Mars Is Going To Snatch That King-Sized Candy Bar Right Out Of Your Hands

Okay fine, Mars isn’t going to run up to you and steal your candy, but the makers of Snickers bars and other tasty treats are going to stop selling chocolate products that have more than 250 calories per portion. So that means no more king-sized Snickers, Twix, 3 Musketeers, Mars, Milky Way and more.

The plan, which the Chicago Tribune says is aimed at going into effect by the end of 2013, is centered around the goal to stop shipping products that exceed 250 per portion. A king-size Snickers, for example, has 510 calories, and lists a serving size as a third of the bar — but who eats just a third of a bar? A regular Snickers is 280 calories.

The health kick is not stopping with calories –¬†by 2015 Mars wants to reduce sodium levels in all their food products by 25% from where they were in 2007.

“Mars has a broad-based commitment to health and nutrition, and this includes a number of global initiatives,” the company said in a statement.

Start that emergency stockpile now, folks, before it’s too late and you have to shove multiple bars in your gob for the same effect as a king-sized candy bar. That would just be a waste of time!

Mars dethrones king-sized chocolate bars [Chicago Tribune]

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  1. Coffee says:

    Is it my imagination, or have king-sized candy bars been getting smaller these past twenty years? It’s an honest question, because it may just be my hands getting bigger.

    • elangomatt says:

      I think you might be right, but I also remember a time when they had king sized king size candy bars for some brands that I think they titled the “Beast”. I am pretty sure that the made the Beast in Snickers and Butterfinger at the very least.

    • framitz says:

      They get smaller, the price remains the same, then they raise the price, then they get smaller… on and on until they’re infinity small.

      The shrink ray phenomenon is in wide use.

      • Coffee says:

        Agreed…I was in the store the other day and saw a king-sized Snickers…I swear it looked about the same size as the normal Snickers I ate as a kid. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if it actually weighed less, seeing how they pump air into everything now.

        I’ve noticed the same phenomenon with ice cream. When I was a kid, ice cream containers were heavy. Now they’re whipped so much that they weigh very little.

  2. framitz says:

    I’m under weight and need to gain… I need more calories, not less. Time to stock up.

    • Psychicsword says:

      You have to be careful. I was underweight and my doctor told me to just eat more food so after 5 years of just eating more I stopped growing and I didn’t need to eat that much anymore but I couldn’t stop. I am now 30lbs heavier than I want to be and that is with my year of efforts to lose weight(which is thankfully working)

  3. bendee says:

    I wonder if M&M’s will be exempt because they are many mini pieces of candy versus one big piece for Snicker’s/Milky Way. Those large bags of them for living room candy bowls are big sellers.

    • cybrczch says:

      Since those big bags (also the bags of mini sized bars) have many portions, they will not be affected, as the calories per portion are under the limit, and, unlike a King sized candy bar, usually do not get eaten all at one time (please note, I said *usually*, YMMV).

      YMMV = Your Munching May Vary

    • Scooter250 says:

      M&M bag is already under 250 calories

  4. MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

    A regular size Snickers is 280 calories. So in other words, they can reduce the size of a Snickers by by 10.7% to get down to 250 calories, but they’ll still charge the same amount.

    • Jevia says:

      First reaction was wtf candy makers really think they’re going to make “healthy” versions/portions of their bars, its friggin candy, its not supposed to be “healthy”. My next thought was, duh, its a way to make the bars smaller to (a) charge the same amount and/or (b) get people to just buy 2 bars.

      i.e, its a way to make more money while trying to garner some false good publicity.

      • JennQPublic says:

        I think it’s more a way to change the public perception of candy bars from “evil” to “naughty”.

    • Tyanna says:

      You are incorrect sir. They will not be reducing the size and charging the same amount.

      They will be reducing the size and charging us more b/c now it’s the healthy version.

