Many people are well aware of the existence of Hershey’s and its products. People know about the Hershey’s bar and other products that are made by this company that is quite famous by now. However, there have been some products that the candy giant has made that have not been as popular or as well known. Bar None is one of these candies.
Many people are not even aware that this chocolate bar with a chocolate wafer and peanuts in the center even existed! This is one of the many bars that could compete with Kit Kat for flavor profile and yet it is not as widely known as many of Hershey’s other products. This candy bar has experienced a sudden renewed interest in its existence and people are realizing that they might have missed out on this delightful treat when it first hit the market.
History of Bar None
This candy bar was released to the market in 1987. It was sold under the name, Temptation in Canada but Bar None in the US. The bar was made with chocolate wafers, chocolate crème, crushed peanuts, and caramel all encased in a sweet and delightful chocolate exterior. This was a rich and yet crispy bar that was made with some of the same flavor and texture notes as a Kit Kat.
The name of the bar implies that there is none better on the market. This is an older saying that is not commonly used anymore, but it was common to say something was the best, “bar none” at the time. This was a bar that was clearly meant to be a top performer in the stable of Hershey’s chocolate treats if the name is any indication of what they were thinking it would do for the company.
The original launch included TV ads with a beast tamer and the slogan, “extremely chocolate extravaganza”. The bar appears to have performed fairly well right off but sales fell shortly after. This might have been because there was a decision that was made to make the candy bar into two unique sticks like the Kit Kat. This was done in 1992, and might have caused the candy to seem like an overdone Kit Kat bar to some people. The impact on flavor might also have had something to do with the decline in sales.
People did report that the original bar was hard to eat due to the size and the complexity of the interior of the candy. This was not helped by adding chewy caramel to the mix of the revised bar, which made the candy even harder to eat despite the decision to split the bar into two sticks. The brown ombre design that had been on the original wrapper was changed out for a yellow wrapper but this did not seem to connect with increased sales either.
These stumbles led to a sharp decline in sales and the candy bar was considered a flop. Sales came to a halt in 1997. A site called “Iconic Candy” is making efforts to try to revive the candy bar and get it back onto shelves. They have relaunched the product per their website announcements as of 2019 and are hoping that they can create enough interest in the candy to keep it selling for good.
Ingredients of Bar None
The new bar is slightly different in composition than the old one that failed. The quoted ingredients from the Candyblog.net site are:
- Milk chocolate
- Dry roasted peanuts
- Chocolate cream wafer
- Milk chocolate: sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk, chocolate liquor, soy lecithin, vanilla
- Chocolate crème wafer: sugar, enriched flour, dextrose, palm oil, canola oil, cocoa processed with alkali, soy lecithin, artificial flavor
- Sodium bicarbonate
- Yellow #5
- Yellow #6
- Red # 3
- Red #40
- Blue #1
These are not a huge divergence from the original recipe but the new bar does include more naturally sourced flavoring agents than the old one with included TBHQ and a few other more synthetic and mass production-common items.
It appears that the brown wrapper has come back and there is an image of the candy bar on the outside with large block letters stating the name of the candy clearly in white lettering. You will not have to guess what you are buying when you pick up the new Bar None bar. This is probably going to be a more successful relaunch of the bar but since it is being made in the US and promoted by a smaller company, time will tell if this new rebranding and the new release will carry the bar through into the future.
The original packaging of this bar showed the name in quotations, styled as, “Bar None”. This was not the end design for the packaging and when the bright yellow wrapper with the blue lettering came out, the quotes were dropped. It seems a little bit like all of the design notes for this bar were not well considered during the first release and the secondary restyling.
The brown packaging is hard to read and very boring and the yellow and blue version just feels unpalatable and unappetizing somehow. There is no question that branding was an issue with this product and it is quite likely that better wrappers would have made the bar much more successful. The rebranded and recently released bar should have better
Hershey was rumored to have spent as much as 15 million dollars on researching and developing the candy, which is why some fans of the bar are so surprised that it was allowed to fail so catastrophically. This was the first new bar that the candy company had made in decades and people were very excited about it due to a large amount of effort that was put into the slogans, ads, and hype surrounding its release.
Perhaps the fact that the bar seemed slated to overtake and outshine Kit Kat was part of the reason that the company started changing the recipe, but the misguided changes to the texture and flavor certainly were not helpful to a candy bar that was already not branded very well and was selling despite these stumbles. The fact that fans were so enamored of the bar that it was brought back from extinction by Iconiccandy.com shows that there were plenty of people who wanted to buy it but that the Hershey’s company management was simply not correct for a number of mysterious reasons.
Taste testers who were involved in the resurrection of the beloved candy were immediately in love with it all over again, which leads everyone who knows the history of the bar to wonder what on earth Hershey’s was doing with their management plan for this fan favorite. It is enough for most fans that this candy bar can be purchased and enjoyed again, but for people who love a good product mystery, there are more questions than answers that surround the Bar None bar mystery.
Bar None Slogans and Campaigns
This candy bar was originally marketed with the slogan, “The chocolate lovers bar” and also had the added statement in some ads that, “it will tame the chocolate beast in you”. There were also a lot of ads that featured lion or beast tamers and the indication that your hunger was a beast that needed to be tamed was clear. This might have been an effort to cash in on the Snickers-style slogans that offered up their candy bars as a meal replacement that would make you have renewed energy and excitement for life.
Bar None did not enjoy enough years of advertising to have a significant number of ads out for it after the original run-up to the release, but many of the ads continued the beast taming theming as the bar was placed on shelves and sold alongside familiar Hershey’s offerings like Kit Kat and their famous milk chocolate bars. This is a company that has always been known for clever advertising for things like their Hershey’s Kisses and other products, so the lack of effective marketing behind Bar None has always seemed a little odd to those who loved the candy and wanted it to continue to be sold.
Some of the Bar None ads were very cartoony and colorful and definitely felt like 90’s ads aimed at young people. That might have been another stumble on the part of the Hershey Company. It seems like an older group of people love this candy bar and that the targeting might have been off from the start. They could have probably guessed this if they had looked at who enjoyed Kit Kat bars the most since the flavor profile of the two bars is very similar.
Bar None Ads
A classic Bar None ad that stands out from some of the more boring ones:
A classic ad for the candy:
An ad that shows the reimagined packaging and the Twix-like double bar arrangement:
Bar None is included in this taste test review: