WORLD Chocolate Day has arrived (July 7) and what better way to celebrate than to look through some photographs of the iconic Mars factory.

The site, located in Slough, makes lots of tasty treats from Mars to Maltesers, Milky Way to Bounty and is marking a significant 90-year milestone this year. 

And to celebrate, the chocolate giant is taking us back in time to looks at its old photographs from the archives.

On a warm Whitsun holiday in 1932, Forrest Mars, Snr. arrived in Britain from the US with the recipe for the Mars bar in one pocket, a small amount of money in the other and an ambition of building a business.

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The first trademark was registered just over a month later on the June 24, 1932, and by July, the first Mars bars were being made in Slough.

Royal Borough Observer: Picture: Mars Wrigley UKPicture: Mars Wrigley UK

And today the factory now makes more than 2.5 million bars a day with more than 30 billion Mars bars made in the UK since 1932.  

Adam Grant, general manager of Mars Wrigley UK, said: “Over the past 90 years, Mars Wrigley products have been a big part of the nation’s lives.

"Looking back over the years our Slough factory continued to produce chocolate bars during the Second World War with an aim to get a Mars bar into every soldier’s knapsack even when the Mars bar became a rationed item among those at home.  

“From moon landings, the millennium, political changes, a global pandemic, and a plethora of new product innovation in between, we’re proud to have been a sweet treat for Brits to enjoy over the past 90 years and are excited for the future ahead.” 

Royal Borough Observer: Picture: Mars Wrigley UKPicture: Mars Wrigley UK  

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Here are 10 interesting facts about Mars Wrigley UK you may not have known:

- In the early days, production was purely by hand and the chocolate was bought in large slabs.

- Associates would lay out the ingredients and construct the caramel and nougat layers of the Mars bar on giant tables, before they were cut by hand and then finally dipped into melted chocolate, with a special technique to add the infamous swirl on top. The Mars bar was handmade until 1950.

- To further boost the sales of Mars Bars, a small recipe booklet was produced in 1934. It was one of the earliest promotions of its kind and included recipes such as Mars Sauce – with the original recipe revealing that it is a “delicious accompaniment to any pudding.”

- During World War II, while many factories were forced to suspend their normal operations, Mars was permitted to continue to produce its chocolate bars at reduced levels in order to supply the armed forces. Part of the factory was given over to helping the war effort by packaging bacon and Red Cross parcels for the troops. The aim was to get a Mars Bar into every soldier's knapsack.

- When commercial television arrived in 1956, Mars was one of the first companies to take advantage of the new medium. Petula Clark, Bob Monkhouse and Richard Murdock took part in the “Stars eat Mars” advertisement

- In 1959, the famous Mars strapline ‘A Mars a day, helps you work, rest and play’ was aired on TV.

- Mars celebrated its Golden Jubilee year in 1982 to the news that the company now produced 150,000 tonnes of confectionery per year, supplied to over 100 countries, and winning two Queen’s Awards for Export Achievement in 1974 and 1979 along the way

- In 2016, Mars agreed a deal to purchase power from the recently constructed ‘New Moy’ wind farm in Scotland that can generate enough power to run all Mars UK offices and factories on renewable electricity.

- Mars bars sold in the UK and Ireland will be certified as carbon neutral by 2023. This is expected to be roughly equivalent to charging more than 13 billion smartphones, or the same amount of carbon sequestered by around 135,000 acres of forest in a year. To give you a bit of context, Hyde Park is 350 acres.

- Mars now operates in more than 80 countries inspiring the company’s more than 115,000 Associates, to create value for all its partners and deliver growth they are proud of every day.