Milky Way (chocolate bar)

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Milky Way
US Milky Way UK Milky Way
The US version (top) and European version (bottom) of Milky Way (picture not to scale)
Product typeConfectionery
OwnerMars, Incorporated
Introduced1924; 95 years ago (1924)

Milky Way is a brand of chocolate-covered confectionery bar manufactured and marketed by the Mars confectionery company. There are two variants: The global Milky Way bar, which is sold as 3 Musketeers in the US; and the US version, which is sold as the Mars bar elsewhere.

American version[edit]

Milky Way Bar (American version)
Nutritional value per 2.05 oz., 58.12 g (1 bar)
57 g
Sugars21 g
Dietary fiber1 g
9 g
Saturated7 g
1 g
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

The Milky Way bar's North American variant is made of nougat topped with caramel and covered with milk chocolate. It was created in 1923 by Frank C. Mars and originally manufactured in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the name and taste derived from a then popular malted milk drink (milkshake) of the day, not after the astronomical galaxy.[1][2]

On March 10, 1925, the Milky Way trademark was registered in the U.S., claiming a first-use date of 1922.[3] In 1924, the Milky Way bar was introduced nationally, with sales totalling $800,000 that year. The chocolate for the chocolate coating was supplied by Hershey's.[4]

By 1926, two variants were available: chocolate nougat with milk chocolate coating, and vanilla nougat with a dark chocolate coating, each selling for 5¢. In June 1932, the bar was marketed as a two-piece bar, and four years later, in 1936, the chocolate and vanilla were separated. The vanilla version, with a dark chocolate coating, was called "Forever Yours," marketed until 1979.[5] In 1989, Forever Yours was reintroduced and renamed "Milky Way Dark" and later "Milky Way Midnight".[6]

In 1935, Mars used the marketing slogan "The sweet you can eat between meals,"[4] later using "At work, rest and play, you get three great tastes in a Milky Way." By 2006, Mars used the slogan "Comfort in every bar" in the U.S. and most recently "Life's better the Milky Way."[7]

In 2010, the Milky Way Simply Caramel bar went on sale, a version with caramel covered in milk chocolate and without nougat. In 2011, Mars introduced a small size (marketed as fun size) Simply Caramel bar.

In 2012, Milky Way Caramel Apple Minis went on sale as a limited offer for the Halloween season.

In late summer of 2018, Milky Way Fudge, replacing the malt nougat with chocolate fudge nougat, was introduced nationwide.[8]

The American Milky Way bar has 240 calories in each 52.2 gram bar; the smaller Milky Way Midnight has 220 calories in each 50 gram bar; and the Milky Way Simply Caramel bar has 250 calories in each 54 gram bar.[9]


In November 2012, a new print and digital advertising campaign was launched in the U.S. called "Sorry, I was eating a Milky Way". The campaign portrayed the comical aftermath of what happens after someone (off camera) was distracted due to eating a Milky Way bar. This campaign originated from the suggestion that eating a Milky Way bar may be a slow, involved process.[10]

Worldwide version[edit]

The U.S. version (left) and European version (right) of Milky Way
The U.S. and European bars feature two different types of filling

The version of the bar sold outside the United States has no caramel topping, and consists of a nougat center that is considerably lighter than that of the Mars bar. Due to this low density (0.88 g/cm3), it floats in milk, an attribute highlighted in an advertising campaign in Germany, France, Russia, Belgium, Ireland, Poland, the Netherlands, and the UK.[11]

Originally available within Europe only in chocolate flavor, the center was revised to vanilla flavor around 1993, though the chocolate flavor still remains available in Australia. The bar is also available in banana, mango, and strawberry flavors.

In the UK, Mars introduced the Flyte bar which was identical to the old-style chocolate flavored Milky Way, was marketed in twin packs and discontinued in 2015. Also available in Europe are Milky Way Crispy Rolls, chocolate-covered wafer rolls with milk-cream fillings.

