Mars Chocolate North America is pleased to announce the awarding of the 2014 Chocolate History Research and Investigative Studies Grant to three living history sites innovating in the areas of chocolate history programming. Winners were acknowledged recently at the banquet dinner of the Colonial Chocolate Society at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. The Colonial Chocolate Society is a group that meets annually to further the study of chocolate's history and legacy in the Americas.

"At Mars, we encourage the ongoing study of the unique role chocolate has played in our heritage and how it will impact our future," said Harold Schmitz, chief science officer, Mars, Incorporated. "This year's grant winners exemplify that cause and are paving the way for more historic site visitors to touch, taste, see and smell chocolate's rich history firsthand."

Schmitz and Howard-Yana Shapiro, chief agricultural officer, Mars, Incorporated awarded grants for the following activities:

Betsy Ross House/Historic Philadelphia, Inc.: 18th-century kitchen exhibit reinterpretation and demonstration project

Genesee Country Museum: Expansion of current chocolate history program to include new presentations to enhance the visitor experience year-round

Old Salem Museum and Gardens: Further study in a research project focused on how a documented 18th-century Salem resident purchased and sold chocolate in the community

Last year's grant winners—Fort Ticonderoga, Old North Church Foundation, Ball State University and Old Salem Museum and Gardens—made presentations to their peers during the annual meeting highlighting how last year's funds were used to meet institutional goals.

Mars plans to continue to award grants on an annual basis and the submission period for the 2015 awards begins in the summer of 2015 at  American Heritage Chocolate is an authentic line of products based on recipes from the 18th century developed by Mars Chocolate North America. American Heritage Chocolate brings chocolate's sweet past to life for historic site visitors through chocolate history demonstrations, chocolate drink sampling and retail availability.