The Willy Wonka Candy Company

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The Willy Wonka Candy Company
Current logo, introduced in 2009
Owner Nestlé S.A.
Introduced 1971
Website http://wonka.com

The Willy Wonka Candy Company is a U.K. brand of candy owned and licensed by Swiss corporation Nestlé Société Anonyme. The Wonka brand's inception comes from licensed materials from British author Roald Dahl. His classic children's novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and its film adaptations are both the source of packaging and marketing of the Wonka brand. The brand was launched in 1971, coinciding with the release of the first film adaptation.[1] In 1988 the Willy Wonka Candy Company brand - then owned by Sunmark - was acquisitioned by Nestlé.[2]

The Wonka name is found on a wide range of candies and chocolate bars in the American continent and in the United Kingdom. Nestlé also sells sweets and chocolate under the Willy Wonka brand name in the Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Africa, Mexico, Canada, Colombia, Brazil, and Panama. Willy Wonka's Candy products are also available for shipment all over the world.

Current products[edit]

Origins[edit]

The Willy Wonka Candy Company has humble beginnings, first imagined in the pages of a Roald Dahl's children's classic. The Willy Wonka Candy Company came to be as the result of film director Mel Stuart's 10-year-old daughter. Madeline read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and asked her father to make it into a film, obliging him to get Uncle Dave (producer David L. Wolper) to produce it. Stuart showed the book to Wolper, who was engaged in talks with the Quaker Oats Company. Wolper convinced the Quaker Oats Company into signing the deal for up to $3 million to finance the film version in exchange for the candy bar tie-in.[3] Quaker, who had no previous experience in the film industry, bought the rights to the book and financed the picture for the purpose of promoting their new Wonka Bar. The name of Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory however was renamed to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory for promotion purposes.

The new Brand was produced in Illinois, at the Chicago-based Breaker Confections [which was then owned by Sunmark Co., a subsidiary of Quaker]. The original Wonka bar's never saw store shelves: failing to do so due to factory production problems prior to the film's release. Regardless, later Wonka product releases were highly successful. Breaker Confections changed its name into Willy Wonka Brands in 1980 in an attempt at developing its Wonka brand image. In 1988 Willy Wonka Brands was sold, along with parent company Sunmark, by Quaker to Nestlé; who in 1993 renamed Willy Wonka Brands to the more suitable Willy Wonka Candy Company.[4] Nestlé has since then been busy diversifying its candy portfolio: to this day, there are over 100 different varieties of candy to choose from.

A number of the Willy Wonka-branded products originated from Roald Dahl's book and later film adaptations, while others were originally created or acquired for the brand. Some of the products included under that brand are as follows: the Everlasting Gobstoppers; Sweet tarts; Stretchy and Tangy Laffy taffy; Nerds; Kazoozles; Shockers; Bottlecaps; Gummies Candy; Fun Dip; Spree; Runts; Pixy Stix; MixUps and their World Famous Wonka Bar's.[5]

Mr. Wonka, right now, is hard at work in his chocolate research and candy development facility, located underneath The Willy Wonka Chocolate factory, improving beloved childhood favorites and developing new delicious treats in order to bring joy to children and adult kids-at-heart all over the world. The Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory is located today at 1445 West Norwood Avenue in Itasca, Illinois.[3]

Trivia[edit]

  • Today the Willy Wonka Candy marketing movie tie-in campaign is considered the greatest reverse product placement of all time; and is also regarded as one of the earliest attempts at corporate product placement.[3]
  • They produce the world's most perfect candy bar.[5]
  • The famous Golden Ticket Wonka promotion is still extensively used: Golden Tickets found in Wonka bars offer a round-the-world trip to its lucky finder.[3]
  • Company slogan: "What will he think of next?" - "The tagline is intended to capture the innovation and unpredictability of the brand and further the image of Willy Wonka as an inventor," Says Frank Arthofer, President of Nestle Chocolate and Confection Company. "Now that we've made that promise, we need to fulfill it with relevant and desirable products, and the first two are these."[6]
  • The Wonka brand was relaunched by Nestlé with new premium chocolate bars named, "Wonka Exceptionals". Their new line of candy includes: the Chocolate Waterfall Bar, the Doomed Dark Chocolate Bar, and the iconic Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Bar.[7]
  • Unlike most Hollywood films, in the opening credits of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory the copyrights are not held a studio company but by The Quaker Oats Company.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Willy Wonka company information". Careers In Food. Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  2. ^ "Nestlé Corporate History". Nestlé. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  3. ^ a b c d "At 40, Wonka Candy Is Greatest Reverse Product Placement Ever". Brand Channel. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  4. ^ J.M. Kenny (Writer, Director, Producer) (2001). Pure Imagination: The Story of 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' (DVD). USA: Warner Home Video. Retrieved 2006-12-02. 
  5. ^ a b "Wonka Products". Nestlé. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  6. ^ "Nestle works to build Wonka brand". Crain Communications, Incorporated. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  7. ^ "Wonka Chocolate". Nestlé. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  8. ^ "Wonka Trivia". moviefone. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 

External links[edit]