Butterfinger

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Butterfinger
Butterfinger-broken.JPG
Product typeConfectionery
OwnerFerrara Candy Company (since 2018)
CountryUnited States
Introduced1923; 96 years ago (1923)
Related brandsReese's Peanut Butter Cups, Clark Bar, 5th Avenue
Previous ownersCurtiss Candy Company (1923–1964)
Standard Brands Inc. (1964–1981)
Nabisco (1981–1985)
RJR Nabisco (1985–1988)
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (1988–1990)
Nestlé (1990-2018)
TaglineCrispety, crunchety, peanut-buttery! and “better butter finger” and "Dig it!"
Websitebutterfinger.com
Nestle version (1990-2018)
Ferrero version (2018-present)

Butterfinger is a candy bar manufactured by the Ferrara Candy Company, a subsidiary of Ferrero.[1] The bar consists of a crispy peanut butter core coated in a chocolatey coating.[2]

History[edit]

Butterfinger was invented by Otto Schnering in 1923. Schnering had founded the Curtiss Candy Company near Chicago, Illinois, in 1922.[3] The company held a public contest to choose the name of this candy. In an early marketing campaign, the company dropped Butterfinger and Baby Ruth candy bars from airplanes in cities across the United States as a publicity stunt that helped increase its popularity.

The candy bar also was promoted in Baby Take a Bow, a film from 1934 featuring Shirley Temple.

In 1964, Standard Brands Inc. purchased the Curtiss Candy Company. It then merged with Nabisco in 1981. RJR Nabisco was formed in 1985 by the merger of Nabisco Brands and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. In 1988, RJR Nabisco was purchased by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. in what was at the time, the largest leveraged buyout in history.

In 1990, Nestlé, a Swiss multinational food and beverage company, bought Baby Ruth and Butterfinger from RJR Nabisco. When measured by revenues, Nestlé is considered the largest food company in the world.[4][5]

Butterfinger was withdrawn from the market in Germany in 1999, due to consumer rejection when it was one of the first products to be identified as containing genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) from corn.[6][7] Butterfinger sales ended after a successful campaign by Greenpeace pushed Nestlé to remove the product from German supermarkets.[8]

With sales in 2010 of $598 million, Butterfinger had become increasingly popular and was typically ranked as the eleventh most popular candy bar sold in the $17.68 billion United States chocolate confectionery market between 2007 and 2010.[9] In January 2018, Nestlé announced plans to sell over twenty of its confectionery brands of the United States (including Butterfinger) to chocolatier of Italy, Ferrero SpA, for $2.8 billion.[10]

This deal was finalized in March 2018 and the newly acquired brands were folded into the operations of the Ferrara Candy Company.[11]

Recipe Change[edit]

Ferrara reformulated the Butterfinger in January 2019, with labels displaying "Improved Recipe." "Better" Butterfinger, as it's identified in advertising, uses larger, jumbo runner peanuts in the bar's core that are roasted in house. The new bar also utilizes a higher percentage of cocoa and milk in the chocolate coating and cuts ingredients such as the preservative TBHQ and hydrogenated oils.[12] The package itself has also been upgraded to avoid spoilage.[13]

  • Criticism: Despite representatives of the brand claiming sales have "significantly improved with the new recipe, after facing double-digit sales declines prior to the brand revamp," popular opinion throughout the feedback on social media seems to contradict the notion that the new recipe is doing better than its predecessor. [14]

Speculation insists that the increased sales are inflated due to the massive investment of their new launch campaign, and are unreliable long term figures.

Advertising campaigns[edit]

Butterfinger has become known for its marketing and a roster of spokespersons, including Bart Simpson, Top Cat, Seth Green, Erik Estrada, Rob Lowe, The Butterfinger Alien, and Jaime Pressly.

