Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Research Grant

Apply for a Grant from AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate to uncover and share the influence of chocolate on global heritage and culture.

Click here to review full grant requirements.


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 Research 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 Research Grant is named after the late owner of Mars, Inc and fierce advocate of preserving and sharing the history of the Americas. The grant has a special emphasis on uncovering and sharing chocolate’s role in global history. The grant is designed to encourage deeper discovery into the influence of chocolate on global heritage and culture. Grant funds will be awarded for project(s) that investigate and/or educate the public on the history of chocolate and/or the chocolate making process from a cultural, historic and/or scientific perspective(s). 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 $30,000 in grants funds will be awarded annually. The winners of the Forrest E. Mars, Jr Chocolate History Research Grant will be announced at the Annual Meeting of the Heritage Chocolate Society. Feedback on grant applications will be provided when the selection process is completed.


Mars, Inc. 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, expertise in the field of cocoa science and sustainability and a deep understanding of chocolate making throughout history including the origins of chocolate in Mesoamerica and how it played a role in the lives of the early Americans.

Chocolate truly is a global story. With its origins in the Americas, 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 Incorporated undertook an extensive global research initiative to uncover the true history of chocolate. A group from Mars led a multi-disciplinary team of more than 115 experts from around the globe who accessed over 200 archives, libraries, museums, and private collections to reveal 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 to help educate consumers about the history of our multi-cultural 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 created in partnership with the National Geographic Society. 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.

How to Apply?

This grant application period ended on December 30, 2019. Questions about the Grant Application process should be directed to David Borghesani at To review application questions prior to formal submission, click here.

Winner Requirements

Winners are required to attend the annual meeting of the Heritage Chocolate Society to receive their award. In addition, winners will 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 a subsequent Annual Heritage Chocolate Society meeting (Date TBA).

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

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