  5. BrownLeopard says:

    First they took my flour, and nobody spoke up;
    then they took my hamburgers, and nobody spoke up;
    then they took my candy bars….and I have spoke up…and broke the bugger’s fingers.

    QUIT “healthy-izing” stuff! I want my fatty foods, my large candy bars and my soda.

    Those 900 pound people are like that for a reason, leave us 200 lb folks alone!

    • nishioka says:

      Make your own fatty foods at home!

    • Nunov Yerbizness says:

      Those candy bars are crap anyway. I can’t even remember the last time I ate a Mars bar but I think it was part of a cache of stale Halloween candy at the receptionist’s desk. It’s been probably 20 years since popular candy bars have tasted like anything but kaka. There’s too little cacao and too much sugar and HFCS in them.

      If you want to blow through 510 calories’ worth of chocolate and make it count, and you have any taste at all, you’re not going to reach for a Snickers bar.

      • Coleoptera Girl says:

        Agreed. I generally only eat European chocolates, because they actually taste like chocolate/cocoa. Then for the gummis, it’s either Haribo or Kasugai.

      • Dallas_shopper says:

        This. Most candy bars are garbage; if you’re going to blow 250 calories on candy, make it QUALITY candy! :)

    • Yacko says:

      Easy to say when you are young. As you age you pack on the pounds.

      • BrownLeopard says:

        I’m 34 and quite content with my weight, which has been steady many years. Ah well, I guess I’ll stick to my 1lb. bags of peanut M&Ms.

        • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

          I’ll tell you, I am about ready to become content. I have lost 70 lbs over the past few years and am at a point where I am staying at the same weight whether I eat 1200 calories of high quality food and workout at a moderate intensity 4 hours a week, or whether I eat 2200 calories a day and don’t work out at all. I feel better when I workout, so that will stay, but I am getting ready to say screw it and be fine with being somewhat overweight b/c I am so sick of eating like a rabbit and getting nowhere.

          • asphaltzeppo says:

            I’ve been trying Dr. Gott’s No Sugar No Flour diet. It has been going well, and I am satisfied after eating. It also allows for some real treats. Basically cut out flour and added sugars. You can still have carbs and fruit sugars.

  6. Cat says:

    This is not about cutting calories.

  7. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    What’s to stop someone from buying two candy bars instead of one? Maybe they will institute the same policy they have for buying Sudafed! Whip out the driver’s license and sign for one bar. And if they think your BMI is too high, no candy for you.

    • elangomatt says:

      Nah, they’ll just ask for ID to purchase two snickers bars and then Target customers will get mad since Target wants to scan the license info instead of manually typing anything in to the computer.

  8. Rebecca K-S says:

    Last time (…times) I bought a king sized Snickers, it had two bars in the package, so it’s extra ridiculous to say it’s three servings.

  9. fortymegafonzies says:

    “Mars has a broad-based commitment to health and nutrition…”

    I think Mars has a broad-based commitment to disguising their grocery shrink-ray.

    • djdanska says:

      Not only that, but the king size bars generally cost less than two normal sized bars. Now anybody who wants the king size bars has to buy two normal sized! The normal snickers by me are 1.30 each. King is 1.99. Now you get to pay 2.60 for the same thing as the 1.99 package!

  10. Ed says:

    {golfclap}

    I still don’t eat candy bars though.

  11. Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

    MARS TAKIN MAH CANDY BAR?!?!?!?

    (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

  12. Guppy06 says:

    Less concerned about the calories, more concerned about the child labor.

    • lawnmowerdeth says:

      Candy bars are all still made in the U.S. Nice try.

      • Sunrisecarole says:

        Who says?

      • Dallas_shopper says:

        But the chocolate that goes into them is largely grown in Africa (69% of the world cocoa supply) and there are massive problems with child labor, human trafficking, and outright slavery in African cocoa production. Since cocoa is sold on the commodities market and cocoa from various sources is bought and sold, the chocolate in those Mars bars absolutely contains the products of child labor or slavery. Single-source chocolate and/or fairtrade chocolate is unusual and expensive, and is certainly not used in mass candy manufacturing by Nestle, Mars, Hershey, etc.

