Origin of Candy: Butterfinger

Halloween is slowly approaching, which means Halloween costume and candy sales are soon to skyrocket. Before you go bumbling into the store to stock up on essential sweets, let’s take a minute to learn the origin of these popular pieces of sugar. From Reeses to Skittles, York Peppermint Patties to Charleston Chew, each upcoming post will be a brief history of these most delicious candies. Today, we start with one of my personal favorites: Butterfinger.

But-ter-fin-ger: Noun A person who tends to drop things.

The Butterfinger candy bar was invented in 1923, by the Curtiss Candy Company of Chicago. The name Butterfinger was actually created through a public contest. When the candy bar was first created, Curtiss Candy Company rented airplanes and dropped Butterfinger bars into cities all across the United States. The publicity stunt increased awareness of the candy bar, thus spiking the candy’s popularity.

Crutiss Candy Company merged with Nabisco in 1981, then Nestle purchased Butterfinger from Nabisco in 1990. It was around this same time that Fox’s The Simpsons appeared in Butterfinger advertisements, which ran from 1990 to 2001. Bart Simpson was the most frequent of Simpsons characters appearing in the ads, saying slogans like Bite my Butterfinger!, Nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger!, and Nothin’ like a Butterfinger! When the contract was terminated, Simpsons made fun of Butterfinger, in the episode Sweets and Sour Marge.

You can hear the chocolatey snap!

Recently, Butterfinger was withdrawn from the German market due to it containing genetically modified ingredients from corn. In the United States, Butterfinger labels are printed in both English and Spanish.

In 2009, Butterfinger Buzz was released. Containing 80 milligrams of caffeine, this was the Butterfinger competitor product to the energy drink craze. This warning was on the label: “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.”

Butterfinger

One of the many alternative Butterfinger products.

There once was a time where you could buy Butterfinger Ice Cream Bars, Butterfinger Ice Cream Nuggets, or Butterfinger BB’s, but all of these products have been discontinued. While the ice cream products being discontinued is no big deal, since Butterfinger Ice Cream tubs are still being produced, it is the Butterfinger BB’s that cause tears to stream from my eyes. The joy and wonder of those delicious morsels were the epitome of my childhood. Yes, I know, it was brought back in 2009 as Butterfinger Mini Bits, but it will never be the same.

One thought on “Origin of Candy: Butterfinger

  1. Kkabd5

    Hi Dale, You really delivered with some great facts about the history of the Butterfinger. Like you, I LOVE THEM. I can’t believe that they tossed the candy bars out of planes as a publicity stunt. I wonder how many people got hurt? Your review says that this crazy marketing stunt spiked it’s popularity so it must not have been a big deal. Since Bart Simpson was the “bad boy” poster child for Butterfinger in the 1990′s, I think Dora the Explorer should be Nestle’s “good girl” image to promote the Butterfinger in 2011 and beyond.

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