Frank Mars was the creator of the Snickers candy bar and founder of Mars, Inc, originally called Mar-O-Bar Co., which is currently the 6th largest privately held company in the world with annual sales of around 21 billion dollars. The company is still 100% owned by the Mars family, producing such popular products as 3 Musketeers, Mars bars, Combos, Skittles, Dove Chocolate, M&Ms, Milky Way, Starburst, Twix, and Whiskas cat food, among other product.
The Snickers candy bar was the second candy bar sold by Mars, Inc. The first was the Milky Way, which was originally thought up by Frank Mars’ son, Forrest Mars, who had the idea of trying to create a candy that was to be “chocolate Malted Milk in a candy bar”.
The idea for the Snickers bar came from an already existing snack that was made up of nougat, peanut, and caramel. Frank Mars added chocolate, put it in candy bar form, and started selling it wholesale. The Snickers bar quickly rose to being the world’s most popular candy bar and has sustained that to this day. Annual sales of Snickers bars today total over two billion dollars.
- Up until 1990, the Snickers candy bar was known as the “Marathon” candy bar in Britain. Upon switching the name to Snickers, as it was known to the rest of the world, the candy bar went from the number one selling candy bar in Britain to the number three.
- About 100 tons of peanuts go into making about 15 million Snickers bars each day.
- Each Snickers bar contains roughly 16 peanuts.
- The pattern on the underside of the Snickers bars comes from the belt they ride on while the chocolate cools.
- Ingredients for Snickers bars differ in the UK vs the US. The UK version lists the following, which are not on the US ingredients label: glucose syrup, vegetable fat, skimmed milk powder instead of skimmed milk, cocoa mass, demineralized whey powder, natural vanilla extract, hydrolyzed milk protein. The US ingredients label includes the following which are not on the UK label: lactose, corn syrup, butter, milk fat, and partially hydrogenated soybean oil.
- A report by the Commons Health Select Committee in 2004 in the United Kingdom, highlighted “king size” candy bars as a major cause of increased obesity in the U.K., specifically citing the king size Snickers bar as being one of the worst offenders, which as they put it, “contain more calories than a meal of sirloin steak, potatoes, and broccoli”. The Food and Drink Federation then released a ‘manifesto for Food and Health’ that spurred Mars Inc to replace the king size Snickers, in the U.K., with “Duo” packs, where the King Size Snickers has been basically cut into two bars. This is so people can now share the candy bar and will now of course not eat both bars in one sitting, “Our king-size bars that come in one portion will be changed so they are shareable or can be consumed on more than one occasion…” As we all know, before it was physically impossible to stop eating the bar half way and was equally impossible to come up with a way to somehow take the one candy bar and split it into multiple sections if you wanted to share. On the new “Duo”, there are even instructions on how to open the candy bar and share it in four easy to follow steps right on the packaging… Amazingly, this somehow appeased some of the detractors of king size bars, who apparently can’t see the forest for the trees.
*(Warning: there be incoherent ranting ahead): It should be noted that a king sized Snickers bar contains 571 calories and is 4 ounces (113 g). A typical sized baked potato, three-ish inches in diameter, contains about 275 calories with no additional elements added like butter, sour cream, cheese, etc. A typical grilled, lean sirloin steak, 8 oz or so (227g), contains about 536 calories. Broccoli spears run about 11 calories per 5 inches or so. So, assuming the leanest possible way to prepare the above (baked and grilled with no typical additives), the total comes out at over 800 calories. Granted, you could use abnormally small potatoes and sirloin steaks and get a lower caloric measure, but the a fore mentioned statement stated a “meal”, so typical sizes for a meal should be used. And heck, if you’d use our ‘American’ sized meal’s, that would be an extra large potato and 12 oz sirloin steak piled on with generous portions of cheese, sour cream, and butter on the potato and the steak smothered in barbecue sauce. *drools*
So while the king size Snickers bar contains a lot of calories, the Commons Health Select Committee needs to learn not to exaggerate for the sake of a media headline; it tends to weaken even valid arguments. Rather than organizations like this spending their time campaigning against things like king size candy bars as a major cause of obesity and trying to get those products banned from stores, perhaps they should spend their time and money teaching people to take responsibility for their food intake and their choices in life, rather than constantly blaming outside entities which are occasionally used in those bad choices. Teaching personal responsibility would be more effective than simply trying to ban everything that has a stated serving size vs. caloric measure which is not to ones liking. *gets off ‘personal responsibility’ soap box*
On that note, here’s a recipe for a Snickers Pie with an undoubtedly ridiculous caloric value per slice (but also undoubtedly oh-so-delicious), decisions, decisions:
- 1 packet puff pastry
- 140g/5oz mascarpone
- 110g/4oz soft cheese
- 50g/2oz caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 5 Snickers bars, chopped into thin slices
- milk, to glaze
How to Prepare:
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F
- Roll the block of pastry to 3-4mm thick, and lay over a 20cm/8in fluted tart tin. The four corners of the pastry should hang over the edge.
- Beat the mascarpone, soft cheese and sugar together in a large bowl, until smooth.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time.
- Add the Snickers slices and fold in.
- Pour into a lined tart tin, and spread to the edges. Pull the corners of the pastry over the top of the dish, and brush with milk.
- Place in the oven for 10 minutes, then lower to 180C/350F/Gas 4 for a further 25 minutes. Turn the heat back up to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and cook for a further 20 minutes until the pie is a golden color.
- Allow to cool before serving.
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