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What Are Mars Bars Made of?

Mars Bars are a classic chocolate treat enjoyed by people around the globe. Originally created in 1932 in Slough, England, by Forrest Mars, Sr., they have become one of the iconic offerings of Mars, Incorporated. Consisting of a soft nougat base topped with caramel, the entire bar is enrobed in creamy milk chocolate, creating a harmonious blend of sweetness and texture.

Over the years, the composition of a Mars Bar has seen regional variations. In the United States, for example, the Mars Bar previously included toasted almonds in its list of ingredients, which differentiated it from the European version. Despite these differences, the core components centered around nougat, caramel, and chocolate have consistently provided a rich, indulgent experience.

Mars Bars have not only stood the test of time but also reflect the evolution of confectionery tastes and preferences. They continue to be a staple on the candy shelves and a beloved snack for those seeking a sweet escape with every bite.

Overview of Mars Bars

Mars Bars are iconic chocolate confections known for their delicious combination of nougat and caramel, coated in milk chocolate. Their recipe varies by region, offering a unique taste experience to chocolate lovers around the world.


The first Mars Bar was created in 1932 in Slough, England, by Forrest Mars, Sr. Initially, these candy bars were made by hand and have since become a staple treat globally. Traditional Mars Bars feature a layer of soft nougat topped with caramel and covered with a chocolate coating.


Mars Bars enjoy worldwide recognition and have a varied presence across different countries. In the United States, a similar candy bar is marketed under the name Milky Way, which differs from the European Mars bar by the inclusion of toasted almonds in the US version. The demand for Mars Bars is such that the original factory in the UK can produce nearly three million bars a day.


Mars Bars are confectionery delights composed of three key layers: a chocolate coating, a nougat core, and a caramel layer. The combination of these elements creates the distinctive taste and texture for which Mars Bars are known.

Chocolate Coating

The outer shell of a Mars Bar is made of milk chocolate. This chocolate coating provides a smooth and creamy texture that encases the inner layers.

Nougat Core

At the heart of a Mars Bar lies the nougat core which is a fluffy, sweet confection made from sugar, egg whites, and a mixture of syrups. It lends a chewy and soft consistency to the overall candy bar.

Caramel Layer

Directly above the nougat, there is a caramel layer that adds a rich, buttery flavor and a sticky, chewy texture. It complements the nougat and chocolate, making the Mars Bar a treat with complex flavors and a layered texture.

Nutritional Information

Knowing the nutritional content of Mars Bars is essential for those keeping an eye on their calorie intake or macronutrient distribution. This section breaks down the essential nutritional components, mainly focusing on caloric content and the levels of fat and sugar.

Caloric Content

A Mars Bar typically contains a considerable amount of calories due to its combination of chocolate, caramel, and nougat. The caloric content for a standard Mars Bar weighs in at:

  • Calories: 233-240 kcal per bar, depending on the source and serving size.

Fat and Sugar Levels

Mars Bars have notable amounts of fats and sugars, which contribute to the total caloric count. Specifically, they include:

  • Total Fat: Approximately 9-11.5 grams per bar, with varying amounts of saturated fat.
  • Sugars: A notable sugar content ranging around 26-36 grams per bar.

Manufacturing Process

The manufacturing process of Mars Bars is a meticulous journey from selecting quality ingredients to the careful packaging of the final product. Each step is integral in creating the iconic chocolate bar.

Mixing Ingredients

In the first stage, the ingredients are carefully selected and then mixed together to form the core components of the Mars Bar. The nougat is made by combining sugar, glucose syrup, and egg whites. Caramel is prepared by heating a mixture of sugar, butter, and cream.


Once mixed, the nougat is laid out and cut to size. A layer of caramel is then added on top of the nougat. This combined structure is then cut into the distinct bar shapes that will go on to be covered in chocolate.


Each bar is enrobed in a coating of smooth milk chocolate. The bars pass through a chocolate waterfall that ensures they are completely covered. Any excess chocolate is shaken off, and the bars move on to the cooling tunnel to set.


After cooling, the Mars Bars are wrapped in branded packaging. The bars are then sealed to ensure freshness. Finally, they are boxed and ready to be shipped to stores worldwide.


Mars Bars have diversified over time to cater to various tastes and preferences, with their range expanding in both size and flavor.

Different Sizes

  • Miniature Version: A smaller, bite-size option at 19.7 grams, suitable for a quick treat.
  • Snack Time Version: Slightly larger than the miniature, these bars weigh in at 36.5 grams.
  • Regular: The standard Mars Bar typically weighs 58 grams.
  • King-Size: For those with a bigger sweet tooth, the king-size Mars Bar weighs 84 grams.

Flavor Variants

Original (UK): Caramel and nougat enrobed in milk chocolate.
Mars Almond (US): Featuring nougat and toasted almonds covered in milk chocolate.
besides these, Mars Bars occasionally introduce other limited-edition flavors that may include spice-infused variants, fruit flavors, or the combination of different types of chocolate.

Global Availability

Mars Bars have unique recipes depending on where they are sold, reflecting regional tastes and preferences. The formulation can vary significantly, affecting the taste and texture of this popular chocolate bar.

Regional Differences

In the United States, Mars Bars originally included nougat and toasted almonds without caramel, but later caramel was added. The Mars Bar known in the U.S. is similar to the Mars Almond bar found elsewhere. It was temporarily discontinued but has since been reintroduced with the original ingredients. Outside of the United States, particularly in Europe, Mars Bars traditionally comprise nougat and caramel enrobed in milk chocolate, much like the American Milky Way.

Export Markets

Mars Bars are distributed globally and enjoy popularity across various continents. The brand tailors its products for the export markets to align with local tastes. This means that a Mars Bar purchased in one country might have a slightly different taste or texture from those found in another due to these regional recipe adjustments. They are exported from countries of manufacture to over 180 countries worldwide, allowing consumers from different regions to enjoy this treat, regardless of the slight variations in their composition.