The MARS, Incorporated Chocolate History Research and Investigative Studies Grant

In 2006, MARS, Incorporated (one of the world’s leading chocolate makers) established the vision of learning everything there was to learn about chocolate history. MARS has invested extensively in research with scholars from many different disciplines around the world to better understand the history of chocolate and its role in Native American society prior to European contact, as well as in Colonial American society through present day. The research revealed remarkable insights into chocolate’s diverse role in the culture, economics, and usages in these societies that were previously not understood. As a result, Chocolate: History, Culture, and Heritage (Grivetti, Louis E. and Howard-Yana Shapiro; John Wiley & Sons) was published in 2009.

To further advance the historical knowledge of chocolate, MARS began developing authentic historic products based on the discoveries and conclusions from the research efforts. This led to the creation of American Heritage Chocolate®, an authentic historic chocolate recipe that enables consumers to experience the flavors of chocolate as it would have tasted during periods of American history. The mission of the American Heritage Chocolate® brand is to pursue and share chocolate’s rich past by creating authentically historic chocolate products and experiences that allow consumers to enjoy learning about history while enjoying MARS chocolate making excellence.

To help it fulfill its mission, MARS, Inc. collaborates with researchers, historians, academics, scientists, and scholars across North America with the goal of more fully understanding the history, culture, and science associated with early chocolate making and its varied contributions to society.

The MARS, Inc. Chocolate History Research and Investigative Studies Grant is designed to encourage (and inspire) research activities that increase the current understanding and interpretation of chocolate from a scientific, cultural, and/or historical perspective. The scholarship process is competitive and the awards will be made based on merit as judged by a committee of experts. Educational impact will be at the forefront of this decision process.

A minimum of three one-year grants will be awarded, with two $10,000 focused on ‘living history’ sites or museums, and one of $5,000 focused on new scholarship. The Chocolate History Research and Investigative Studies Grants will be announced at the Annual Meeting of the Colonial Chocolate Society, usually held November 18-20, 2014 at Monticello. Feedback on grant applications will be provided when the selection process is completed.

Application Instructions and Deadline
All Grant applications are to be posted on the American Heritage website at and should be uploaded by October 28, 2014. Questions about the Grant Application process should be directed to Randy Hoffman via email at

Winner Requirements
Winners are required to submit a mid year progress report after the grant has been awarded, with a year end report serving as a “summation” document to be presented at the Annual Colonial Chocolate Society meeting.

Drafts of any publications (articles, news releases, etc.) arising from the grant should be submitted to a MARS, Inc. liaison for review prior to publication to ensure the draft accurately represents the project funded.

Click here to see the grant process step by step before you begin.