Bonkers Candy
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Bonkers Candy (History, Flavors & Commercials)

You can never outdo the classic candy options that stick out to us. Perhaps you or your parents remember some of those awesome candies from years ago. It always saddens us to think of the candies that leave behind history but are gone far too soon. 

Bonkers Candy is one such candy. These candies were a huge hit while they were around but they were actually pretty short-lived in comparison to some of the other types of candy out there. 

Please leave a review or any memories of this snack in the comments at the bottom of this page. Thank you!

Take a look at this guide to learn more about Bonkers Candy!

Bonkers Candy

 

History

Bonkers candies were introduced in the 1980s. They were made by Nabisco and they were absolutely brilliant at the time. The thing is they were simple but they were very good! These were just fruit chews that had a tangy filling inside of them. They were all wrapped individually but they came in a sleeve of candies. 

If you think about the idea behind Starbursts, these have a similar design but they were more chewy and had that tangy filling. Bonkers candy was known for the saying that they would “bonk you out”. There was also another saying that was “it makes a big hit”. They were fun and they were simple. 

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old candy

This candy came in sleeves and the sleeves had all one flavor of your choice. They had four different flavors. The flavor that really stuck out was the chocolate. Not only could you get sweet, fruit flavors but you could enjoy a chocolate chew. 

There were other candies very similar to Bonkers candy through the years. The commercials were always entertaining and even almost explained the candy to you. Since it was a very chewy candy, in the commercial they mentioned it’s not gum and made it funny in doing so. 

For example, the most memorable commercial was a woman with a southern accent. She would say something about people thinking Bonkers is gum. Of course, the commercial would progress and you would hear someone fall or get bonked. The commercial then ended with a line like they know now that it’s Bonkers. 

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This one was quite memorable but they actually had several similar versions to this commercial. The problem was that the commercials seemed to be one of the attracting factors. When Nabisco no longer ran the commercials, the sales of the candy decreased dramatically. It was almost like people forgot about Bonkers candy without the commercials to attract them. 

At the time, there was also a lot of other popular candy in the market. People were introducing healthy candy and there were just so many options. Popularity decreased more and more and availability of Bonkers grew less and less until they eventually discontinued it completely. That was in the late 1990s from what we found. 

But that wasn’t the end of the Bonkers story. While it was discontinued for quite some time by Nabisco, it wasn’t forgotten. Nearly two decades later, Leaf Brands decided they were going to bring the candy back to life. People anxiously awaited the return after hearing that Leaf bought the trademark to Bonkers in 2012. 

The process has been incredibly slow ever since. In 2015, Leaf stated that they were in the process of getting the machinery they needed and re-creating the flavors. They were going to bring back the original flavors and add some fun, new flavors as well. It sounds like they even created the candy but fans continue to anxiously away. 

In 2016, Leaf made a post to the Bonkers Candy social media pages talking about making samples and mentioning that they didn’t have a release date still. It was around that time that it was mentioned there would be the original flavors and new flavors too. 

From that update in 2016, the candy has still never come back to the market. There have been no additional updates for the public either. It’s like they suddenly went silent and no one knows whether it will make a comeback or whether the saga has truly come to an end. Even the Leaf website for Bonkers candy hasn’t been updated since 2015. 

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Logo

Bonkers Candy Logo

When Was Bonkers Candy Invented? 

Bonkers originally came out to the market sometime in the mid-1980s. It was released by Nabisco at that time and was very popular for probably about 10 years from the time it was introduced. 

Knowing what we do about the history, we question whether the commercials enhanced the popularity. Of course, it’s entirely popular that Bonkers simply got lost in a market that had way more candy options than it needed. 

Who Owns Bonkers Candy? 

Bonkers was originally owned by Nabisco. Unfortunately, Nabisco actually completely discontinued Bonkers candy sometime in the late 1990s. Many people thought they would never hear or see Bonkers again then. 

Now, the trademark is owned by Leaf Brands, LLC. They purchased the trademark in 2012. In 2015, they advertised high hopes of bringing the candy back but nothing has been uttered as an update since 2016, leaving us to wonder just what happened to those plans. 

