Snickers and Milky Ways were 5 cents. Same wrapping but with Snickers in blue and Milky Way in green

  44. Happy 1

    I am so glad that they brought back the REAL Mars Bar (tan wrapper). I almost suffered a heart attack in Wal-Mart yesterday when I saw them..I bought three and stored them in my freezer. I will go back and get more since this, I believe, are in limited supply. Plus they’re only $.50. It’s been years since I had one and was heartbroke when the website said the the Snickers almond was the “replacement”.

  45. Christina K.

    Anyone happen to know if walmart has a contract with Mars bars? Although they have been taken out of stores and are no longer available in the US — they are now suddenly reappearing at various walmarts in San Diego, Ca. Only, they are not at any other vending stores…
    Thanks =)

  46. Christina K.

    I posted my comment, prior to reading the posts above mine. Sorry about that. But why contract with only wal-mart? Wal-mart is one of the worst businesses out there. I only shop there because it is so cheap. If I made more money I would boy-cott wal-mart, except of course for having to go there to purchase mars bars…

  47. Frank V.

    Like the poster above, I almost had a heart attack when I saw the Mars Bar in the Local Walmart here in Greeley, CO. WHAT A TREAT! I missed these so much and I have been saying since they removed them from the market that they have always been my favorite candy bar. I now have my girlfriend addicted! LOL. Hope these are here to stay!

  48. Angel Hernandez

    My wife got back from being out shopping. She asked me to close my eyes and open my mouth. She put a candy bar into my mouth, and OMG, it was a Mars Bar. I nearly fainted out of pleasure. We live in Thousand Oaks, CA but the nearest Walmart is neighboring Simi Valley. They sell a package of 6 regular bars for $3.18. I’m so glad that the candy bar is back. I’ve looked for it at other stores but can only find it at Walmart. I’m going to go to the local CVS drugstore and ask the manager to please start carrying Mars bars.

  49. aj

    OMG! A Mars Bar fan club, LOL! So glad I found this web-site. I’ve been on-line all morning searching for the original ‘tan-wrapped’ Mars bars and have been directed all over Europe for a British and Scotish version of the candy bar with carmel filling in a dark brown wrapper. Seems like most of you guys here are now having luck finding Mars Bars at Walmart so off to Walmart I go. Luckily, like the above poster Angel dated 10/09/2010, I’m in Woodland Hills, CA, driving distance to Simi Valley if I can’t locate Mars Bars at my local Walmart. Happy eating :)

  50. aj

    YES!!!!!! Its true, I just got ‘em at my local WalMart.

  51. aj

    Dear Mr. Anderson,

    Thank you for your email regarding MARS ALMOND BAR.

    Great news! MARS ALMOND BAR has become available again as of January 2010.

    You can find them at Wal-Mart stores in single sized bars and 6-TO-GO packages.

    We hope you will watch for them!

    Have a great day!

    Your Friends at Mars Chocolate North America

    http://www.econsumeraffairs.com/mars/ContactUsFollowUp.htm?F1=011356762A&F2=NA

  52. Omar

    This is such awesome news. A couple years ago I was researching this online and disappointed to the reality that the Mars Bar U.S. version was no longer in existence. Now that it’s back, I cannot wait to visit Wal-Mart and check it out.. hoping to go this week, and certainly don’t want to see this item disappear again so I may also be freezin’ a few up like happy1 =P.

  53. Mary Baker

    The “original” Mars Bar in the U.S. did not have caramel; and I loved it! Which Mars Bar U.S. Version do you refer to here?

  54. Saffie x

    I am really not a huge fan of mars bars, I don’t know why, but the chocolate tastes cheap and nasty to me. I would prefer a Daim bar, now they are gorgeous :)

  55. Every weekend i used to pay a quick visit this site, for the reason that i want enjoyment, since this this site conations truly good funny material too.

    • bumsy

      there is nothing funny about this website or mars bars… I sheet myself so badly from eating 3 mars bars one day – it was not funny!