Snik Snak – M&M/Mars’ 1970′s Answer to Kit Kat!

CC_Snik Snak TITLE PLATE

Back in the early 1970′s, the M&M/Mars company took a stab at replicating some of the new found success of rival Hershey’s Kit Kat bar by introducing something that looked and sounded pretty familiar, the Snik Snak.  Since first discovering the Snik Snak, I’ve been fascinated with the brand and its brief confectionery run.

Snik Snak was released in 1973 and was announced to the candy business in April of that year, as found in this vintage trade announcement:

M&M-Mars - Snik Snak - candy trade announcement clipping - April 1973

M&M-Mars – Snik Snak – candy trade announcement – April 1973

The earliest wrapper in my collection matches the primarily white wrapper found in that early trade clipping.  [Note:  It was quite a year for M&M/Mars as just a few months later they would introduce my personal favorite, the Marathon bar.]:

M&M Mars - Snik Snak Stiks [Kit Kat] - candy bar wrapper - 1973

M&M Mars – Snik Snak Stiks [Kit Kat] – candy bar wrapper – 1973

By 1974, the orange and red found on the center of that early white example would soon extend to the full real estate of the wrapper, which you can see here:

M&M Mars - Snik Snak Stiks [Kit Kat] - candy bar wrapper - late 1974

M&M Mars – Snik Snak Stiks [Kit Kat] – candy bar wrapper – late 1974

The next change for Snik Snak came around 1977 when the wrapper design underwent a pretty significant refresh, as you can see in this next example:

M&M Mars - Snik Snak - chocolate candy bar wrapper - 1977

M&M Mars – Snik Snak – chocolate candy bar wrapper – 1977

That’s the extent of the Snik Snak wrappers that I’ve tracked down over the years.  Based on the lack of evidence to the contrary, I believe that Snik Snak was discontinued by 1979 and that there may have been no other major looks for the brand.

I do have one other piece of packaging that sports the Snik Snak logo.  The brand is promoted on the back of this one pound M&M’s package:

M&M Mars - M&M's Plain Chocolate Candies - One Pound bag - Snick Snack Sticks on back - mid-1970's

M&M Mars – M&M’s Plain Chocolate Candies – One Pound bag – Snick Snack Sticks on back – mid-1970′s

And that’s everything I’ve got to share on the brief history of M&M/Mars’ delightfully-named Snik Snak.

See you next time!

[Note: Today's post marks the 350th entry for CollectingCandy.com.  We'll be breaking off a piece of a Kit Kat bar in celebration.  Woo-hoo!]

About Jason Liebig

A New York City based writer, editor and sometimes actor. After spending much of the 1990′s in the comic book business helping tell the stories of Marvel Comics’ X-Men as series editor, he has since split his time between developing his own entertainment properties while still consulting and working on others. Having been described as “the Indiana Jones of lost and forgotten candy”, Jason is one of the country’s premier candy collectors and historians with his discoveries appearing in countless blogs, magazines, newspaper articles, and books. Always happy to share his knowledge and unique perspectives on this colorful part of our popular culture, Jason has consulted with New York’s Museum of Food and Drink and has also been a featured guest on Food Network’s Heavyweights, France’s M6 Capital, and New York’s TheActionRoom.com. My Google Profile+
This entry was posted in 1970's, Chocolate, Mars and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Snik Snak – M&M/Mars’ 1970′s Answer to Kit Kat!

  1. It’s interesting that the tag line for this appears to be “Take a Break, Take a Snik-Snak…”

    Didn’t Kit-Kat adopt the “Gimme A Break, Break me off a piece of that Kit-Kat bar!” promotion in the 80s? Were they subtly digging the knife into Mars?

    • jasonliebig says:

      Yeah, I noticed that as well Pax. Hard to say for certain.

      I couldn’t be sure, but based upon how much they lifted from Kit Kat already, I just assumed that the Kit Kat slogan pre-dated Snik Snak in some way. Couldn’t find anything definitive on that, however.

  2. mattysb says:

    It’s a bit difficult to see from the illustration on the wrapper, but the structure of the bar as I see it seems to closely resemble Cadbury’s Bar Six, which was Cadbury’s rival to KitKat in the UK – the difference being was that there were six smaller pieces going down the bar rather than KitKat’s four longer pieces across the bar. Bar Six was launched around the mid 60′s and disappeared some time in the 80′s.

    The slogan “Have a Break, Have a Kit Kat” has been running in advertising for KitKat since the 1950s, so a definite cheeky rip-off by Mars here.

  3. Reggie says:

    Love this post!

    I didn’t remember the (shameless clone) Snik Snak… Except it’s similarities to Kit Kat probably helps explain why me & my friends all experience some confusion when reminiscing about old treats from the 70s & 80s. I wonder how many other candy doppelgangers there were. (Hey, maybe that would be a great article Jason!) As mentioned by mattysb, the Snik Snak sure reminded me of one of my all-time faves too – the Bar Six.

  4. Can’t look at this without remembering Zik Zak from MAX HEADROOM.

  5. the-omega-man says:

    I remember when they came out and also trying them too. I believe they were crisper than Kit Kat and the chocolate did not seem as smooth as a kit kat bar. Also – the inside was not as tasty as a kit kat. When I had the choice – always got a kit kat over a snik snak !!

  6. Ron Albanese says:

    FASCINATING, and I somehow missed out on these in 1970′s New Jersey – though one of the wrappers says they were made here! I have to wonder if they were widespread – I was all over the candy racks back then.

  7. Luv Chocolate says:

    Snik Snak was one of my favorite chocolate snacks of the ’70s, and then it disappeared. I thought it was tastier and much better than Kit Kat. I wish Mars would bring Snik Snak back; no changes to the recipe, please!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>