Mars Opens Submissions for the 2024 Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Grant

Mars Opens Submissions for the 2024 Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Grant to Support Organizations Dedicated to Exploring and Sharing Chocolates Global Impact 

NEWARK, NJ (August 28, 2023)–Mars, Incorporated, a leader in confectionery, snacking, food, and pet care products and services and the maker of some of the world’s most-loved high-quality brands, including M&M’S®, SNICKERS®, BEN’S ORIGINAL™, PEDIGREE®, and IAMS®, announced today that it is currently accepting submissions for its 2024 Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Grant through October 28, 2023.   The grant provides funding for innovation in the areas of chocolate history research, cocoa science, scholarship, and education.

Created in 2013, the Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Grant has awarded 51 grants totaling over $500,000 to historical, educational, civic, and community organizations since its inception. Grant funded programs and exhibits have been experienced by thousands of people across North America. Last year’s recipients were a diverse group of scholars, educators, and historians with a wide range of projects including:

  • Montana State University (Bozeman, MT) for research into how Indigenous African peoples might have interacted with modern science to shape the evolution of the sustainable cocoa value chain.
  • Westport Museum for History and Culture (Westport, CT) for a three part program that educates visitors about the colonial history of chocolate in New England. The organization was also awarded a second grant for a series of research trips from Virginia to New Hampshire to uncover information about enslaved or Free Black Chocolate Makers in Early America for a book entitled, Cooking Up Freedom.
  • Office of Historic Alexandria (Alexandria, VA) for expansion of their Junior Docent program (originally funded from a Forrest E. Mars Chocolate History Grant in 2022) by including a historic chocolate demonstration component.
  • Lewes Historical Society (Lewes, DE) for construction of an 18th century replica coffee, tea, chocolate exchange, and demonstration area based on a historic, 18th century venue to be used for historical tours and social events.
  • Tampa Bay Times Newspaper for Education (Tampa Bay, FL) for the creation and distribution of an original, standards-aligned, elementary-level curriculum supplement to 75,000 students in 5 school districts focused on the history, cultural significance, and economic impact of chocolate, with a particular focus on the state of Florida.
  • French Colonial America (Ste. Genevieve, MO) for the creation of an after-school and weekend program for elementary students about the history of chocolate and the cacao tree, the history of chocolate in Ste. Genevieve area, the evolution of chocolate flavors, and a final musical performance.

“For 11 years, the Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Grant has funded over 50 innovative research and educational programs and experiences,” said Kelly Lynch, Director: Brand & Experience, Mars Wrigley Premium Brands.  “This diverse group of recipients has uncovered previously unknown stories and facts about chocolate’s rich history and educated thousands of people about its impact on our nation and the world around us.  We are honored to continue to fund these exciting and inspiring projects.”

Through its rich history and global impact, it is chocolate’s ability to inspire new research, uncover untold stories, and connect past and present that inspires the grant. Submissions can be made on the AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate website at

AMERICAN HERITAGE Chocolate is a line of artisanal chocolate products developed from ingredients that date as far back as 1750. Developed by Mars, AMERICAN HERITAGE Chocolate helps illuminate the stories of our collective history. From chocolate’s deep roots in Mesoamerican culture dating back 3000 years to its essential role as a food and medicinal source for European and Colonial Families, chocolate continues to be woven through global culture and pop culture even today.

The Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Grant, has a special emphasis on uncovering and sharing chocolate’s role in global history as well as its influence on heritage, culture, and science. Grant funds will be awarded for project(s) that investigate and/or educate on the history of chocolate and/or the chocolate-making process, cocoa science as well as the anticipated audience reach. 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.

Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Grant winners will be announced at the annual meeting of the Heritage Chocolate Society scheduled for February 27-28, 2024 in Washington, DC. The Heritage Chocolate Society is a group of history leaders and professionals formed in 2003 with the mission to uncover the collective history of chocolate and share the stories of its cultural and socioeconomic impact to educate the global community.


The AMERICAN HERITAGE Chocolate brand was developed in 2006 by Mars Chocolate North America (now 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 artisanal, versatile way to eat, bake or drink a sweet taste of history. Rainforest Alliance Certified™ and made with no preservatives, AMERICAN HERITAGE Chocolate currently comes in four formats: Tasting Squares, Tablet Bars, Grated Chocolate for baking/drinking, and Gourmet Hot Cocoa. AMERICAN HERITAGE Chocolate is sold at fine gift shops at historic sites, museums, and historic inns across the USA and Canada. The brand can also be found on, at M&M’s World in New York City and Las Vegas, at Ethel M Chocolates stores around Las Vegas, Nevada, and on

Learn more about AMERICAN HERITAGE Chocolate at, on Instagram at @AmericanHeritageChocolate, and on Pinterest @Chochistory.

Mars Incorporated is driven by the belief that the world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today. As a global, family-owned business, Mars is transforming, innovating, and evolving to make a positive impact on the world.

Across our diverse and expanding portfolio of quality confectionery, food, and pet care products and services, we employ 140,000+ dedicated Associates. With almost $45 billion in annual sales, we produce some of the world’s best-loved brands including Ben’s Original™, CESAR®, Cocoavia®, DOVE®, EXTRA®, KIND®, M&M’s®, SNICKERS®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, and WHISKAS®. We are creating a better world for pets through our global network of pet hospitals and diagnostic services – including AniCura, BANFIELD™, BLUEPEARL™, Linnaeus, and VCA™ – using cutting-edge technology to develop breakthrough programs in genetic health screening and DNA testing.

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