A variant of the Milky Way bar branded 'Milky Way Magic Stars' is marketed in the UK, with small aerated chocolate star shapes. Each star is engraved with a different smiley face, representing one of the magic star characters portrayed on the packaging and referenced in the advertising: Pop Star, Jess Star, Bright Star, Super Star, Twinkle Star, Falling Star, Happy Star, Sport Star, Clever Star and Baby Star. Subsequently, reference to the characters was dropped.

Calorie count varies. For the British version, the bar is 96 calories.


Milky Way floating in milk

A long-running advertising slogan for the product in the United Kingdom and Australia was, "The sweet you can eat between meals without ruining your appetite".[12] In 1991, the Health Education Authority and anti-sugar lobbyists both complained, without success, to the Independent Television Commission that such advertising encouraged children to eat sweets between meals. The ITC agreed with Mars that its advertisements in fact encouraged restrained eating.[13]

Once marketed as snack foods that would not intrude on regular meals, modern marketing portrays the Milky Way as a snack reducing mealtime hunger and curbing the appetite between meals.[14]

A widely known advertisement was debuted in 1989, featuring a red 1951 Buick Roadmaster and a blue 1959 Cadillac Series 62 racing while the former ate everything in sight and the latter eating a Milky Way. The advert ends with the now fat red car falling through a bridge and the blue car winning the race. The edited advert re-aired in 2009 removing the claim that the Milky Way isn't an appetite spoiler.[15]

Milky Way adverts in the 1990s emphasized the bar's lightness, depicting the bar floating in milk. The European variant will float in milk, while the denser U.S. version, will not.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sweet! Milky Way Bar Celebrates 85th Anniversary". Food Channel. Retrieved 2012-02-07.
  2. ^ "Milky Way® Brand Timeline". Mars Incorporated. Archived from the original on 2004-01-11. Retrieved 2012-02-07.
  3. ^ "Milky Way". Trademark Applications and Registrations Retrieval (TARR). United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved 2012-02-07.
  4. ^ a b Andrew F. Smith (2006). Encyclopedia of junk food and fast food. p. 186. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 321. ISBN 0-313-33527-3. Retrieved 2012-02-07.
  5. ^ Brenner, Joël Glenn The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars p.174 Broadway Books, 04/01/2000
  6. ^ "Gone but not Forgotten". Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  7. ^ "Emotional Food Ad Slogans". Retrieved 2012-02-07.
  8. ^ Flager, Madison (10 August 2018). "Milky Way Launched A New Fudge Bar". Delish. Hearst Communications. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  9. ^ "Milky Way Nutritional Information". Mars, Inc. Retrieved 2015-07-28.
  10. ^ "Milky Way Facebook Page". Mars Inc. Retrieved 2012-12-30.
  11. ^ atariman1988 (March 18, 2008). "Milky Way (UK) chocolate advert 1993" – via YouTube.
  12. ^ Daniel Miller (2001). Consumption: Critical Concepts in the Social Sciences. 4. Taylor & Francis. Food Channel. p. 484. ISBN 0-415-24270-3. Retrieved 2012-02-07. In the UK at least this was slightly modified in 1993 to 'So light it won't ruin your appetite' and was advertised on UK screens as having 'a new light whipped filling' - after the centre changed from chocolate flavoured to a white vanilla flavoured one - with a cartoonified boy taking part in a science experiment to see how they float on milk and debuted with a new 'reverse' wrapper i.e. instead of just being blue with white lettering this new wrapper was predominantly white (with some blue on the bottom half) and blue lettering.
  13. ^ Mike Johnson (December 19, 1991). "Mars wins over ITC in Milky Way ads battle". AccessMyLibrary. Retrieved 2012-02-07.
  14. ^ Dominic Rushe (October 1, 2006). "Fat chance for food firms". The Sunday Times. Archived from the original on 2011-06-12. Retrieved 2012-02-07.
  15. ^ XxThereianxX (30 June 2009). "Milky Way Ad Then and Now" – via YouTube.

External links[edit]