We don’t know if the plans just fell through or if something else caused this dream to never come to life. Many fans were certainly hopeful when the announcements were made but those hopes have since been let go it would seem. 

How Did Bonkers Candy Get its Name? 

We don’t really know what exactly caused the name Bonkers. It was probably a bit of creative license from Nabisco. It was just a fun name. However, we do know that most of the marketing and commercials used by Nabisco really played on the name.

The commercials all used bonking motions and things that bonked to get the point across. The slogan was “Bonkers! Bonks you out”. It was all in fun and it was incredibly effective during the years that the commercials were actively airing and seen. 

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As soon as Nabisco stopped the commercials, the candy was nearly forgotten in the industry. 

Flavors

Bonkers had 8 original flavors in their line. Every piece of candy was wrapped individually and then placed in a sleeve of like flavors. They had chewy outsides and tangy, chewy insides as well. 

When Leaf bought the trademark, they said they would bring back the original flavors and some new flavors. This list includes both. 

  • Apple
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Grape
  • Orange Strawberry
  • Peach 
  • Lemon-lime
  • Watermelon
  • Vanilla Peach
  • Peach Apricot

The combination flavors had one flavor on the outside and then a different flavor for the tangy inside to make the combinations. They were also tasty and good and certainly unique. 

One of the flavors that sticks out to us the most here is the chocolate. Imagine the Tootsie Roll but with more chocolate in the chewy center of the candy. These were also chewier to begin with. Not very many sweet candies ever used chocolate flavors. 

Ingredients

  • Sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Palm oil
  • Citric acid
  • Natural flavor
  • Titanium dioxide (for color)
  • FD&C Color (Red 40)
  • Sunflower lecithin

Pictures

Conclusion 

Bonkers Candy was certainly a legend. While Leaf purchased the trademark and indicated they were bringing the candy back, we’re still awaiting final word on if this will ever happen. The last update provided was quite a few years ago so our hopes to see the candy go live again are not high. However, it was close to 20 years from the original discontinuation to the time that Leaf purchased the trademark so all hope is not yet lost. 

Commercials

Please leave a review or any memories of this snack in the comments below. Thank you!

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2 Comments

  1. I spoke with some from Leaf Brands in 2019.
    Would be surprised if the pandemic killed their resurgence.
    Being 4 years later, it’s unlikely we’ll see this come back, but here was the update I got on April 1st, 2019:

    “Hi and thank you for your email.

    Yes, it’s true, we’re working on bringing back Bonkers! Fruit Chews. Like any old product, it takes time to find the right machines, suppliers and flavors to make sure we produce the product exactly as you remember it. In addition, we found the person who was originally in-charge of the line. He’s currently retired with health problems so we have to work with his schedule. We’re at least about three months behind now. We currently don’t have a timeframe for it’s release but we hope it will be soon, as I’m sure you do as well.

    Regards,
    Mr. Ellia Kassoff
    CEO
    Leaf Brands, LLC.”

    Hopefully these do come back!

  2. Bonkers are my earliest memory of any candy. I was about 4 years old at the time. My older siblings, 8-10yrs old were allowed to walk to a nearby gas station and buy candy and I believe this is how I ended up with some to try. Although most of us have very few memories from such a young age, this one stands out in my mind. I even always remembered the name of the candy at that young age. I remember standing in our kitchen, carefullhy looking at it with it’s one color on the outside and a different one on the inside and then chewing it. I loved it so much I have wanted more of them ever since. It’s one of my favorite early memories. I’m now 41 years old and still have not been able to get my hands on them LOL. To make matters worse, I’m living a keto lifestyle, so even if I ever get to try them again, I’ll probably chew it and spit it out. These have such nostalgia for me even though I only remember having them one time. I’m sure I probably had them again sometime after that but no memory of it. I also do not remember the commercials and I don’t remember a chocolate flavor. Mine was fruity but I don’t remember which flavor. It’s sad to say but if I do see them on a store shelf, I probably wouldn’t buy them, unless they were a gift to someone else.

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