Apply for a Grant from AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate

Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Research Grant


At Mars, we believe that chocolate has played an intrinsic role in our collective global heritage and culture. The Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Grant was created to support institutions dedicated to revealing these stories, sharing them with the public, and preserving them for future generations.

We invite you to join us on our QUEST for learning!

Launched in 2013, the Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Grant, named after the company’s owner and advocate of the history of the Americas, has a special emphasis on uncovering and sharing chocolate’s role in global history as well as its influence on heritage and culture. Grant funds will be awarded for project(s) that investigate and/or educate on the history of chocolate and/or the chocolate making process. The scholarship process is competitive, and the awards will be made based on merit as judged by a panel of experts. Educational impact will be at the forefront of this decision process as will attention to equity, inclusion, and diversity in the proposal.

A minimum of $50,000 in grants funds will be awarded. The winners of the Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Grant will be announced at the Annual Meeting of the Heritage Chocolate Society, to be held early in 2023 at a site to be determined. Feedback on grant applications will be provided when the selection process is completed.


Mars, Incorporated has spent over 100 years making some of our nation’s most beloved chocolate confections including M&M’S®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, 3 MUSKETEERS® and DOVE® Chocolate. Mars has a rich heritage in chocolate making, an expertise in the field of cocoa science and sustainability and a deep understanding of chocolate making throughout history. With its origins in ancient Mesoamerica, chocolate has spread across the world, changing the way people experience food. Inspiring creativity, a catalyst for making family traditions and the foundation for all manner of entertainment, chocolate’s unique story is woven through the pages of history in a distinct way.

In 2003, Mars undertook an extensive global research initiative to uncover the true history of chocolate. Mars participated with a multidisciplinary team of more than 100 experts from around the globe who accessed hundreds of archives, libraries, museums and private collections to write a book revealing chocolate’s origin and history in the Americas. “CHOCOLATE: History, Culture, and Heritage,” (Wiley, 2009) has contributions from 45 authors, including researchers, culinary chefs, food scientists and historians from leading historic institutions.

Out of this research project, the AMERICAN HERITAGE Chocolate brand was developed in 2006 by Mars Wrigley to help educate consumers about the history of our multicultural nation through the engaging story of one of our most beloved foods…chocolate! With a flavor profile drawn directly from the archives of chocolate’s historic past, AMERICAN HERITAGE Chocolate provides an inspiring, versatile way to make, bake, drink, explore, play, share and show love.

In 2015, Mars launched “Great Moments in Chocolate History,” a book published in partnership with the National Geographic. The book brings chocolate’s story to life through detailed information and extraordinary images based on decade’s worth of research by Mars and an uncommon collaboration of history experts and food historians.

Designed to further the Mars mission of education, an educator’s guide – Global Stories Where Chocolate Sparked Discovery, Innovation, and Imagination – was developed in 2018 with National Geographic. The educator’s guide teaches global history through the lens of chocolate for students in grades 4-8.

Mars has always strived to uncover and share the fascinating trials and triumphs of chocolate’s history and how it parallels the challenges society faces today. Mars does this through focused educational presentations, member events, joint symposiums, public presentations and hands-on chocolate history demonstrations using AMERICAN HERITAGE Chocolate and Mars Core chocolate brands with historic site partners throughout North America.

For the last 16 years, Mars has sponsored an annual meeting with its historic site partners called The Heritage Chocolate Society (HCS). At these meetings, honest and lively discussions are encouraged about new research, cultural impact and the current challenges facing these partners. Mars provides best in class speakers and experts to challenge the current paradigms and encourages historic site partners to openly engage with their visitors on the truth of chocolate’s past while providing resources and tools to help them address the challenging reality of its history given the cultural climate.

Mars has awarded $465,000 to-date in grant funds since 2013.

How to Apply?

Our grant application period for 2022 will open on August 29, 2022. Please check the grant status on to see when the grant is open for applications. Questions about the Grant Application process should be directed to David Borghesani at

Winner Requirements

Winners are required to attend the annual meeting of the Heritage Chocolate Society on February 7 and 8, 2023, at a site located in Richmond, VA., to receive their award. Winners will submit a 4–5-minute video of their grant results which will be presented at the Heritage Chocolate Society meeting in 2024 (exact date to be determine).

Drafts of any publications (articles, news releases, blogs, etc.) resulting from the grant must be submitted to a Mars, Incorporated liaison for review prior to publication.

For any publication resulting from the Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Grant, the use of Mars trademarks, imagery, or reprint of a Mars publication must have written approval from a representative of Mars, Incorporated.