Marathon Bars: History with Pictures and Commercials

How many of you remember the Marathon Bars? If you do then we have something in common for today’s discussion, if not then this post is for your knowledge. Marathon Bar was a caramel chocolate bar from Mars confectionery. It was quite popular, especially for the quality, quantity, and the length of caramel bar. I was late to the party though my uncle told me about the true experience of this caramel chocolate bar. Marathon Bar was originally sold in the UK as a solid Caramel Chocolate bar. In Us, the brand changes its structure into a unique helix DNA-like structure. This is strange and very unique about MArs products. The company usually keeps similar make to different products in different countries. Instead of changing the name, they just swap it with another brand name in their international range.

Marathon bar-retro

The US version of Marathon Bar was an 8-inch long braided caramel bar covered in milk chocolate. It was delicious and really unique in shape. The hole between the Helix structure is strange and eye-catching. It had short 8-year market life that ends in 1981. Still, many people remember this delicious caramel chocolate bar.

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What year was the Marathon Candy Bar first made?

The Marathon Bar was first sold in the United States in 1973. Although it was available in the UK markets since the 1940s with significant differences.

Who made the Marathon bar?

Mars Incorporated made the Marathon Bars. Mars is a renowned candy distributer all across the globe. It is well known for Snickers Bar or The Twix candy.

What is the difference between the United States and a United Kingdom Marathon bar?

The Marathon Bar was very different in the US than in the UK. In the UK it was made as a solid caramel chocolate bar. The rectangular shape is similar to most other bars available at the same time. It was soft, sweet, and chewy. The UK Marathon bar was really a mouthful of goodness. It was popular and you can still buy these by the name of Snickers all across the globe. Although the taste and texture may differ from the original Marathon Bar.

The situation was different in the United States. Mars launched Marathon Bar in the US in 1973, though it was nothing like its UK variant. In the states, Marathon was sold as a twisted caramel chocolate candy bar. This was was unique due to its strange Helix or DNA-like shape. The bar has holes in it and it’s kind of confusing. The shape has nothing to add to the quality or taste, it’s there just for the appearance.

Marathon Bar Logo

The official logo of Marathon Bar denotes the name in Bold Capitalise font. The Brown wrapper has a slant rectangular box. The box has a red border and a white background. Inside the Box, the Title “MARATHON” is labeled in Bule color. Overall this is pretty simple and easy to remind even after decades.

Some of you may also remember the old Orange Title logo. It was the one used in early wrappers of the US version of Marathon.

Images of Marathon Bar

The Marathon Bar’s History

The history of the Marathon bar dates back to the early 1900s. This was the time when caramel chocolate bars were gaining popularity. Manufacturers were trying different combinations to perfect their recipes. The candy industry was just earning enough recognition and here comes the Mars candy Company.

The Mars Candy company starts working with caramel and chocolate as prime ingredients in their products. At first, their products were solely designed for targeted British consumers. They use strong dark and sweet milk chocolate with soft gooey caramel. This journey gives birth to the Marathon Bar in the UK around mid-1940.

The UK version of Marathon is a simple rectangular caramel chocolate bar sometimes filled with nuts and peanut butter. The popularity of marathons in the UK makes creators pursue the international market, especially the US. Here they already have products similar to their marathon version. Hence they decide to invent a new bar and brand it as Marathon in the United States.

They introduce a new Marathon bar in the US in 1973. The US version of Marathon was entirely different. It was an 8-inch long braided caramel chocolate bar. Instead of a solid bar, they used a braided bar with holes. This chocolate bar has a unique Helix or DNA shape.

It became popular in its initial years although soon lack sales. Later the drop in demand caused a loss in sales. This is the reason the brand failed to fulfill the expectation and eventually ceased production in 1981.


The Year Marathon Bar Was Invented

The marathon bar was invented and introduced in the US market in late 1973. It was scheduled to hit the selves early during easter that year, but for some reason, they postponed and decided to launch in August. It was the perfect timing for the upcoming Thanksgiving and Halloween holiday seasons. The initial sales were quite good and affirmative as per the expectations of Mars company. They were hoping to expand the sales and reach all over the country within a decade. But unfortunately, the demand declined by the early 80s and soon the company decides to stop its production ins 1981.

Apart from that The Mars command had the Marathon brand name used in several bars all over the world. It was present in the UK market since the early 1940s as a soft chewy caramel chocolate bar. Today, We all know this bar as Snickers.

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The Company that Invented The Marathon Chocolate Bar

The Mars candy Company invented the Marathon chocolate Bar. Mars is a well-known name in the food and confectionary industry. Many of the popular candy and chocolate brands are related to the Mars industries. You can name a few of those as M&Ms, Snickers, PB Max, Twix, and many more. Marathon was just one in their huge confectionery and chocolate range.

In the UK they sold a solid caramel chocolate bar by the name Marathon. Whereas in the states it was a braided 8-inch long chewy caramel chocolate bar. It was the specialty of Mars to reuse the same brand names for different products worldwide. Latter they rebrand Marathon as Snickers all across the globe.

Do They Still Make The Marathon Chocolate Bar?

Marathon bar fans are still waiting for the return of this delicious bar since 1981. Unfortunately, Mars/Wrigley stops its production in the US in 1981 and they blame the drop in demand as a reason.  The marathon bar is now out of the market for almost 4 decades. Those who enjoyed the original versions still share their sweet memories. Although for me The new Snickers and Curly Wurly bars do the job.

They don’t make the marathon bars now though much like any of its fans, I wish for the return of Marathon bars in the united states. Although I would prefer a long solid caramel chocolate bar instead of a braided one with holes.

Why Was The Marathon Bar Discontinued?

