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Marathon Candy Bar – a Retro Favorite!

Marathon Candy Bar

Last Updated on June 13, 2022 by Jim Edwards

The Marathon candy bar is a retro favorite – it was a very sweet caramel center covered with milk chocolate and also unique due to its eight inch length, the tape measure on the outside of the package, and its bright red wrapper.


History of the Marathon Candy Bar

The Marathon Bar entered the market in August of 1973. It did well at first, but over time sales slowed. Also, it’s important to point out that the bar was eight inches long so it took up more shelf space which meant it displaced other items and this likely had a detrimental impact as it was expensive shelf space in a grocery or convenience store.

Why Did Mars Stop Producing the Marathon Bar?

The bar lasted in the market for eight years. It came out in 1973 and was discontinued in 1981. So it had an eight year run. It just did not have strong sales and had a larger size, so it was basically replaced with other evolutions of the same caramel and milk chocolate flavor combinations.

In reality, there are MANY candy bars that have those flavors so it is a very competitive market.

The Cadbury Company relaunched it with a different name, Curly Wurly. It was relaunched in the UK and other parts of the world, but it was not relaunched in the United States.

What Made The Marathon Candy Bar Unique?

The candy bar itself was a full eight inches of braided caramel covered in milk chocolate. It came in a bright red wrapper that made it stand out at the drugstore. And there was an actual rule on the wrapper to show you how long it really was!

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How Was The Marathon Candy Bar Marketed?

It was marketed as “the candy bar you can’t eat quickly” in commercials featuring a cowboy named Quick Carl who says “I do everything fast.” And then he is confronted by Marathon John a cowboy wearing white who tells him: “You can’t eat a marathon bar fast…it lasts a good long time.” And this of course tied into the idea of a marathon being lengthy, etc.

See the commercial below – it’s a run step back to the 1970’s.

What Did The Marathon Candy Bar Taste Like?

It mostly tasted chocolatey with a caramel touch. It was very typical of early candy bars of this kind – sweet milk chocolate with some caramel and very sweet.

It contained:

  • Nougat
  • Peanut
  • Caramel
  • Chocolate

Video: 1973 Marathon Candy Bar Commercial

Features their first jingle: “Marathon Lasts a good long time.”

The Marathon candy bar commercial featuredQuick Carl and actor Patrick Wayne as Marathon John.

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Marathon Candy Bar – Frequently Asked Questions

Is There A Difference Between Snicker and Marathon?

The answer is a yes but also a no. Snickers have tried to return Marathon Bars in the market, but the Sneaker Marathon Bar does not look like the classic Marathon Bar. Nor does it taste like the older one.

When Did Mars Stopped Making Marathon?

Mars stopped making Marathon from the year 1990, and Snickers took the name.

Was Marathon Available After 1990?

Yes, in 2019, Marathon was relaunched for three months but in modern plastic wrapping. Over 4 million bars were sold in about 12 weeks. It was again manufactured in 2020 for three months.

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Why did Marathon Chocolate Bar Change Its Name?

Snickers were known as Marathons in the United Kingdom and Ireland until 1990. Because Snickers was the global brand in the United States, Mars chose to align their UK product by changing the name to match the worldwide brand. In 1990, Marathons was renamed Snickers internationally.

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