Now, you might be thinking to yourself “aren’t these the same thing?” Well, my dear chocolate-loving friend, that’s where you’re wrong. While these two candy bars look very similar (re: Olsen twins status), a taste test can easily tell them apart. This week, the battle crosses the pond, reigniting Revolutionary Era grudges, to see which red, white, and blue flag will be hoisted in victory.
Know Your Candy Bar
Photo: The Evening Standard
Just to clear things up, once and for all, British Mars Bars and Milky Ways are similar to American Milky Ways and Three Musketeers, respectively. The U.S. version of the Mars bar typically resembles a Snickers bar, unless you find a store that imports directly from the U.K.
Backstory to the Beef
Photo: The Washington Post
Though both bars are manufactured by the American company Mars Inc., their difference lies in their creators. Forrest Mars (pictured above) ran all the way to England in 1932 to create a chocolate bar similar to his father’s popular Milky Way bar (fashioned after the taste of a milkshake). Ever since, Mars Bars have cemented themselves into hearts (and teeth) of Brits. Let’s find out who did it better, shall we?
Calories (per bar)
Photo: The Harcombe Diet and Milky Way
Mars Bar: 259
Milky Way: 240
Photo: Mars Chocolate and Milky Way
Mars Bar: sugar, glucose syrup, skimmed milk powder, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, sunflower oil, milk fat, lactose and protein from whey (from milk), whey powder (from milk), palm fat, fat reduced cocoa, barley malt extract, emulsifier (soya lecithin), salt, egg white powder, milk protein, natural vanilla extract.
Milky Way: milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, skim milk, chocolate, lactose, milk fat, soy lecithin, artificial flavor), corn syrup, sugar, hydrogenated palm kernel oil and/or palm oil, skim milk, less than 2% – milkfat, cocoa powder processed with alkali, malted barley, lactose, salt, egg whites, chocolate, artificial flavor.
Taste and Consistency
Photo: Two Southern Acorns
Mars Bar: The chocolate tastes slightly more processed and artificial, but is ultimately enjoyable. The nougat, significantly more powdery, creates a bit of a mess whilst eating. The caramel can often be a bit hard, adding to the mess, but the flavor makes up for it once you finally get a chunk in your mouth.
Milky Way: The chocolate quality is noticeably better (an unusual comment when comparing U.S. and U.K. sweets). The creamy nougat curls with the chocolate and caramel on each bite, making the experience a more delightful, melt-in-your-mouth adventure.
The Good, The Bad, And The Delicious
Photo: Northern Natal Courier
While both bars have similar ingredients, one main difference sets them apart.
Mars Bar: There isn’t actually any full-on chocolate in it. Many of the ingredients are derived from powders rather than natural substances.
Milky Way: This bar has its fair share of processing (where would the confectionary world be without emulsifiers?), but is ultimately the culmination of many natural ingredients.
Winner: Milky Way
Photo: World of Snacks
From taste to sheer quality, the Milky Way is the obvious winner here. Sorry Brits, but let us have this one. You have Cadbury-grade chocolate in almost everything. Almost.