Other memorable advert campaigns include counting down the end of the world or BARmageddon, with evidence such as the first ever, QR shaped crop circle in Kansas, a Butterfinger comedy-horror movie called “Butterfinger the 13th,” the first interactive digital graphic novel by a candy brand starring the Butterfinger Defense League, and several attention grabbing April Fool's Day pranks, including the renaming of the candy bar to “The Finger.”[15]

Two of the slogans currently used to advertise the candy bar are "Follow the Finger" and "Break out of the ordinary!" Prior to these, Bart Simpson, Homer Simpson, and other characters from Fox's The Simpsons, appeared in numerous advertisements for the product from 1988 to 2001, featuring the slogans "Nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger!", "Bite my Butterfinger!", and "Nothin' like a Butterfinger!"

Butterfinger, for unknown reasons, terminated a long-standing advertising contract with The Simpsons in the end of 2001. Reacting to this, the January 2002 Simpsons episode "Sweets and Sour Marge" included a scene depicting Butterfinger bars as nonflammable; the character Chief Wiggum says, "Even the fire doesn't want them."

In February 2003, in the episode "Barting Over", Bart claims he does not recall being in any commercials in the past, and then eats a Butterfinger just as he did in the commercials. In episode in November 2014, Simpsorama, a crossover with Futurama, Butterfingers are used to lure the Bart creatures into Madison Cube Garden.

On April 1, 2008, Nestlé launched an April Fool's Day prank in which they claimed that they had changed the name of the candy bar to "The Finger", citing consumer research that indicated that the original brand was "clumsy" and "awkward". The prank included a fake Web site[16] promoting the change that featured a video press release. When the joke was revealed, the website redirected visitors to the fictitious "Butterfinger Comedy Network".

In 2009, a new advertisement for Butterfinger was produced that appeared to be a homage to the earlier The Simpsons commercials. In 2010, Butterfinger revived its "Nobody better lay a finger..." slogan as "Nobody's gonna lay a finger on my Butterfinger."[17] In 2011, a comedy horror film entitled Butterfinger The 13th, was made to promote the product.[18]

In April 2013, an official announcement via the Twitter account of The Simpsons stated that the "Nobody better lay a finger" advertising campaign featuring Bart Simpson would be returning.[19] In the opening sequence of "Treehouse of Horror XXVIII" (2017), the family appeared as candy in a bowl. Bart, a Butterfinger bar, tells his mother he is scared, and she comforts him by stating he's always the last taken.

Variations[edit]

Butterfinger Snackerz
Butterfinger Snackerz candies
  • Bites: A product with small, bite sized pieces of Butterfinger is called Butterfinger Bites.
  • Snackerz: Butterfinger Snackerz is another bite sized, smooth centered version of the candy bar.
  • BB's: Starting in 1992, another form of Butterfinger bars was available called BB's. Similar to Whoppers and Maltesers, they were roughly the size of marbles and sold in bags. They also were advertised by the Simpsons. They were discontinued in 2006. In 2009, the product was brought back as Butterfinger Mini Bites.
  • Buzz: During the height of the energy drink craze in 2009, a two piece ‘king size’ version of the candy bar containing 80 milligrams of caffeine was released with limited distribution.[20] The wrapper bears this warning: "Contains 80 mg per package (40 mg per piece), as much as in the leading energy drink. Not recommended for pregnant women, children or persons sensitive to caffeine."[4]
  • Ice Cream Bar: A product with an ice cream filling, the Butterfinger Ice Cream Bar, was introduced and continues to be sold in individual bags to this day. Another product similar to that of Butterfinger Ice Cream Bars, but shaped in a nugget form, also was developed and is now discontinued.
  • Crisp: Nestlé also produces Butterfinger Crisp bars, which are a form of chocolate covered wafer cookie, with a Butterfinger flavored cream. This is part of a line of Nestlé products under a "crisp" name, including Nestlé Crunch Crisp and Baby Ruth Crisp.
  • Cocoa mix: Nestlé released a hot cocoa mix with the flavor of the Butterfinger bar. The packaging advertises the cocoa as having a chocolate and peanut butter taste.[21]
  • Cups: In 2014, a product similar to Reese's Peanut Butter Cups was introduced by Nestlé, the Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cup, which unlike Reese's Cups, has both crunchy and creamy peanut butter and covers the mix with milk chocolate.[22] It was the first new Butterfinger product introduced in more than five years. Nestlé spent two years developing the product.[23]
  • Naked: The Naked Butterfinger is a version of the standard size candy bar that will only have a coating of chocolate on the bottom to hold it together.
  • Dark: Made with Dark Chocolate

