Milky Way (chocolate bar)

Milky Way (chocolate bar)
Milky Way
US Milky WayUK Milky Way
Type Confectionery
Owner Mars Incorporated
Introduced 1923

The Milky Way bar is a chocolate bar distributed by the Mars confectionery company. The American version of the Milky Way bar is made of chocolate-malt nougat topped with caramel and covered with milk chocolate and is very similar to the Mars bar sold in other countries. The non-US Milky Way bar, on the other hand, is not topped with caramel and is therefore similar to the American 3 Musketeers bar.


American version

The Milky Way bar was created in 1923 by Frank C. Mars and originally manufactured in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was the first commercially distributed filled chocolate bar. The name and taste was taken from a famed malted milk drink (milkshake) of the day – not the Earth’s galaxy, as many contend.[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 and sold USD800,000 that year. The chocolate for the chocolate coating was supplied by Hershey's.[4]

By 1926 it had two flavors, chocolate and vanilla, each for a nickel. In June 1932, the Milky Way bar was sold as a two piece bar, but just four years later, in 1936, the chocolate and vanilla were separated, naming the vanilla "Forever Yours," then "Milky Way Dark," and finally "Milky Way Midnight."

In 1935 the slogan was "The sweet you can eat between meals."[4] It was then changed to "At work, rest and play, you get three great tastes in a Milky Way." By 2006 the US slogan was "Comfort in every bar." and most recently became "Life's Better the Milky Way."[citation needed]

In 2010, the Milky Way Simply Caramel bar went on sale. This version has no nougat and is made of caramel covered in chocolate.

European and Australian version

A larger American (left) and a smaller European (right) Milky Way
The US & UK bars feature two entirely different types of filling

The European version of the bar has no caramel topping, and consists of a nougat centre that is considerably lighter than that of the Mars bar. Because of this low density (0.88 g/cm³), it floats when placed in water. This rare attribute was used for an advertising campaign in Germany, France, Russia, Republic of Ireland, Poland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Originally available within Europe only in chocolate flavor, the centre changed to vanilla flavor in around 1993, although the chocolate flavor still remains available in Australia. The bar is also available in banana and strawberry flavors. In the UK, Mars introduced the Flyte bar which is identical to the old-style chocolate flavored Milky Way but only comes in twin packs. Also available in Europe are Milky Way Crispy Rolls, chocolate covered wafer rolls with a milk-cream filling.

A popular child-oriented derivative of the Milky Way bar known as 'Milky Way Magic Stars' is also sold in the UK and consists of small aerated chocolate star shapes. Originally, every star was engraved with a different smiley face, each representing one of the magic star characters portrayed on the packaging. The characters were: Pop Star, Jess Star, Bright Star, Super Star, Happy Star, Sport Star and Baby Star. Recently, however, the characters and their respective engravings have been discontinued, possibly to lower production costs.

Depending on the version consumed the calorie intake is different. For the british version this bar is 130 calories.[5]


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".[6] In 1991, the Health Education Authority and anti-sugar lobbyists both complained, without success, to the ITC that such advertising encouraged children to eat sweets between meals. The ITC agreed with Mars that its advertisements in fact encouraged restrained eating.[7]

However, marketing for snack foods such as Milky Way has altered since the 1980s, with is focus now being the reverse of what it was. Instead of Milky Way and similar foods (e.g. the Cadbury Fudge) being snack foods that won't prevent one from eating normal meals, modern marketing positions these snacks as ones that will reduce hunger at mealtimes and curb the appetite in-between.[8] By 2003, sweet marketers such as Andrew Harrison of Nestle were seeing greater acceptability of grazing, and less social stigma attached to not consuming three square meals a day, and thus the death of the old Milky Way slogan.[9]

In summer 2009, a slightly edited version of the 1989 UK advert featuring the blue car and red car was revived with the slogan, "Lighten Up And Play". There were also minor lyrical changes made so that no reference to the old slogan about "not losing your appetite" was made, instead changing the lyrics from "it won't spoil his appetite" to "it's something that tastes just right". Also, the word "smart old blue" was replaced with "good old blue". Beside lyrical changes there are view minor tweaks to the video, The sign next to the cars at the start have changed from "Lunchville" to "Playville", a signed post is changed from "Dinner town" to "Light town" as well as Red Car eating the doughnut man on a "Eat Me Do-nuts" sign. Also musical edits were made,perhaps for timing reasons by removing the instrumental 'gaps', so the ad was almost pure lyrics. They removed the first few seconds of 'intro' music as the cars rev up for the race, the few seconds before the blue car eats the milky way and a slightly shortened end to account for the shorter slogan dislayed on the lighted board.

The ad reappeared again in early 2011 with yet more edits, considerably shortening the ad. This time it kept the edits from 2009 but now also taking out the second line as the blue car eats the milky way ("it's something that tastes just right".) and cutting straight to the blue car driving away into the distance, thus removing the famous 'peril' scene with the red car falling down the ravine when they come to the broken bridge while the blue car is light enough to whizz over it. Also the iconic line was removed saying 'ooh no the bridge has gone! Poor old red can't carry on!'[10][11] The advert was further edited later on to reflect the fact that it had a reduction in saturated fat, the slogan was removed and replaced with the message "100% Yummy Taste. 45% Less Saturated Fat."


  1. ^ Sweet! Milky Way Bar Celebrates 85th Anniversary - from
  2. ^ Timeline - from
  3. ^ "Milky Way". Trademark Electronic Search System. United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  4. ^ a b Andrew F. Smith (2006). "Milky Way". Encyclopedia of junk food and fast food. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 186. ISBN 0313335273. 
  5. ^ Milky Way Calories]
  6. ^ Daniel Miller (2001). Consumption: critical concepts in the social sciences. 4. Taylor & 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 bue with white lettering this new wrapper was predominantly white (with some blue on the bottom half) and blue lettering. Francis. pp. 84. ISBN 0415242703. 
  7. ^ Mike Johnson (1991-12-19). "Mars wins over ITC in Milky Way ads battle.". Marketing. 
  8. ^ Dominic Rushe (2006-10-10). "Fat chance for food firms". The Sunday Times. 
  9. ^ Michael Bird (2003-06-01). "Choc therapy: Nestle Rowntree marketing manager Andrew Harrison is no stranger to the charms of his products, nor to the tastes and habits of his customers". In-Store. 
  10. ^ 2009 Milky Way ad
  11. ^ 1989 Milky Way ad

External links

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