Jakarta, Armfalcon.com – You must be familiar with chocolate candy from the United States, M&M Chocolate. The popularity of M&M Chocolate clearly contributes to the wealth of its owner, who else if not the Mars Family which is included in the list of the richest families in the world.
Indeed, this family’s income is not only from M&M Chocolate, because Mars Inc also produces products that are also familiar to your ears such as Snickers, Doublemint, to pet food products such as Pedigree and Whiskas.
Curious about how the Mars family founded this chocolate product? Summarized from various sources, here’s the inspirational story behind M&M chocolate.
Starting from a Polio boy
Mars Inc. was founded by Franklin Clarence Mars alias Frank Mars, a boy with polio from Minnesota who was born in 1882.
Frank’s mother, Alva, once taught her son how to make dipping chocolate. At the age of 19, young Frank had started working selling molasses.
Frank married Ethel G. Kissack in 1902. The two had a son, Forrest Mars. It’s a shame the two have to part. Frank remarried to a woman named Ethel Veronica Healy.
Together with his second wife, Frank founded the Mars candy factory in Washington. It’s a shame they were unable to compete with Brown & Haley, which had already established a similar business.
This failure made the Mars family move to Minnesota in 1920. There they opened another business, this time a chocolate candy called Mar-O-Bar Co. This company became the forerunner of the M&M Chocolate producer.
This business was also successful. One of their mainstay products is chocolate branded Milky Way which is loved by children.
Three years later, Frank and Ethel began introducing their son, Forrest, to their business.
Frank Mars dies
In 1930, the Mars family moved to Chicago. There they succeeded in making a new flagship product called Snickers. This product is also quite popular.
Four years after Snickers launched, Frank Mars passed away. The company was passed on to Forrest Mars.
After becoming the tallest person in the company, Forrest had time to go to England to learn new things. Returning from England, he founded Uncle Ben’s Rice, a dog food manufacturer, Pedigree.
M&M Chocolate was born in 1941
Right in 1941 or just before World War II, Forrest introduced M&M Chocolate, a chocolate that became legendary today. M&M Chocolate was inspired by Smarties, a similar chocolate candy that was circulated during the Spanish Civil War.
There is a unique story behind the discovery of this chocolate. Forrest had seen British soldiers who were eating snacks in the form of colorful candies. The candy contained chocolate.
To realize his idea, Forrest partners with Bruce Murrie, son of chocolate candy founder Hershey.
The first loyal customer of M&M Chocolate was the armed forces of Uncle Sam’s Country.
Because M&M Chocolate has the advantage that it won’t melt, the chocolate candy is considered suitable to be a snack that can be brought by armed forces serving in tropical countries.
It’s no wonder that it was during World War II that sales of this candy increased rapidly. Forrest was even able to set up a new factory in New Jersey.
1980 M&M exported to other countries
Not only favored by the military, M&M Chocolate is also in demand by United States consumers.
In 1986, M&M released a new product especially for Christmas and Easter. In the same decade, the company introduced many other variants.
Forrest Mars breathed his last at the age of 95, in 1999 to be precise. He left a fortune of US$ 4 billion to his children and grandchildren.
Until recently, the company was known more for making M&M products than for its eponymous Mars bar.
In 2017, the world’s largest candy company diversified by buying a pet grooming company for US$9.1 billion.
Jacqueline and John Mars, as the current owner of the company, each have a net worth of US $ 38.3 billion and are included in the Forbes billionaires list.