        So….. :-|

  13. Worstdaysinceyesterday says:

    Healthy shmealthy…there are preparing for a vice tax on certain sizes of non-nutritional food.

    • bhr says:

      This came up in my local county recently (defeated for now). They wanted to institute a tax on things like Soda, candy, or anything that meets certain “non-nutritional” levels.

  14. j2.718ff says:

    I realize this is just an excuse to charge the same price for something smaller, but I have to say, snickers are awesome the way they are. They’ve got easy-to-digest energy, plus protein and salt in a small package. They are absolutely perfect for anyone who enjoys long runs, hikes, etc. Power bars have nothing on snickers!

    • borgia says:

      Thats part of what is fun if you exercise a lot. Snickers are good recovery bars from exercise. I enjoy the fact that chocolate milk is a good recovery drink for endurance sports. In normal situations the sugar is not useful for most people.

  15. shepd says:

    Mars is welcome to do this. I stopped eating Twix because the new size is too small. If they continue to undersize products, I will continue to enjoy more Cadbury products instead. If they don’t put enough salt in the product to give it flavour, that will be another reason to do that as well.

    Mars, remember, the complainers probably aren’t customers.

  16. AngryK9 says:

    This isn’t about health. This is about greed. Plain and simple, like any other company, all that they are concerned about is their profit margin. They’re going to shrink everything to miniscule proportions yet not reduce (probably actually increase) the price. Make less to cost less, but keep the bloated price.

    “Mars Corp.: Committed to bloating our bottom line instead of your waistline”

  17. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Trying making the per/ounce calorie count lower instead of reducing the size. Since just giving you less doesn’t really help any.

  18. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    Candy bars don’t make people fat. People make people fat.

  19. SilverBlade2k says:

    I hate how food companies can say ‘per portion’, when that ‘portion’ is *clearly* an unrealistic size. Per portion = one third of a bar? seriously? no one stops at that.

    1 portion should be either *full* or *half*..not some crazy number that makes it harder to calculate.

    • deejmer says:

      I actually do stop at a 1/3 of a bar. They are so full of sugar now (much less actual cocoa) I could barely be able to finish it on a dare.

  20. riguitargod says:

    It’s a shame, since the king size is usually cheaper than two regular. When my wife and I both want a Twix, we just split the king sized!

  21. mearow says:

    Watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory again and check out the size of the candy bar!

    I used to love Snickers but now the peanuts are microscopic, it’s just not the same. I’d have to push a handful of my own peanuts into the bar just to get some peanut flavor back.

  22. maxamus2 says:

    So now fatties will eat two “regular sized” bars instead of a King sized and get 560 calories at a time instead of 510.

    Seriously, the past few years all the food packages have shrunk tremendously, a “family size” bag of chips (largest you can buy) is not even as big as what a normal sized bag used to be. Yet, people continue to put on more weight, they just eat two bags.

    That whole fiasco with “100 calorie bags” of snacks, people just kept eating what they wanted.

    • bigTrue says:

      Wrong. I love Snickers, but ever since peanuts went sky high in price, I stopped getting the regular ones. The King Sized ones have more peanuts, which I like. They also come in a great two pack that has a wrapper designed to twist closed around the half you don’t eat.

      Regular snickers have almost nothing but noughut.

  23. jp7570-1 says:

    This simply sounds like a variation on the Grocery Shrink-Ray. What a good way for companies to sound like they are doing the “right thing”.

    If you reduce the sie of your product by, say, 25%, and if the price doesn’t decrease proportionally, then it is simply a matter of paying more but getting less.

  24. Kuri says:

    So which group bitched enough for this to happen?

