Who Invented the Milky Way Candy Bar


The Milky Way candy bar is one of those chewy, gooey, wonderful treats that can be grabbed almost anywhere today. Whether you’re checking out at the grocery store or you just have to stop to fuel up your car, there’s a Milky Way sitting by the cashier that is calling your name right now. It’s distributed by the Mars Company and has thrived in culture since 1923. It took Frank C. Mars and his company three years to research the candy bar, but that effort has paid off in many generations enjoying the classic combination of caramel and nougat.

It is actually the Milky Way that is the foundation of the Mars Company. His son, Forrest Mars, is credited with the invention of the M&Ms and the Mars bar.

What Else Did Franklin Mars Invented?

Franklin Mars came from a family that had a love for confectionery items. There were a number of family recipes for peanut brittle, divinity, and fudge that were routinely made in his family’s kitchen and he learned them all starting from a very young age. When he was just 19, he started his first business by trying to sell butter creams from his own kitchen to local stores. When that didn’t work, Mars opened up his first company in Tacoma, Washington, and called it the Mar-O-Bar Company – the foundation of the Mars Company we all know today.

After the success of the Milky Way, Mars looked to create bigger and better things. In 1930, the Mars Company introduced the Snickers bar, which is named after a horse that the Mars family loved. Here’s a fun fact about the first Snickers bars: they had no chocolate.

Just two years later, the third and final piece of the Mars Company puzzle came into being with the creation of the Three Musketeers candy bar. The first Three Musketeers were actually based on a Neapolitan design with strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla all rolled up into every bite. It wasn’t until later that the candy bar was changed to its current configuration of light chocolate nougat and milk chocolate.

With his Fortune, Mars Purchase a Ranch In Tennessee

With the success of his three candy bars, Frank Mars had become a wealthy man. He began purchasing land in Giles County in 1930 and ended up owning over 2000 acres in a short span of time. He called his ranch the “Milky Way” and began living there. Unfortunately he didn’t get to enjoy his ranch for long as Mars died of kidney failure just two years after the introduction of the Three Musketeers candy bar.

Even though Mars may not have lived the longest life compared to other inventors, he did make a dramatic impact on society with his innovations in the confectionery field. Not only can you still find his candy bars available still today, but even the original variations of his candy bars, like the vanilla Milky Way, have made a come-back as well. His legacy continues to live on with every candy bar that bears his name… and they still taste oh so good.

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