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History of Mars Candy

Mars Candy has been a household name for over a century. The company was founded in 1911 by Frank C. Mars in Tacoma, Washington. Mars Candy has since become one of the world’s largest manufacturers of confectionery, pet food, and other food products.

The company has an interesting history, starting with Frank C. Mars’ first candy factory, which employed 125 people and focused on quality and value. Over the years, the company has evolved to create products and services that people (and their pets) love. Today, Mars Candy is a global corporation that manufactures products in many different categories, including food, confectionery, pet care, and nutritional solutions.

Mars Candy is also known for some of its popular candy bars, such as the Mars bar, Milky Way, Snickers, M&M’s, and Twix. These chocolate treats have been enjoyed by people of all ages for decades. The company’s success can be attributed to its commitment to quality and innovation, as well as its ability to adapt to changing consumer preferences.

Origins of Mars Candy

Frank C. Mars

Mars Candy has a rich history that dates back to 1911 when Frank C. Mars founded the Mar-O-Bar Co. in Tacoma, Washington. Frank was a candy maker who made a variety of buttercream candy in his home. He was a self-taught candy maker who learned the art of candy making by experimenting with different flavors and ingredients.

Frank was a creative and innovative candy maker who was always looking for new ways to improve his candy. He was known for his attention to detail and his commitment to quality. He was also a risk-taker who was not afraid to try new things. His creativity and innovation would later become the foundation of Mars Candy.

First Candy Bar

In 1923, Frank introduced the Milky Way bar, which became the best-selling candy bar. The Milky Way bar was advertised as a “chocolate malted milk in a candy bar”. It was made of nougat, topped with caramel, and covered with milk chocolate. The name and taste of the candy bar derived from a then-popular malted milk drink of the day.

The success of the Milky Way bar inspired Frank to introduce other candy bars, including Snickers, Three Musketeers, and M&M’s. These candy bars would later become some of the most popular candy bars in the world.

In conclusion, Frank C. Mars was a visionary candy maker who revolutionized the candy industry with his creativity, innovation, and commitment to quality. His legacy lives on in the Mars Candy company, which continues to make some of the most popular candy bars in the world.

Expansion and Growth

Mars, Incorporated has a long history of expansion and growth. The company’s commitment to innovation and quality has allowed it to become a global leader in the candy and pet care industries.

Global Reach

Mars has a strong global presence, with operations in more than 80 countries. The company’s products are sold in over 180 countries, making it one of the most recognized brands in the world. Mars’ global reach has been achieved through a combination of acquisitions and organic growth.


Mars has a long history of strategic acquisitions that have helped the company expand its product offerings and enter new markets. One of the company’s most significant acquisitions was the purchase of Wrigley in 2008. This acquisition gave Mars a strong presence in the chewing gum market and helped the company expand its global reach.

Another significant acquisition was the purchase of Doane Pet Care in 2006. This acquisition gave Mars a leading position in the pet care industry and helped the company expand its product offerings beyond candy and food.

Mars has also made a number of smaller acquisitions over the years, including the purchase of Chappell Brothers in 1935, which allowed the company to enter the pet care market for the first time.

Overall, Mars’ commitment to expansion and growth has allowed the company to become one of the most recognized brands in the world. By focusing on innovation and quality, Mars has been able to stay ahead of its competitors and continue to grow its business.

Iconic Products

Mars Bar

The Mars Bar has been a beloved candy bar for over a century. It was first introduced in 1932 and has since become a classic treat. The Mars Bar is made with a combination of nougat, caramel, and milk chocolate. It is a simple yet delicious candy bar that has stood the test of time.


M&M’s are one of the most recognizable candy brands in the world. They were first introduced in 1941 and have been a fan favorite ever since. M&M’s are small, colorful, button-shaped candies that come in a variety of flavors. They are known for their hard candy shell and chocolate center. M&M’s are available in a variety of packages, from small bags to giant containers.


Snickers is another iconic candy bar from Mars. It was first introduced in 1930 and has since become one of the most popular candy bars in the world. Snickers is made with a combination of nougat, caramel, peanuts, and milk chocolate. It is a satisfying candy bar that is perfect for a quick snack or a sweet treat.

