If you’ve ever eaten a 3 Musketeers candy bar, you probably recognized the name from the famous Alexandre Dumas story. The name may leave you shaking your head, though, as it’s not very clear what musketeers have to do wth chocolate-covered nougat.
When the candy was invented, however, the name made perfect sense. Mars, Inc., the company behind many beloved candy brands, originally released the fluffy nougat bar in 1932 as a trio of flavors: chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. Each flavor was separately enveloped in chocolate, but all three were packaged together in a single easy-to-share confection.
Because few trios are as iconic as the Three Musketeers, the name made perfect sense. It invoked the idea of three separate but totally inseparable friends, just like the flavor combination of the candy.
Sadly, the nougat “musketeers” would be broken up in 1942 due to WWII-mandated sugar rationing. Chocolate, being the favorite flavor among consumers, became the sole survivor of the 3 Musketeers flavor trifecta.
Despite the loss of the vanilla and strawberry nougat versions, the candy remained popular and retained its branding. Images of Dumas-styled musketeers remained a consistent part of the brand’s marketing for quite a while, even making an appearance in commercials as recently as 1998.