Warren County Salutes M&M’S 75th Birthday
Marking a sweet milestone, the Warren County Board of Chosen Freeholders honored the 75th birthday of a ubiquitous confection produced in the county by proclaiming March as M&M’S Brand Chocolate Candies Month in Warren County.
Mars Chocolate North America has its national office and plant in Hackettstown, and Freeholder Director Jason J. Sarnoski noted it is one of Warren County’s largest employers. The company has “a great product and great people, which we are proud to have in Warren County,” Sarnoski remarked.
The company employs 1,200 in Hackettstown and 1,700 throughout New Jersey at four facilities, according to company representatives.
Invented in 1941 and first produced as military rations during World War II, the bite-sized pieces of chocolate in a colorful candy shell have become instantly recognizable all over the globe. In keeping with its legacy as a supporter of the military, Mars will donate $750,000 worth of product to Operation Gratitude for inclusion in military care packages, according to the freeholder proclamation.
Freeholder Richard D. Gardner recalled how he traveled to South America about 16 years ago on an educational trip and decided to bring Warren County’s most famous export as a gift to the rural area he was visiting, only to find that M&M’s were already available there.
Freeholder Edward J. Smith noted that wherever he is traveling, he always checks his bag of M&M’s and is happy to see the Hackettstown name printed there.
“It’s one of the things that puts Warren County on the map, and Hackettstown as well,” Smith remarked.
“Congratulations on 75 years,” Gardner said. “That’s a major milestone, and let’s hope it’s another 75 years and beyond.”
Sarnoski said Warren County as part of its economic development effort is promoting how the county is a great place to do business, and noted that Mars Chocolate recently was named one of the nation’s best places to work. That distinction, he added with a smile, is “partly because it’s in a great county. We’re going to take some credit for that.”
Regina Evans, the company’s People and Organization Manager, said she was “very pleased” to accept the freeholder proclamation on behalf of Mars Chocolate. “We look forward to a long-term relationship with the county.”