20 April 2015
The 3 Musketeers Bar was the third brand produced and manufactured by M&M/Mars. It was introduced in 1932.
The candy's name played off the popular The Three Musketeers (French: Les Trois Mousquetaires) novel by Alexandre Dumas which had many film and TV adaptations.The name came from the fact that originally it had three pieces in one package: chocolate, strawberry and vanilla.
Rising costs and restrictions on sugar during World War II caused the company to eliminate the less popular vanilla and strawberry pieces.
At five cents, it was marketed as one of the largest chocolate bars available - one that could be shared by friends. 3 Musketeers was advertised on television on the 1950s-era Howdy Doody Show, along with a song that Buffalo Bob Smith encouraged children to sing.
In the mid-late 1990s, the bar's advertisements featured three men dressed as the legendary Three Musketeers to market the "45% less fat" campaign. The product's original slogan ("Big on Chocolate!") was expanded in these advertisements to "Big on Chocolate, Not on Fat!"
Most recently, the bar has been pitched to women with the tagline that it is a "Nice, Light Snack" which features "45% less fat" than other chocolate bars.
In Europe, the 3 Musketeers brand name was used for the French version of the Curly Wurly candy bar in the 1970s and 1980s. More Euro-confusion comes from the The Milky Way bar (also from the Mars confectionery company). The American version of the Milky Way bar is made of chocolate-malt nougat topped with caramel and covered with milk chocolate. It is very similar to the Mars bar sold in other countries. But the Milky Way bar sold outside the U.S. (UK, for example) is not topped with caramel and is therefore similar to the American 3 Musketeers bar.