The Wonka Bar is both a fictional candy bar, introduced in the 1964 novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, and a type of real life candy bar inspired by the fictional confection. Wonka Bars appear in both film adaptations of the novel, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), and the play, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the Musical (2013) each with different packaging. Varieties of Wonka Bars were subsequently manufactured and sold in the real world, formerly by the Willy Wonka Candy Company, a division of Nestlé. These bars were discontinued in January 2010 due to poor sales.
The literary Wonka Bar
In Roald Dahl's novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and its film adaptations, a Wonka Bar is a brand of chocolate made by Willy Wonka, and is said to be the "perfect candy bar". The wrappers of the 1971 version are brown with an orange and pink border with a top hat over the "W" in Wonka, similar to the film's logo. In the 2005 version, the wrappers feature different shades of a color (depending on the type of candy bar) and are also more detailed. In the book, Grandpa Joe mentions that Mr. Wonka had invented over two hundred kinds of Wonka bars (though the actual number available varies, with four flavours in the 2005 film).
The real Wonka Bar
The Quaker Oats Company, which financed the 1971 film with US$3 million, originally created a candy bar in time to publicize the 1971 film. In the documentary "Pure Imagination", producer David L. Wolper claims the bar was released to stores, but quickly recalled due to a production problem. The few people who purchased and ate one of those bars reported the production problem was that they tasted horrible. It has also been reported that the fault was that they melted on the shelves.
Chocolate company BritishCandy, which sells Retro Sweets Hampers, also created Wonka Bar replicas that looked exactly like the ones in the 1971 film. However they were not real Wonka Bars, just 100g of unbranded milk chocolate and a printed golden ticket inside a replica Wonka Bar wrapper. They are still sold all around the world today.
Nestlé Wonka Bars
Made by Nestlé and sold under their Willy Wonka Candy Company brand, Wonka Bars sold in the United States until January 2010 consisted of small, graham cracker pieces dipped in milk chocolate. The brand was launched by Chicago's Breaker Confections in 1976, and purchased by Nestle in 1988.
To promote the 2005 film adaptation, some real Wonka Bars were packaged with a Golden Ticket, as in the novel and films. A Golden Ticket entitled winners to cash prizes or Nestlé factory tours, depending on the country.
A Nestlé factory in Europe began producing real Wonka Bars (as in the flavors and wrappers depicted in the 2005 film; Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight, Nutty Crunch Surprise [without actual nuts] and Triple Dazzle Caramel). Although the real-Wonka campaign was short, it produced an income of roughly 3,000 euros (58,000 candy bars).
Nestlé Japan have also released some Wonka Bars, in two flavours, Whipple Scrumptious Caramel Delight and Mysterious Spit-Spat Bar. These bars feature a wrapper done in the same style as the bars that appear in the Tim Burton film adaptation. Nestlé Japan have also released a toy truck containing these bars. These are still being sold as of 2014.
In March 2010, Nestlé USA introduced a new line of chocolate bars named "Wonka Exceptionals," consisting of three varieties. The Wonka Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Bar (based on a bar of the same name from the 1971 film) consists of bits of toffee, cookie and peanuts in milk chocolate. The Wonka Chocolate Waterfall Bar contains white chocolate swirled with milk chocolate, and the Wonka Domed Dark Chocolate Bar is made of dark chocolate topped with milk chocolate medallions. Wonka launched the product line with an in-package Golden Ticket sweepstakes. Ten Golden Tickets could be found in bars and bags of Wonka Exceptionals chocolates, and each ticket was worth a grand prize of a trip around the world. Recent new additions to the Wonka Exceptionals include Wonka Triple Dazzle Caramel, which consists of milk chocolate filled with caramel and a dash of sea salt (this variety had previously been produced to promote the 2005 film, where it consisted of caramel in white chocolate as opposed to milk), and Wonka Fantabulous Fudge, which consists of chocolate fudge in milk chocolate. These were discontinued in 2012.
On 9 August 2013, Nestle UK announced that the Wonka Bar is to return to the UK having not been sold since 2005. The new Wonka Bars are available in small individual bars and 100g big block bars. There are currently three flavours, Millionaire's Shortbread, Crème Brûlée and Chocolate Nice Cream. Crème Brûlée is not available in small bars and is only available in big block bars. The small individual bars went on sale on 16 September 2013 and the big block bars went on sale in October that year. It is currently unknown if they will also be sold in the United States.
In late 2013, Nestlé Australia and New Zealand introduced new additions to the Wonka Bar Line, 170g Big Blocks Bars which were released in four flavours, Wonka Triple Chocolate Whipple Bar, Nutty Crunchilicious, Caramel Hat Trick and Chocolate Tales Bar.
Fake Wonka bars
In late 2012, non-licensed Wonka bars, not made by Nestlé, and which do not meet consumer protection regulations, were found circulating in the UK. The bars do not feature a full manufacturer's address.
- Zeldes, Leah A. (October 30, 2009). "Gwyn-Green Peters of Wilmington Delaware was the first person to ever try one of these in 1967. At the young age of 5. Willy Wonka lives in Chicagoland". Dining Chicago. Chicago's Restaurant & Entertainment Guide, Inc. Retrieved November 4, 2009.
- USA Today
- Last Chance to Get Your Hands on WONKA Exceptionals Chocolates