  25. Robert Nagel says:

    Wow, does that mean you can’t buy two bars?

  26. Tyler S. says:

    Don’t worry! They’re going to make sure to increase the prize of the smaller ones so you can still spend “King-size”!

  27. 2 Replies says:

    “[T]he makers of Snickers bars and other tasty treats are going to stop selling chocolate products that have more than 250 calories per portion. So that means no more king-sized Snickers, Twix, 3 Musketeers, Mars, Milky Way and more.”

    Um… no it doesn’t. That’s the irrational, sensationalist view.
    IMO the tribune has the interpretation wrong.
    I expect all it means is they’ll be modifying the nutritional data printed on the back to list the same size as being more servings than they currently say.
    Like saying the king-size bar isn’t a single portion/serving, but saying it’s 1.5,2 or more.
    Kinda like what you see with cookies and chips, where the side of the bag doesn’t matter since it lists four chips, or two cookies as a single “serving”.

  28. 2 Replies says:

    “[T]he makers of Snickers bars and other tasty treats are going to stop selling chocolate products that have more than 250 calories per portion. So that means no more king-sized Snickers, Twix, 3 Musketeers, Mars, Milky Way and more.”

    Um… no it doesn’t.
    IMO the tribune has the interpretation wrong (irrationally/sensationally spinning it).

    I expect all it means is they’ll be modifying the nutritional data printed on the back to list the same size as being more servings than they currently say.
    Like saying the king-size bar isn’t a single portion/serving, but saying it’s 1.5,2 or more.

    Kinda like what you see with cookies and chips, where the side of the bag doesn’t matter since it lists four chips, or two cookies as a single “serving”.

    • 2 Replies says:

      Meaning bring a knife to cut your individual serving out of the single solid candy-bar.

      IMO, people getting upset about the nutrition of CANDY is ridiculous.
      It’s freaking CANDY, the purpose is to TASTE GOOD, not to be good for you.
      It’s like, go eat an apple if you’re going to get your panties in a bunch over a freaking snickers bar.

  29. TimelessFinanceCom says:

    How about they list factual information, instead of misleading ‘portion’ sizes? Then they can continue letting me decide, rather than dictating the size of a portion I can have and (presumably) charging more for less. Let’s face it, that’s all that’s going to happen.

  30. Boiled for your sins says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. VashTS says:

    People should Amazon.com their candies like I started doing late last year. You will try better tasting candies with better ingredients at about the same price. Usually it’s smaller companies which is great, no greedy……I mean less greedy shareholders.

    Amazon lets smaller companies that do not have the money or resources to get into the crowded grocery market compete….screw you corporate America.

    • nbs2 says:

      Why are all shareholders presumed to be greedy? I own shares in tech, conglomterate and energy firms. I don’t consider myself to be greedy – I patronize the companies I own and am just affected by price hikes as you are.

      As an aside, M&M/Mars is a privately held corporation (still owned by the Mars family). So, they are still a mom & pop operation, if you will.

  32. Deep Cover says:

    Are they going to stop charging king sized prices?…

    …this isn’t about “health”…this is about increasing gross margins.

  33. nocturnaljames says:

    by 2013 I’m sure the “king” size will be small enough to be 250 calories per portion.

  34. miss_j_bean says:

    They terk er (candy) berrs!!!

  35. miss_j_bean says:

    But seriously, what ever happened to personal responsibility instead of mandated portion control for the masses? I can make one candy bar last several days.
    I submit another vote for the “this is an underhanded way to charge more for less” column.

  36. Charmander says:

    Good. I’m glad. I walk into some stores and I can’t find regular size candy bars – only King Size.

    Who needs a King Size candy bar? Nobody, that’s who.

  37. mopman64 says:

    This is all thanks to our great pres and first lady. Welcome to the nanny state. What’s next people looking at our childrens school luhches and telling them it’s not healthy enough and that they can’t eat it.

