24.09.

1883: The Founder of the “Mars” Chocolate Empire

1883: The Founder of the “Mars” Chocolate Empire
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 24 September 1883
  • Chocolate bars (Bounty, Twix, Mars, Snickers, Milky Way), chewing gum brands (Orbit, Hubba Bubba, Juicy Fruit, Winterfresh), Dove Ice Cream and other candies are only a part of the “Mars” chocolate empire. The Mars Family was the richest American family until 1988.

On this day in 1883, Franklin Clarence Mars, the founder of the chocolate company “Mars”, was born.

The company is one of the main manufacturers of chocolate in the world. Chocolate bars (Bounty, Twix, Mars, Snickers, Milky Way), chewing gum brands (Orbit, Hubba Bubba, Juicy Fruit, Winterfresh), Dove Ice Cream and other candies are only a part of the “Mars” chocolate empire. Further, the company owns Uncle Ben’s (rice, sauces) and Dolmio brands. Their pet products include Whiskas, Pedigree, Cesar, Chappi and Royal Canin.

Namely, the Mars family was the richest American family until 1988, when they were overtaken by the Waltons of WalMart. Today, “Mars” is the third largest U.S. private company. The Mars family is the sole owner of the company.

The founder of the family fortune, the mentioned Franklin Clarence Mars, was born on this day in 1883 in the small town of Hancock in the U.S. state of Minnesota. At the age of 19, he was selling molasses candies, and later started the production of chocolate. He achieved success in 1923 when the first Milky Way chocolate was made (according to the idea of his son). It was the first stuffed chocolate bar widely sold, and achieved great success. It has been successfully sold since then (it is about 90 years “old”). In 1930, “Mars” introduced “Snickers”, which consists of nougat topped with caramel and peanuts. It was named after a favorite horse owned by the Mars family.

When Franklin C. Mars became wealthy, he bought a large farm in Tennessee, named “Milky Way Farm”. The farm had 2,800 acres (about 1,100 hectares), and racing horses and cattle were raised there. During the depression of the 1930s, many workers from the surrounding area worked there. Franklin C. Mars was reportedly a good and generous boss. He was known for helping his workers, loaned money etc. He died at the age of 50, and his descendants inherited the chocolate empire.

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