So, this was a little more time consuming than I had anticipated. Here in the States there is a Mars bar but it has almonds in it...so comparing it to the UK Mars bar just seemed unfair. I mean, it has almonds! Doesn't that automatically make it better? Here is a pic of the US Mars bar.
The experiment proceeded regardless but then a quick search on Mikkipedia...erm, Wikkipedia, revealed that the US equivalent to the UK Mars bar is actually the US Milky Way bar- though that shouldn't be confused with the UK Milky Way bar which is really equivalent to the US Three Musketeers....AGH!!!
So, I decided to scrap the initial data and start over with a Milky Way bar in order to get a true comparison.
Back to the market to get a Milky Way Bar and of course, there are regular Milky Ways, Dark Chocolate Milky Way and All caramel Milky Way....we REALLY like our candy here in the States!!
I decided that the regular US Milky Way was the best specimen for our comparison as the Mars was also milk chocolate.
Initial physical inspection of the candy bars revealed that the US Milky Way was slightly longer than the UK Mars- though Wikkipedia also stated that the Mars Duo was slightly smaller than the regular bar- and this bar was part of a Duo, so this difference will be excluded from the analysis.
It was also noted that the chocolate of the US version appeared to be a bit darker in color than the UK Mars bar.
The nutritional breakdown is as follows-
UK Mars Bar (One 42.5 g bar)
Calories- 191 kcal
Sugars- 25.4 g
Fat- 7.3 g
Saturates- 3.5 g
Salt 0.18 g
Ingredients- sugar, glucose syrup, skimmed milk powder, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, sunflower oil, lactose, milk fat, vegetable fat, whey powder, fat reduced cocoa, barley malt extract, emulsifier (soya lecithin), salt, egg white powder, hydrolysed milk protein, natural vanilla extract
US Milky Way (One 58.1 g bar)
Fat- 11 g
Sat Fat 7 g
Sugars 35 g
Sodium- 95 mg
Ingredients- milk chocolate (Sugar, cocoa butter, skim milk, chocolate, lactose, milkfat, soy lecithin, artificial flavor), Corn syrup, sugar, hydrogenated palm kernel oil and/or palm oil, skim milk, less than 2% - milkfat, cocoa powder processed with alkali, malted barley, lactose, salt, egg whites, chocolate, artificial flavor.
If we evaluate the bars by weight, the calories, fat, sugars and salt are very similar- with the US bar being only slightly higher than the UK bar.
As seen above, the cross section of the candy bars revealed that the bars were very similar.
Unfortunately, the UK Mars bar suffered a bit on its trip across the pond and was a little smashed. The US bar appears to have a thicker strip of caramel but due to the condition of the UK bar, this assumption may not hold true if a non-smashed bar was available for evaluation.
The UK nougat was a different color- it was more chocolate in color when compared to the lighter nougat of the US bar.
The caramel of the UK bar also had a different consistency. Once the bar was cut, the caramel began to run, causing the pieces to stick to the plate. This phenomena was not observed with the US bar. This difference may be attributed to the damage suffered by the UK bar and again, might not hold true if a non-damaged Mars bar was available for evaluation.
Picture below of pieces of both bars ready for the taste test.
The taste tester panel was expanded for this evaluation (as we were having a cookout and I asked for participation).
The UK Mars bar was on the spotty plate and the US Milky Way was on the monkey plate.
The panel consisted of 4 adults (ages 25-65) and 4 children (age 5-11).
Despite it's ragged appearance, the UK Mars bar prevailed with a vote of 6- 2. In fact, my BIL (a Milky Way devotee) was SHOCKED to find that he had in fact voted against his beloved bar!!! The only two votes for the US bar were from the 60+ age group.
(Just for complete evaluation purposes, I also tasted both and can state that I agree with the consensus of the taste test panel members. The main difference for me is the the US Milky Way bar is much sweeter- so I liked the UK one better)
After the taste test concluded and the panel members were informed of the results, they decided to give some other UK/Funland chocolates a try. We had a few Cadbury eggs remaining from Easter (BIL was firm that US were better but we had none available for a true comparison). Dumle's were a hit! The remainder of the chocolates were dark choc from Funland which at 70% cacoa- were a bit too dark for this group (though I enjoyed them!)
It was really interesting to share this experiment with other members of the family as I also had to explain a bit about BC. I think that I may end up seeing my SIL on here soon!!