    Oh wait…

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      Really? Obama and the first lady single-handedly made a private company decide to stop selling king sized candy bars? How did they go about doing that? I want specifics since you seem to know so much about it.

  38. HomerSimpson says:

    Seriously, those of you who think this was some kind of “mandate” need to wake up. The only “mandate” was from the board and shareholders to get those profits UP.

  39. Taliskan says:

    If this goes further and gets rid of King Size bars all together, I’m fine with that. Most people don’t have self-control or care to know what they are eating. I love candy just as much as the next sweets-addict, but even I know that sometimes I get carried away eating junk and need to reign it in. If this helps that even a little bit, then that’s great.

    So the smaller sizes start costing more… like a quarter? If a quarter is breaking your candy budget, then I am guessing there are more important things going on in your life that need attention other than candy.

  40. Levk says:

    omg really… thats just a way to make more money… Some king size products are just 2 or more of the normal bar, and I do not even eat all the king bar in one sitting, I get it because it’s cheaper then a normal bar and that is why they doing this to make more money off the single bars, they do not care about calories or salt they just want to save money and make more.

  41. No Fat Chicks says:

    The biggest problem with candy bars is that there isn’t a generic form. Some one should make generic candy bars that taste as good as the name brand. They should be either bigger or cheaper since they wouldn’t have the HUGE mega salaries that the name brands have.

  42. dimoko says:

    Why are people pissed about this? this is how capitalism is supposed to work. Mars changes their product, people either keep buying or stop buying and they go from there. This is way better than having the issue legislated down our throats.

  43. samandiriel says:

    While I can understand that some people see this as a way for Mars to shrink-ray their products, I still think it’s a commendable effort on their part to help control portion sizes. Obesity *is* an epidemic in Western culture, and healthy eating is made hard by things like a single portion containing huge amounts of the daily recommended intake of salt – which Mars is also reducing.

    There’s a different between being socially responsible and forcing the ‘nanny state’ on people. Mars is offering easy-to-understand portioning (everything is 250cal) with less (and probably unnecessary) salt. If people want to eat more, nothing is stopping them from buying more than one – which is what a nanny state would do, and which this is not.

    Sheesh.

  44. Wench86 says:

    Uhh oh… What if I eat two? Am I going to be arrested?

  45. Rick Sphinx says:

    Price? Were not stupid Mars. I know with the downsizing, the pricing will be much in your favor overall, to get more dollars for less food output. Don’t think your fooling us. It was bad enough when candy for Halloween went from “Snack Size” to “Fun Size”, what’s so fun about a smaller bar. For adults, instead of eating 1 Snack Size, we just put 2 Fun Size in our mouths at the same time, I know that was your findings in your studies as well on these products.

  46. cameronl says:

    “WHAAAAA…. Food companies make portions too large, giving consumers a false sense about proper food amounts! They don’t care about us. How dare they give the people what they want!!””

    “OK, we’ll reduce the size of candy bars, nobody should eat a big-ass snack like that.”

    “WHAAAA…. Why are you taking our chocolate!!! This isn’t about health, it’s about greed, pure and simple!!!!! Don’t take my candy!!!”

    Some companies just can’t win on The Consumerist. I for one welcome smaller candy bars. I don’t care if it costs the same… you should only be buying them once in a while anyway. You want to shove 500+ fat-laden calories into your snack-hole? Buy two.

  47. OnePumpChump says:

    Now what will kings eat?

  48. dush says:

    King size is a good value, just eat it over three days and you’re golden.

  49. Owls Are Raptors! says:

    Good thing the world ends in 2012 AMIRITE

  50. CorvetteJoe says:

    All I read was “less product, same price” an calories is the excuse they’re going with.
    You don’t eat candy because it’s healthy… duurrr

  51. Dyscord says:

    Exceed 250 per portion? Wait…if a regular Snickers is 280, then wouldn’t they have to stop that as well?