This candy bar was first introduced in 1978. The "Whatchamacallit" name was devised by Patricia Volk, the writer of STUFFED: Adventures of a Restaurant Family when she was the Associate Creative Director at Doyle Dane & Bernbach and was in charge of new brands on the Hershey account. From 1987 to 2008, Whatchamacallit has included peanut-flavored crisp that utilizes peanut butter as the flavoring agent, with a layer of caramel and a layer of chocolate coating. In the late 1980s, a commercial was created in a new wave style referring to the bar in various ways to say "whatchamacallit", including names that had been made up, such as "wowzamadooala." Hershey's Whatchamacallit is found in recipes for various food items, including pies, cookies, cheesecakes, and cupcakes.
The advertising for the Whatchamacallit peaked in the 1980s, after this period Hershey Company ran noticeably less advertisements on this product. However, despite the lack of attention the company gives it compared to other its products, the Whatchamacallit is still in production as of 2015.
In Canada, an identical candy bar is marketed by Hershey's as Special Crisp, but does not have the wide distribution in Canada that the Whatchamacallit has in the United States.
Ingredient changes to reduce production costs
In 2008, the Hershey Company began to change the ingredients for some of its products, replacing the relatively expensive cocoa butter with cheaper oil substitutes. Such cost cutting was done to avoid price increases for the affected products.
Hershey's changed the description of the product and altered the packaging slightly along with the ingredients. Though the new formula still contains chocolate, according to United States Food and Drug Administration food labeling laws, products that do not contain cocoa butter cannot legally be described as milk chocolate. Instead, such products are often referred to as chocolate candy.
Other products that no longer contain cocoa butter (and thus cannot, in the United States, be described as containing milk chocolate) include: Hershey's Kissables (now discontinued), Krackel, Milk Duds, and Mr. Goodbar.
In 2009, Hershey's introduced Thingamajig, a limited edition version featuring chocolate, cocoa crisps, and peanut butter inside. It was reintroduced in late 2011 on a supposedly permanent basis. However, as of 2012, according to Hershey's Chocolate World in PA, the Thingamajig candy bar is no longer being produced.
- Volk, Patricia (2002). Stuffed: Adventures of a Restaurant Family. Random House Digital, Inc. (Retrieved via Google Books). p. 110. Retrieved 2012-09-11.
- Levy (AP Business Writer), Marc (10/11/2008). "Aggressive Mars breathes down Hershey's neck in US". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-03-15. Check date values in:
- Coffey, Laura T. (Sept . 19, 2008). "Chocoholics sour on new Hershey’s formula". today.msnbc.msn.com. Retrieved March 15, 2010. Check date values in:
- "Thingamajig Sell Sheet" (PDF). The Hershey Company. c. 2009. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
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