The demands for the Marathon Bars decline too much by the late 1970s. New chocolate bars were introduced and people get more options the variety also brings competition in price and taste. All of these reasons force Mars company to stop the production of Marathon in the United States by mid-1981.

The company claims the drop in sales is the main reason for the discontinuation of Marathon Bars. The sale did not meet expectations and they had to stop production eventually.

When Was The Marathon Bar Discontinued?

Mars company has already introduced many delicious Chocolate and candies by the 1980s. Some of which are still quite popular. This was the time when the marathon brand starts facing severe competition from some of its fellow brands and a few other companies. The strange look and loss of public exposure both contributed to its decline which eventually leads to the discontinuation of Marathon Bar in 1981. The company said that the brand failed to meet the expectation. This explanation is still countered by many fans and it seems incomplete to explain the true reasons.

Can I Find The Marathon Bar For Sale?

No, You can’t. If someone is still selling those Chocolate Bars then either it is fake or they have somehow stored the bar for decades which is useless. Even if someone shows you the bar it is sure to be expired years ago. So there is no point in searching for a Marathon bar now. Instead, you can try the Snickers bar for the taste and texture or the Curly Wurly by Cadbury especially if you like the unique Helix shape of Marathon bars.

Marathon Bar Ingredients

The main Ingredient in the Marathon bar is Caramel and Chocolate. The Caramel consists of sugar, salt, glucose syrup, corn syrup, and a few other things. The Chocolate is basically Milk chocolate with cocoa butter and milk powder. This has a significant amount of lactose and soy lectin.

The complete list of ingredients in a Marathon bar includes-

  • Crystal Sugar & Salt
  • Roasted Peanuts & Butter
  • Glucose Syrup
  • Skimmed Milk Powder
  • Cocoa Butter & Cocoa Mass
  • Sunflower Oil, Coconut Oil, Palm oil Fat
  • Lactose from Milk Powder
  • Whey Protein
  • Milk Protein and Fat
  • Emulsifier (SOYA Lecithin)
  • EGG White Powder
  • Natural Vanilla Extract
  • Milk Chocolate with a minimum of 14% Solids, Vegetable Fats and Cocoa Butter.

Marathon Bar Nutrition

The Marathon bar was a chewy caramel chocolate bar. It contains a significant amount of sugar along with peanut and cocoa butter. Milk and whey proteins are also an essential part of this mix. So if you are hungry or need instant energy then something like a marathon bar is required. Keep a couple of these in your bag. Grab one whenever you feel hungry or crave a little sweetness.

  • Calories 200
  • Total Fat 7.0g
  • Saturated Fat 2.0g
  • Cholesterol 5.0g
  • Sodium 210.0mg
  • Potassium 125.0mg
  • Total carbohydrate 32.0g
  • Dietary Fiber 2.0g
  • Sugar 18.0g
  • Protein 9.0g

Additional Nutrients

  • Vitamin A 35%
  • Vitamin B-12 100%
  • Vitamin C 100%
  • Vitamin E 100%
  • Calcium 45%
  • Iron 35%
  • Magnesium 35%
  • Niacin 100%
  • Pantothenic Acid 100%
  • Phosphorus 25%
  • Riboflavin 100%
  • Thiamin 100%
  • Zinc 35%

The percentage value is based on the average daily requirement of 2000 calories. The specific requirement may differ from one person to another.

The Marathon Bar’s Advertisements

It was the commercials that made the Marathon bars popular even in its short span. The Ads show actors eating the bar with time and patience. It’s a hook to present a sense of length, smoothness, chewiness, taste, and even texture subconsciously to every viewer. They just feel the flavors and this makes it important just to have a bite.

In the 70s the usual commercial ads were straight-line deliveries just like reading a note. On contrary to that Mars always made advertisements that show a story and create a bond or relationship with the viewer. This technique is very useful in promotions.  There were a few commercials made for Marathon Bars in the 70s and early 80s. We have a few to show, and enjoy.

The quick pace of deliveries of lines and presentations made by popular cowboy actors has a significant impact on the sale of the Marathon bar. They usually create a story of two competitors namely the Marathon Jon and Quick carl. Their story usually revolves around the speed competitions where marathon asks quick carl to finish the bar. The intention of the story was to create a sense of longevity in the bar. They present the caramel chocolate bar for its full length and chewiness. And it somehow works.

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Is the Marathon Bar Discontinued?

The Marathon Bar was Discontinued in 1981 in the US. In the UK it continued till the 90s. Latter the Marathon bar was rebranded by the name Snickers. Snicker bar is still one of the most popular chocolate caramel bars in the market. The Marathon bar is gone but if you want something similar then try on the Cadbury Curly Wurly.

What was the reason for Mars Marathon Bar ending?

Unfortunately, the drop in sales and reduction in demand is the main reason for the ending of Mars Marathon Bars. The Marathon bar fans are still hoping for its return. They find it strange that the drop in demand is responsible for the discontinuation of Marathon Bars.

What year did the Marathon Bar cease production?

The Marathon Bar starts selling in the US in 1973 and it discontinues after 8 years in 1981. The brand remains in sale until the mid-90s in the UK. Although the product is nothing similar to that in the US. Latter the entire range adopts Snickers as an official name replacing Marathon from selves. Snickers were already popular in the US and all across the globe.

Can the Marathon bar still be bought?

Nope, you can’t buy the marathon bars now. These caramel Chocolate bars are out from every self since 1981. So it is hard even to find a proper wrapper in condition after 4 decades. Don’t worry if you want something with a similar look and texture then try the Cadbury Curly Wurly or for a change, a sold caramel peanut bar like Snicker may fill your needs.

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