Butterfinger Revamp Boosts Sales

The iconic candy bar has pulled out of a sales slump with a new look from earlier this year.

July 24, 2019

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill.— Butterfinger’s facelift earlier this year has resulted in a sales bump, the Chicago Tribune reports. After years of falling sales, Ferrara Candy decided to revamp the iconic candy bar with a new look and a new formula. Parent company Ferrero Group bought Nestlé’s U.S. confectionary portfolio in 2018.

“When we brought the brands into our portfolio, we knew we had gems that had not been invested in to perform at potential,” Kristen Mandel, senior director of marketing for Ferrara Candy.

With Butterfinger, the company decided a complete makeover was needed to overcome double-digit sales decreases. The new recipe got rid of the preservative TBHQ and hydrogenated oil and added more milk and cocoa, then ground jumbo peanuts in-house. The new bar also has redone packaging to keep it fresher.

While not all Butterfinger fans greeted the changes positively, the candy bar sales jumped 17.7% compared with a year earlier. “Any time you touch a product with loyal fans, you risk this type of reaction,” said Sarah Kittel, spokeswoman for Ferrara Candy. “That said ... we’re confident that both loyal fans and new fans alike will embrace the better Butterfinger for the long term.”

Later this year, the company will debut a new Baby Ruth candy bar, which turns 100 in 2020. Overall, it’s smart to revamp iconic chocolate brands, given how nostalgia often spurs people to buy candy.

“The redo of those Nestlé brands was brilliant,” said Marcia Mogelonsky, director of food and drink insight at Mintel. “I would bet that before people saw the new and improved packages, they forgot about the brand.”