|Owner||Nestlé (since 1990)|
Butterfinger is a candy bar created in 1923 in Chicago Illinois by Otto Schnering, which currently is manufactured by Nestlé. The bar consists of a flaky, crisp, peanut butter-flavored center covered with compound chocolate.
The Curtiss Candy Company had been founded near Chicago, Illinois in 1922 by Otto Schnering, using his mother's maiden name. The Butterfinger candy bar was invented by him during 1923. 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 1934 film 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.
GMO ingredients lost German market
Butterfinger was withdrawn from the German market in 1999 due to consumer rejection when it was one of the first products to be identified as containing genetically-modified ingredients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. The Nestlé company chose to lose the entire German market rather than to adopt the use of GMO-free ingredients.
Nestlé advertising campaigns
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 terminated a long-standing advertising contract with The Simpsons in late 2001. Reacting to this, the January 2002 Simpsons episode "Sweets and Sour Marge" included a scene depicting Butterfinger bars as noninflammable; the character Chief Wiggum says, "Even the fire doesn't want them." In the February 2003 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 the November 2014 episode 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 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."
A product with small, bite-sized pieces of butterfinger is called Butterfinger Bites.
Butterfinger Snackerz is another bite-sized, smooth-centered version of the candy bar.
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.
During the height of the energy drink craze in 2009, a version of the candy bar containing 80 milligrams of caffeine was released with limited distribution. The wrapper bears the following warning: "Contains 80mg 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."
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.
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.
In 2014, a product similar to Reese's Peanut Butter Cups was introduced by Nestlé, the Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cup, which mixes crispy peanut butter with creamy peanut butter and covers the mix with milk chocolate. It was the first new Butterfinger product introduced in more than five years. Nestlé spent two years developing the product.
Flavor used by other manufacturers
A part of Edy's Fun Flavors line (Dreyer's west of the Rocky Mountains and outside the U.S.). 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
- Clark Bar (from Necco)
- 5th Avenue (from The Hershey Company)
- Reese's Crispy Crunchy Bar: a product that includes peanuts and peanut butter (now owned by The Hershey Company)
- Zagnut: a similar product using toasted coconut instead of chocolate (from The Hershey Company)
- Chick-O-Stick: a rolled product using toasted coconut instead of chocolate (from the Atkinson Candy Company)
- Crispy Crunch (from Cadbury)
- Sanders, Dennis (1982). The First of Everything. Dell Publishing. p. 21. ISBN 978-0385282833.
- "Nestlé's Brabeck: We have a "huge advantage" over big pharma in creating medical foods", CNN Money, 1 April 2011
- "Nestlé: The unrepentant chocolatier", The Economist, 29 October 2009. Retrieved 17 May 2012
- Jung, Alexander (December 26, 2005). "What Can a Nation Do? Taming the Globalization Monster". Spiegel Online. Retrieved 2008-06-28.
- "Jugendliche bei Greenpeace" (in German). Greenpeace. May 15, 2003. Retrieved 2008-06-28.
- "The Finger Bar website". Retrieved 2008-06-28.
- Butterfinger Ad Brings Back Slogan
- Butterfinger the 13th at the Internet Movie Database
- "Butterfinger Cups". Nestle. Retrieved 2014-01-23.
- Jenn Harris (2014-01-15). "Butterfinger cups to launch with Super Bowl ad". LA Times. Retrieved 2014-01-23.
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