Marathon bars make unexpected return to the British confectionery scene
As a child of the 1980s, one of my favourite confectionery brands was the much-celebrated Marathon chocolate bars here in the UK – so when its manufacturer Mars brought the brand name back after 30 years (from switching to its US name Snickers), for a limited summer run in 2019, it was met with much approval.
That decision to align branding across the Atlantic three decades ago may possibly have made sense from a business perspective, but left a fair portion of fans of the famously chewy bars scratching their heads – after all what exactly is a ‘Snicker’? many pondered.
At least with its original British name of Marathon, you kind of knew where you stood, in that its sturdy name somehow perhaps gave you the notion that it offered a vital energy boost before heading off for a run, or that its substantial nature may have indicated a hearty snack. It just felt right under that branding, so it’s perhaps no surprise to learn that when it was brought back under its original banner last year, it proved phenomenally successful.
So much so, that one northern England customer in Newcastle went to the length of spending £847 on the four-pack format when they were re-released in last year, leading to the supermarket in question rationing customers’ quotas of the popular treats.
Based on this success, and perhaps inspired by its other similar retro naming moves including a decision to briefly re-introduce Opal Fruits (which had been turned into Starburst which was met with equal enthusiasm), Marathon returns to our shelves from this week, but will now available in single bars, in what is reportedly be trialled as a three-month period.
While we inhabit a world that’s full of considerable issues including handling a UK economy that is entering recession, the increasingly complexity of regulations within the food and drink sector surrounding Brexit, as well as tackling wider pandemic challenges, it’s the comparatively smaller details like the return of an old confectionery friend that, if nothing more, has the ability to put a smile on your face for a moment amid testing times.
- Neill Barston, Confectionery Production editor. Keep in touch via email: [email protected] and social media: @sweetsnsavoury or @confectionprod