Use by other manufacturers[edit]

A part of Edy's Fun Flavors line (Dreyer's west of the Rocky Mountains and outside the United States). The product is vanilla ice cream with a peanut butter swirl and bits of the Butterfinger candy bar in it.

Grocery store Kroger has a flavor in their "Jammed" line called Peanut Butter Candy Crunch that is a peanut flavored frozen dairy dessert with Butterfinger chunks and a peanut butter swirl whose taste resembles that of the Butterfinger candy bar.

Similar products, other manufacturers[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Home". www.butterfinger.com. Retrieved 2019-06-15.
  2. ^ "Butterfinger". Nestlé USA. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
  3. ^ Sanders, Dennis (1982). The First of Everything. Dell Publishing. p. 21. ISBN 978-0385282833.
  4. ^ a b "Nestlé's Brabeck: We have a "huge advantage" over big pharma in creating medical foods", CNN Money, 1 April 2011
  5. ^ "Nestlé: The unrepentant chocolatier", The Economist, 29 October 2009. Retrieved 17 May 2012
  6. ^ Jung, Alexander (December 26, 2005). "What Can a Nation Do? Taming the Globalization Monster". Spiegel Online. Retrieved 2008-06-28.
  7. ^ "Jugendliche bei Greenpeace" (in German). Greenpeace. May 15, 2003. Archived from the original on 2009-01-01. Retrieved 2008-06-28.
  8. ^ K. Fahlenbrach; M. Klimke; J. Scharloth; L. Wong (2012). The Establishment Responds: Power, Politics, and Protest since 1945. Springer.
  9. ^ Chocolate Confectionery Brand Shares 2007–2010 (Report). Euromonitor International. 2010.
  10. ^ "Nestle selling U.S. candy brands to Nutella company". CNN. 2018-01-16. Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  11. ^ "Ferrero Completes Acquisition of Nestlé USA's Confectionary Business". Business Wire. Business Wire, Inc. March 31, 2018.
  12. ^ Taylor, Kate (February 11, 2019). "Nutella's parent company is rolling out a 'Better Butterfinger' ad campaign to highlight the candy brand's massive changes". Business Insider. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  13. ^ confectionerynews.com. "As Kellogg-Keebler deal closes, Ferrara poised to reach $3bn in sales". confectionerynews.com. Retrieved 2019-06-15.
  14. ^ Taylor, Kate (August 1, 2019). "Angry Butterfinger fans slam the candy bar's new recipe as trash and nasty". Business Insider. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  15. ^ "Butterfinger Celebrates 90ish Years Of Awesome-Ness" (Press release). Glendale, CALIF.: Nestlé USA. January 1, 2013.
  16. ^ "The Finger Bar website". Archived from the original on 2008-07-02. Retrieved 2008-06-28.
  17. ^ Butterfinger Ad Brings Back Slogan Archived 2013-04-09 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Butterfinger the 13th on IMDb
  19. ^ "The Simpsons on Twitter: "Bart Simpson reunites with @Butterfinger in Nestle's "Nobody Better Lay A Finger" campaign. Follow the reunion on Twitter! #LoveAtFirstBite"". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2016-01-30.
  20. ^ Chris McNamara (February 18, 2009). "Butterfinger with caffeine generates some buzz".
  21. ^ Butterfinger Archived November 10, 2015, at the Wayback Machine at snackmemory.com
  22. ^ "Butterfinger Cups". Nestle. Retrieved 2014-01-23.
  23. ^ Jenn Harris (2014-01-15). "Butterfinger cups to launch with Super Bowl ad". LA Times. Retrieved 2014-01-23.

External links[edit]