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According to the Candy Wrapper Museum, the first Abba Zaba bars were manufactured beginning in 1922 by Colby and McDermott. Before Annabelle Candy Co. started manufacturing Abba-Zaba, the packaging featured imagery which some now consider to be racially biased. Annabelle Candy Co. will only say that the wrapper has been the same for as long as they have manufactured the candy.
The bar was later manufactured by the Cardinet Candy Co. along with U-No Bar. Annabelle Candy Purchased the Cardinet Candy Co. in 1978. Annabelle now manufactures both candy bars in addition to others.
Abba-Zaba bars can be found almost exclusively west of the Rockies. The wrapper features a yellow and black checkerboard "taxi" pattern. They can be purchased in bulk on the web. They can also be found in candy specialty stores anywhere in the U.S. and Canada.
Recently Annabelle has produced a new Abba-Zaba that has an apple flavored taffy.
There is also a new bar that contains chocolate spread instead of peanut butter.
In popular culture
A favorite snack of a young Don Van "Captain Beefheart" Vliet, it lent its name to a song that appears on his 1967 Safe as Milk album. In fact, the album itself was originally to be entitled "Abba Zaba", changed only when the company would not allow the usage of their trademark name. The artwork on the reverse of the album sleeve still features a black and yellow checkerboard pattern reminiscent of the Abba-Zaba bar.
In the Boardwalk Empire episode "Erlkönig," set in 1924, Gillian offers her grandson Tommy an Abba-Zaba.
In the American Dad! episode "Best Little Horror House in Langley Falls", Toshi picks up an Abba-Zaba with his samurai sword and takes a bite.
In the Salute Your Shorts episode "Telly and the Tennis Match," Telly tries to buy a new tennis racket with her camp store account money but finds out there isn't enough because she spent most of the money on Abba-Zabas over the course of the summer. Ug suggests she join Abba-Zabas Anonymous.
- The Candy Wrapper Museum. The Candy Wrapper Museum. Retrieved on 2014-03-30.
- Pacyniak, Bernard (September 2004). "Sweet on Annabelle". Candy Industry 169 (9): 18–25. ISSN 0745-1032.