Overall, Mars has created some of the most iconic candy brands in the world. From the Mars Bar to M&M’s to Snickers, these treats have been enjoyed by generations of candy lovers.

Innovation and Evolution

Product Development

Mars Candy has a long history of innovation when it comes to product development. They have been responsible for creating some of the most iconic candy brands in the world, including M&Ms, Snickers, and Milky Way. Over the years, they have continued to evolve and expand their product line, introducing new flavors and variations to keep up with changing consumer tastes.

One of the most significant product developments in recent years has been the introduction of new sustainable packaging. In 2021, Mars Candy announced that they would be transitioning to 100% recyclable packaging for all of their products by 2025. This move is part of their broader sustainability initiatives, which aim to reduce their environmental impact and promote a more sustainable future.

Sustainability Initiatives

Mars Candy is committed to sustainability and has implemented several initiatives to reduce their environmental impact. In addition to their transition to recyclable packaging, they have also made significant investments in renewable energy and water conservation. They have set ambitious goals to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and have pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040.

Another key sustainability initiative is their commitment to responsible sourcing of raw materials. Mars Candy works closely with farmers and suppliers to ensure that their ingredients are sourced in a responsible and sustainable manner. They have also implemented programs to promote sustainable farming practices and to improve the livelihoods of farmers in their supply chain.

Overall, Mars Candy’s commitment to innovation and sustainability has helped them to stay at the forefront of the candy industry. By continuing to evolve and adapt to changing consumer tastes and environmental concerns, they are well-positioned for continued success in the years to come.

Mars Candy in Popular Culture

Advertising Campaigns

Mars Candy has always been a popular treat, thanks in part to its memorable advertising campaigns. One of the most famous campaigns was for M&Ms, which featured the beloved characters Red and Yellow. The campaign launched in 1995 and has since become a staple of American pop culture. The witty banter between the two characters and their antics have kept audiences entertained for decades.

Another successful advertising campaign was for Snickers, which featured the tagline “You’re not you when you’re hungry.” The campaign featured celebrities such as Betty White and Robin Williams, and was a huge success. The catchy tagline has become a part of American vernacular and is still used today.

Movie Tie-Ins

Mars Candy has also made its way into popular movies. One of the most well-known examples is the use of M&Ms in the movie E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. In the movie, the alien character is lured out of hiding with a trail of M&Ms. The scene has become iconic and is still referenced in pop culture today.

Another example is the use of Snickers in the movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. In the movie, the character played by Will Ferrell is sponsored by Snickers and even has the candy bar painted on his race car. The use of Snickers in the movie was a clever marketing tactic that helped to increase the candy’s popularity.

Overall, Mars Candy has had a significant impact on popular culture. Its memorable advertising campaigns and appearances in movies have made it a beloved part of American pop culture.

Challenges and Controversies

Health Concerns

Mars candy bars have been criticized for their high sugar content and their contribution to obesity and other health problems. In response, Mars has introduced smaller portion sizes and has reformulated some of its products to reduce sugar and calories. For example, the company reduced the size of a standard Snickers bar from 58 grams to 48 grams in 2013, and in 2016, it launched a line of “protein bars” with less sugar and more protein.

Ethical Issues

Mars has also faced criticism for its ethical practices, particularly in relation to the use of child labor in cocoa production. In 2015, the company pledged to use only “sustainable” cocoa in its products by 2020, but it has struggled to meet this goal. In 2019, an investigation by The Washington Post found that Mars and other major chocolate companies had failed to prevent deforestation and child labor in their supply chains.

Mars has also been criticized for its marketing practices, particularly in relation to children. In 2016, the company was accused of targeting children with its advertisements for Snickers bars, which were deemed to be in violation of advertising standards. Mars responded by pledging to stop advertising its products to children under the age of 12.

Despite these challenges, Mars remains one of the world’s largest and most successful candy companies, with a portfolio of iconic brands that includes Snickers, M&M’s, and Milky Way. The company continues to innovate and adapt to changing consumer preferences and societal concerns, while maintaining its commitment to quality and sustainability.