Snickers is a chocolate bar made by Mars, Incorporated. It consists of peanut butter nougat topped with roasted peanuts and caramel covered with milk chocolate. Snickers is the best selling chocolate bar of all time and has annual global sales of US$2 billion.
The original Snickers was formerly sold as Marathon in the UK and Ireland. More recently, Snickers Marathon branded nutrition bars have been sold in some markets. In May 2008, Mars, Incorporated was rumoured to temporarily re-launch the Marathon bar.
In 1930, the Mars family introduced its second product, Snickers, named after one of their favorite horses.
In the early 2000s, deep fried chocolate bars (including Snickers, and Mars bars) became popular at U.S. state fairs and also in Australia, although they had been a local speciality in some Scottish fish and chip shops since at least the mid-1990s in spite of containing over 850 calories per bar when prepared in this fashion.
In 2006, the UK Food Commission highlighted celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson's "Snickers pie, which contained five Snickers bars among other ingredients, suggesting it was one of the unhealthiest desserts ever; one slice providing "over 1,250 calories from sugar and fat alone", more than half a day's requirement for an average adult. The pie had featured on his BBC Saturday programme some two years earlier and the chef described it as an occasional treat only.
Renaming in UK and Ireland
In the UK and Ireland, it was originally sold under the name "Marathon". Mars standardised many of its global brand names and the name was changed to Snickers in 1990. For 18 months before the name changed, the words "Internationally known as Snickers" were printed on the side of the Marathon wrapper. Following the name change, the bar moved from being Britain's ninth most popular bar to the third most popular.
A replacement for the king size Snickers bar, was launched in the UK in 2004, and designed to conform to the September 2004 Food and Drink Federation
(FDF) 'Manifesto for Food and Health'. Part of the FDF manifesto was seven pledges of action to encourage the food and drink industry to be more health conscious. Reducing portion size, clearer food labels, reduction of the levels of fat, sugar and salt were among the FDF pledges. Mars Incorporated pledged to phase out their king-size bars in 2005 and replace them with shareable bars. A Mars spokesman said: "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. The name king-size will be phased out."
These were eventually replaced by the 'Duo', a twin bar pack. Duos are the same weight as the king-size but split into two bars, the idea of which is to share or save one bar for another time. The packaging even has step-by-step picture instructions of how to open your 'Duo' into two bars, in four easy-to-follow actions. As Mars stated fulfillment of their promise, the Duo format was met with criticism by the National Obesity Forum and National Consumer Council.
In July 2005, tens of thousands of Snickers and Mars Bars
were removed from New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory store shelves due to a series of threatening letters which resulted in fears the chocolate bars had been poisoned. Mars received letters from an unidentified individual indicating that he planned to distribute poisoned chocolate bars to store shelves. The last letter he sent included a Snickers bar contaminated with a substance which was not identified. The letters claimed that there were seven additional chocolate bars which had been tampered with which were for sale to the public. As a precautionary measure, Mars issued the massive recall. Mars said that there had been no demand for money, only complaints directed to an unidentified third party.
Snickers ingredients are milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, skimmed milk, lactose, milkfat, soy lecithin, artificial flavor), peanuts, corn syrup, sugar, skim milk, butter, milkfat, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, lactose, salt, egg whites and artificial flavor.
- 1970 Snickers Munch
- 1989 Snickers Ice Cream bar
- 1996 Snickers Ice Cream cone
- 2001 Snickers Cruncher bar (rebranded Snickers Munch in some markets, still sold as "Cruncher" in the UK, Poland, Latvia, Austria, Slovakia, Sweden and the Netherlands)
- 2002 Snickers Almond bar
- 2004 Snickers Marathon energy bars (see below)
- 2006 Snickers Duo (see below)
- 2006 Snickers Xtreme (5 grams of protein per serving, lack of nougat)
- 2007 Snickers Dark (dark chocolate)
- 2008 Snickers Charged (B12 vitamins, Extra Caffeine)
- 2008 Snickers The Lot (Crispy pieces in a thick cream, caramel, sprinkled with heaps of nuts, covered in chocolate (Australia Only))
- Snickers Flapjack
- Peanut Butter Snickers
- Snickers Gold
- Snickers Cake
- Snickers Ice Cream (brownies, bars, tubs, and cones)
- Snickers Nut N Butter Crunch
- Snickers Crazy Peanuts (limited edition, sold in Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia)
- Snickers Hard (limited edition, sold in Armenia, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia)
- Snickers 220 V (limited edition, contains guarana and L-carnitine, sold in 2007 in Slovakia and Poland)
- Snickers P'opables
- Snickers Hazelnut (Australia, Poland, Duo bar)
- Snickers Maximus (limited edition, extra chewy caramel, no nougat, sold in New Zealand only)
- Snickers miniatures in Celebrations
- Snickers Charged (limited edition, contains caffeine, taurine and B vitamins)
- Snickers Maple (limited edition, sold in Canada only)
- Snickers Adventure Bar (limited edition, sold as Indiana Jones promotion, chocolate, nuts, spice, and coconut flavor)
- Snickers Rockin' Nut Road (limited edition, contains almonds, caramel, marshmallow flavored nougat, dark chocolate)
- Snickers The Lot (Crispy pieces in a thick cream, caramel, sprinkled with heaps of nuts, covered in chocolate (Australia Only))
Super Bowl XLI commercial
On February 4
, during Super Bowl XLI
, Snickers commercials aired which resulted in complaints by gay and lesbian groups against the maker of the candy bar, Masterfoods USA of Hackettstown, New Jersey
, a division of Mars, Incorporated
. The commercial, which had four alternate endings, showed a pair of auto mechanics accidentally touching lips while sharing a Snickers bar. Realizing that they "accidentally kissed", they, in three of the four versions, "do something manly" (mostly in the form of injury, including tearing out chest hair, striking each other with a very large pipe wrench
, and drinking motor oil
and windshield washer fluid
). In the fourth version, a third mechanic shows up and asks if there is "room for three in this Love Boat
The website for the commercials, since taken down, also featured Super Bowl players viewing the commercials and reacting with disgust to the "kiss". The website said that the commercials would be aired during the upcoming Daytona 500. Complaints were lodged against Masterfoods that the ads were homophobic. Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese is quoted as saying
"This type of jeering from professional sports figures at the sight of two men kissing fuels the kind of anti-gay bullying that haunts countless gay and lesbian school children on playgrounds all across the country." Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
(GLAAD) president Neil Giuliano
said "That Snickers, Mars and the NFL would promote and endorse this kind of prejudice is simply inexcusable." Masterfoods has since pulled the ads and the website.
In 2008, a UK television commercial in which Mr T
fires Snickers bars at a racewalker
for being a "disgrace to the man race" was pulled after complaints from a US pressure group that the advertisement was homophobic.
Snickers in NASCAR
Snickers (and the rest of the M&M/Mars affiliated candies and brands) currently sponsor Kyle Busch's #18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Prior to that the brand served as a primary sponsor for Ricky Rudd's #88 Robert Yates Racing Ford as well as an associate sponsor for the team's #38 car driven first by Elliott Sadler and then by David Gilliland, and an associate sponsor for the MB2 Motorsports #36 Pontiac driven by Derrike Cope, Ernie Irvan, Ken Schrader, and others.