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Sweet! Milky Way Bar Celebrates 85th Anniversary

Marks Milestone with Cross-Country Bus Tour

Mars Snackfood US announced plans this week for the celebration of the 85th Anniversary of MILKY WAY®, America’s first ever ‘filled’ candy bar. Created in 1923 in the kitchen of Frank Mars, the original MILKY WAY® bar – a combination of milk chocolate, nougat and caramel – sold for a nickel and was an overnight success for Mars.

Originally designed to replicate the taste of malted milk shakes, which were the rage of the roaring ’20s, MILKY WAY® was named after a famed malted milk drink of the day – not the Earth’s galaxy, as many contend. Today the MILKY WAY bar can be found nationwide in all retail outlets.

‘While MILKY WAY® boasts an out-of-this-world taste, it’s true that the original bar was named after malted milk shakes,’ said Michele Kessler, vice president, marketing, Mars Snackfood US. ‘In fact, the brand’s first tagline was: A Chocolate Malted Milk in a Candy Bar.’ While America’s tastes changed and soda shops declined in popularity, the MILKY WAY® bar remained a favorite of candy lovers nationwide. ‘MILKY WAY® truly is one of America’s most iconic candy bars,’ Kessler added. ‘The brand’s classic combination of milk chocolate, nougat and caramel remains as beloved now as it was more than eight and half decades ago.’

MILKY WAY® Takes Its Anniversary on the Road

To help celebrate the Milky Way brand’s 85th Anniversary, a refurbished 1970’s era station wagon will be cruising the country this summer on the MILKY WAY® Road trip, bringing Country Karaoke, family photos and product sampling to fairs and festivals across the USA. Scheduled stops for the MILKY WAY® Road Trip include appearances at classic American summer events such as the Taste of Cincinnati and the Brickyard Classic in Indianapolis.

In addition, MILKY WAY® is sponsoring the Great American Country Tour Bus as it crosses America, stopping at concerts and popular music festivals. Now in its third year, the GAC Tour Bus will stop at some of the biggest country music events of the summer during its 27,000-mile trek across 25 states. Music fans can sample MILKY WAY® products while enjoying music by their favorite country artists.

Chocolate or Vanilla?

MILKY WAY® started its candy life as part of a chocolate pair – the original MILKY WAY® bars came in both the chocolate flavor consumers know and love and a less known, but equally loved, vanilla flavor.

MILKY WAY®'s vanilla sibling has had a long and storied history. After 13 years as a pair, the vanilla version was renamed FOREVER YOURS® and sold under that name until 1979. Responding to popular demand, MILKY WAY® reintroduced a vanilla and bittersweet candy bar under the name MILKY WAY® Dark Bar (renamed MILKY WAY® Midnight Bar in 2000).

Today, there are three flavors of MILKY WAY® bars: the original MILKY WAY® Bar, MILKY WAY® Brand Milk Chocolate Covered Caramels, and MILKY WAY MIDNIGHT® Bar. These flavors are available in regular bars, FUN SIZE®, 2 To Go and Minis. For more information, you may visit www.milkywaybar.com.