Despite what you might think, the Snickers bar was not a completely original creation. That is, it was not the first candy to combine peanuts and chocolate with a chew factor. For instance, the Goo Goo cluster was created in 1913 and Goldenburg’s Peanut Chews in 1922.
Still, after the Snickers bar was introduced in 1929 by Frank Mars and family, it quickly became the best-selling candy bar in America and it has been riding high ever since.
Origin of Snickers Name
Speaking of riding high, the name may have something to do with the success of this bar, and “riding high” is a fit metaphor. The bar was, reportedly, named after the family’s horse!
Why Was the Snickers Bar Called the Marathon Bar in the U.K.?
However, Mars, Inc. hasn’t always sold it under the name Snickers throughout the world. In the UK, the name was changed to the Marathon Bar, since “snickers” rhymed with Knickers, which is a word for women’s underwear.
Why Was the Marathon Bar Changed to Snickers?
Mars decided recently to change the name back to Snickers because they wanted to have uniform names in all markets for their flagship brands. This has allowed the company to use Snickers as a standalone brand. For instance, “Snickers” was a worldwide Olympic Games sponsor in 1988 and 1992. This would not have made sense unless the name of the product was unified.
Snickers in Russia and Eastern Europe
Snickers are very popular in Russia and Eastern Europe, but at first things didn’t go so well with the product in those markets. Snickers flooded the television airwaves with a series of poorly dubbed commercials. Russian viewers disliked the unending repetition of the phrase “Tolstyi, tolstyi sloi shokolad,” which translates to “Thick, very thick layer of chocolate.” This, together with discontent over the flood of foreign imports into the country, created not only amusement and jokes from comedians, making Snickers a symbol of anything seen as boring and silly, but outright anger. Vladimir Zhirinonvsky worked to ban Snickers from television in December of 1993. Still, it is not like a Snickers bar doesn’t taste as good in Russia as it does in the U.S. and U.K. and the brand was able to catch on.