HACKETTSTOWN, N.J., Nov. 15, 2017 — Mars Wrigley Confectionery, LLC (MWC) is pleased to announce the awarding of the Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Research Grant to 5 institutions across the US in the areas of research, education and chocolate programming. Winners were acknowledged at the 14th Annual banquet dinner of the Heritage Chocolate Society held at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. The Heritage Chocolate Society, formally known as the Colonial Chocolate Society, is a group whose mission is to further the study and communication of chocolate's rich history and its impact on past and present cultures in the Americas.

The Old North Church Foundation, one of five recipients of the Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Research Grant.
The Old North Church Foundation, one of five recipients of the Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Research Grant.

“In honor of Forrest E. Mars, Jr's legacy we have increased this year's grant awards from $30,000 to over $50,000, giving us a greater opportunity to foster research, and continued programming to share the  history and impact of chocolate in the Americas,” said Gail Broadright, Director Sponsorships for MWC. “Our grant winners and all of our historic partners are at the forefront of furthering a deeper understanding of how chocolate continues to inform who we are as a society. They have been instrumental in raising awareness of the stories of our nation's history and the important role one of our most beloved foods has played, and currently plays, in our modern day lifestyle. Everyone has a chocolate story.”

Berta de Pablos, President MWC U.S., Williams Clements, Vice President, Sponsorships and Mars Family Properties, and Gail Broadright, Director Sponsorships and Family Properties, awarded grants for development of the following:

  • The Old North Church, Boston, MA: $13,000 grant for researching the commercial networks of the cacao trade from the growing fields of the Caribbean to the American colonies.
  • The New York Historical Society, New York, NY: $10,000 to develop and deliver a new series of chocolate history programs, showcasing how chocolate has influenced American culture and heritage.
  • The Mount Vernon Ladies' Association at George Washington's Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon, VA: $10,000 to develop an educational outreach of the story of chocolate, designed for students in the 4th and 5th grade.
  • The Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, VA: $10,000 proposal to develop a first-in-class program to interpret the history of chocolate in Virginia.
  • The Fort Ticonderoga Association, Ft. Ticonderoga, NY: $10,000 proposal to research the shipment of chocolate from the places of origin across colonial America.

Last year's grant winners—We Make History, Betsy Ross House/Historic Philadelphia Inc. and Genesee Country Museum—made presentations to their peers during the annual meeting highlighting how last year's funds were used to meet institutional goals.

MWC plans to continue to award grants on an annual basis and the submission period for the 2018 awards begins in the June of 2018 at www.AmericanHeritageChocolate.com. AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate is a line of artisanal chocolate products based on recipes from the 18th century. Developed by MWC, AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate helps illuminate the stories of our collective history – from chocolate's Mesoamerican roots, dating back over 3500 years, to its place in the lives of European and Colonial American families, to its role in popular culture today. While its rich history provides context for this intriguing global narrative, it is chocolate's future, and its story of connection, that brings people together, spanning cultures, time and place.  It is these stories of discovery, that inspire the Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Research Grant to push the boundaries of discovery. The product is currently available at over 200 living history and museum gift shops in the United States and Canada and on Amazon.com

About AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate:
In 2003, MWC undertook an extensive global research initiative to uncover the true history of chocolate. A group from MWC 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,” has contributions from 45 authors, including researchers, culinary chefs, food scientists and historians from leading historic institutions, and was published in 2009 by Wiley.

Out of this research project, the AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate brand was developed in 2006 by MWC 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, test, explore, play, share and show love. With AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate, individuals have a culinary partner for making new stories of their own – from creating to entertaining to educating. Made with all-natural ingredients and no preservatives, AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate currently comes in four unique formats: chocolate sticks, chocolate bites, chocolate baking/grating blocks, and finely grated chocolate drink mix. 2018 will see the introduction of new product formats.

In 2015, MWC launched “Great Moments In Chocolate History,” a book created in partnership with the National Geographic Society. “Great Moments In Chocolate History” is the first book in a two-book agreement between

MWC and National Geographic and is authored by Howard-Yana Shapiro, Chief Agricultural Officer, MWC. The book brings chocolate's story to life through detailed information and extraordinary images based on decade's worth of research by MWC and our uncommon collaborators. The book completes the chocolate-lover's experience with 20 delicious recipes coupled with their historical significance, including two recipes featuring AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate. More information about the book and chocolate history is available at http://americanheritagechocolate.com/home/about_book.

AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate is sold at over 200 fine gift shops at historic sites, museums and historic inns across the USA and Canada. The brand will also soon be available at e-commerce retailers Holiday 2017 and multi-channel specialty retailers in 2018. For a complete listing, or to purchase online, please visit our website at www.AmericanHeritageChocolate.com

Learn more about AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate at www.Facebook.com/AmericanHeritageChocolate, on Instagram at @AmericanHeritageChocolate, Twitter @Choc_history, Tumblr @americanheritagechocolate.tumblr.com, and on Pinterest @Chochistory.

About Mars, Incorporated
Mars is a family-owned business with more than a century of history making diverse products and offering services for people and the pets people love. With almost $35 billion in sales, the company is a global business that produces some of the world's best-loved brands: M&M's®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, MILKY WAY®, DOVE®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, EXTRA®, ORBIT®, 5™, SKITTLES®, UNCLE BEN'S®, MARS DRINKS and COCOAVIA®. Mars also provides veterinary health services that include BANFIELD® Pet Hospitals, Blue Pearl®, VCA® and Pet Partners™. Headquartered in McLean, VA, Mars operates in more than 80 countries. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire its more than 100,000 Associates to create value for all its partners and deliver growth they are proud of every day.

For more information about Mars, please visit www.mars.com. Join us on FacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagram and YouTube.

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Contact:

Arabella Smith

Valerie Donati

Mars Wrigley Confectionery

Brand Building Communications

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[email protected]

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