First Mars Bar Made
Although the Mars company had its origins in the USA, started by Frank C. Mars in the second decade of the 20th century, its eponymous bar was developed and first made in the UK, in Slough.
Forrest Mars Sr. was supposedly estranged from his father when he moved to England in the early 1930s to set up a European branch of the organisation, with just £5000 to do so. He was an innovative thinker, who later came up with the idea for M&Ms and the Uncle Ben’s brand, and he wanted to make a candy bar that would appeal to the British palate the way that his father’s Milky Way had in the USA. The result was the Mars Bar, sweeter and more solid than its forerunner, and with a chocolate coating rather different to that used on the American-made Milky Way.
The product was developed in a small unit on the Slough industrial estate behind which Forrest Mars Sr. lived in a one-room flat. Working with just four employees he made the first Mars Bars for sale on August 1 1932, using chocolate made by Cadbury’s as he had no facilities to produce his own at that time.
Eventually Forrest returned to the bosom of his family company, and introduced the Mars Bar to the USA, though it is thought to sell more still in its country of origin than in America. Forrest Mars Sr. died in 1999, worth an estimated $4 billion.
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