It's True: Snickers Got Its Name From A Horse

Snickers candy bar
Snickers candy bar - Robtek/Getty Images
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Snickers is one of America's most beloved candy bars, and what's not to like? It's caramelly, peanutty, chocolatey, and has a silly name that rolls off the tongue. Candy of all kinds is known for having cute names: Abba-Zaba, Dum-Dums, Whatchamacallit -- the list goes on. But why "Snickers"? The answer is kind of sweet and a little sad: The candy bar was named after candy company founders Frank C. and Ethel V. Mars' favorite horse, which sadly passed away just before Snickers the candy bar was released.

The Snickers bar was created in 1930 in Chicago by Frank C. Mars and his son Forrest E. Mars, who had officially joined the family candy-making business the year before. The father-son duo had already created and began manufacturing the Milky Way bar in 1923, which laid the foundation for a successful beginning to their candy-making empire. We'll get to the horse a little bit later.

Read more: 8 Chocolate Bars That Are Totally Different Outside The US

For The Love Of A Horse

Horse cantering in field
Horse cantering in field - Rita_Kochmarjova/Shutterstock

Before there was a Snickers candy bar there was Snickers the horse. In 1929, Frank Mars moved the Mars Corporation to Chicago and opened a manufacturing plant. In 1930, the senior Mars and his second wife, Ethel V., moved to Tennessee when the company opened an office in Nashville. The couple purchased 2,800 acres in Pulaski, Tennessee, and built Milky Way Farm. It was on the Milky Way farm that the Mars family bred and raised  Hereford cows and Thoroughbred horses, including the family's beloved Snickers.

During this same time, the Mars candy company was developing a new candy bar that combined nougat, caramel, and peanuts surrounded by a milk chocolate coating. As the company was getting ready to roll out the as-yet-unnamed candy treat, Snickers the horse died. So, the Mars family decided to honor their equine friend by giving their next confectionary success the same name. Snickers -- the chocolate bar -- would go on to become one of the best-selling candy bars of all time.

Snickers Through The Ages

Snickers candy bars
Snickers candy bars - Samohin/Getty Images

Aside from the occasional, limited-edition novelty flavor, Snickers (the candy bar) has largely remained unchanged since 1930. But its name did change briefly -- at least in England. In 1932, Forrest Mars took his father's offer of financial assistance and a cache of candy recipes to open his own chocolate business abroad, and started production in the U.K. When Snickers bars made it to the U.K., local officials were concerned that "Snickers" sounded too much like "knickers." Since equating a chocolate-and-peanuts candy bar with underwear is not a great association, the candy was known as the Marathon bar until 1990.

After Frank Mars died in 1934, Forrest Mars kept his father's company going while operating both branches of Mars independently until the mid-1960s, when they were merged to create Mars Incorporated. Forrest Mars died a billionaire at the age of 95 in 1999. So the next time "you're not you when you're hungry", and find yourself reaching for a Snickers bar, maybe give a thought to the much-beloved, long-deceased horse of one of the most successful families in American candy history. Rest in peanuts, Snickers.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.