Mars Celebrates the Annual Meeting of the Heritage Chocolate Society and Awards over $70,000 in Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Grants

NEWARK, N.J., Feb. 29, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The Heritage Chocolate Society celebrated its annual meeting on February 27-28 in Washington, D.C. and awarded six Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Grants at its annual gala at George Washingtons Mount Vernon. Hosted by Mars Wrigley and AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate and established in 2003 by American history advocate Forrest E. Mars, Jr., the Heritage Chocolate Society was created to further the study of chocolates diverse history and its impact on society and culture. The meeting also provided valuable knowledge and insights from a variety of experts to inspire and equip historic sites and museums in an ever-changing world.

Heritage Chocolate Society awards over $70,000 in Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Grants.

Attended by leaders from the nations most treasured and iconic institutions, this years meeting, The Future Decoded: What You Need to Know Now, focused on sparking dialogue and planning by shedding light on the all-important effort to reach and engage with a younger audience, the post-pandemic impact on human behavior and consumer trends, the rise and usage of AI, and how to bring the growing popularity of immersive experiences to bear at their locations. Additionally, previous recipients of the Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Grant are asked to present the results of their grant funded programs.

Every year, Mars strives to create a diverse agenda that evokes new thought leadership as well as provides actionable take-aways for attendees to use at their historic sites and museums,” said Kelly Lynch, Director, Brand Marketing and Media, Mars Wrigley Premium Brands. This gathering enables guests to come together, share ideas and think critically about the future of their organizations and the role they play in preserving and sharing American history for future generations.”

The highlight of the meeting each year is its Annual Gala and Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Grant Awards presentation. Created in 2013, the Forrest E. Mars, Jr.  Chocolate History Grant was born out of early Heritage Chocolate Society meetings and established as a vehicle to encourage and fund chocolate research, education and historical discovery. All grant funded programs are selected by their unique nature as well as their project reach and impact. To date there has been over $500,000 in grant funding awarded. This year Mars and AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate awarded $78,000 in grants to the following institutions:

  • The Fort Ticonderoga Association
  • Conner Prairie Museum
  • Montana State University
  • University of Florida Board of Trustees
  • New-York Historical Society
  • Virginia Museum of History and Culture

AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate plans to continue to award grants on an annual basis and the submission period for the 2024 awards begins on August 30, 2024 at

The AMERICAN HERITAGE Chocolate brand was developed in 2006 by 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 in over 50 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, and at the Ethel M chocolate store in Henderson, Nevada.

Learn more about AMERICAN HERITAGE Chocolate on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

About Mars, Incorporated
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 snacking, food, and pet care products and services, we employ 140,000+ dedicated Associates. With more than $47 billion in annual sales, we produce some of the worlds best-loved brands including Bens Original, CESAR®, Cocoavia®, DOVE®, EXTRA®, KIND®, M&Ms®, 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.

For more information about Mars, please visit Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.


Valerie Donati

Brand Building Communications

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SOURCE Mars Wrigley