This is one of the most unusual candy bars that has ever been sold in the US. There have been many candy bars and candy products that have been associated with sports of various kinds, but most of them were not named after a specific player. Baseball fans are well-known for being really attached to certain players and the Reggie! Bar was named this way because of the popularity of star player Reggie Jackson.
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If you like caramel and chocolate, you would have loved this candy bar. It was also an interesting shape, being more like a no-bake cookie than a candy bar both in texture and in presentation. This was short-lived candy, but for those who loved the connection with their favorite player and the unique texture and taste of it, the Reggie! Bar is a beloved memory.
Reggie! Bar History
The original candy product that would one day become the Reggie! Bar was a product called a Bun Bar. This was a caramel and milk chocolate confection that was made in round discs and sold individually under the name Bun Bar. There were various versions of this bar, like Vanilla Cream and Caramel. This was a product that was made by the Wayne Bun Candy Company through the late 1940s. During this period, the candy was sold to a variety of different corporations, eventually coming into the hands of Leaf Confectionery, who then sold it to Standard Brands’ Curtiss Candy Company.
With Curtiss at the helm, the candies were repackaged as Reggie! Bars in honor of Reggie Jackson. The story behind this choice is interesting because the ever-confident Reggie Jackson stated early in his career that someone would have to name a candy bar after him. The Curtiss Company was happy to reply to this in the affirmative, and they packaged each of their Reggie! Bars in a bright red wrapper that showed Reggie’s image on it in action.
The product was sold with a collector baseball card inside, which was a big hit with kids. Baseball card collecting was a popular pastime all the way through the 70s, and the cards included in each bar were their own unique and special kind of trading card. People who loved Reggie! Bars will tell you that this product is much better than a Baby Ruth and that there is no comparison between the two bars. The basic Bun Bar recipe had not changed much, and the Reggie! Bar was largely just a rebranding effort of the original product. The instant popularity of a candy bar that had not been notable before its association with Reggie Jackson tells you just how much a connection with a sports figure can boost a brand.
This candy bar was offered to fans as they entered Yankee Stadium. It was also easy to get this bar in many stores on the East Coast. Kids were familiar with the bar at first due to the connection with their hero, but the Reggie! Bar quickly cemented a place for itself due to its flavor and texture as well.
On April 13, 1978, the opening day of Yankee Stadium for the New York Yankees saw the Reggie! Bar handed out to everyone who entered the stadium. When Reggie Jackson hit his first home run, the fans showered the field and Reggie himself with the candy bars. This required a clean-up effort in between each successful play that probably annoyed the grounds crew.
The Reggie! Bar was sold for the duration of Reggie’s stint with the Yankees. In 1981, it was pulled from production. There was a brief revival of the candy in the 90s when Reggie was placed in the Hall of Fame, but with Clark Candies as the maker. The bar did not catch on like it had when it was first made, and it was again removed from shelves.
For those who loved the Reggie! Bar just for its taste, this has been a lasting disappointment. There are some similar products on the market, but the disc-like shape and the combination of ingredients in the Reggie! Bar has not been duplicated in other candies. The association with a sports star that made the bar such a success in the late 70s and early 80s is likely also the reason for its demise. Another potential reason for the candy bar’s lack of popularity later in its life was the size. This was not a big candy bar, and people had become used to huge candy bars by the 80s.
People who were fans of this candy bar can speculate all they want about it coming back under a new livery, but it is unlikely that this candy bar will ever emerge again.
Reggie! Bar Logo
Reggie! Bar Ingredients
One of the original wrappers for the candy lists these ingredients:
- Corn syrup
- Hydrogenated vegetable oil
- One of more of the following: Palm kernel, coconut soy, soybean, or cottonseed oil
- Non-fat dry milk
- Soy flour
- Dairy whey
- Cocoa processed with alkali
- Brown sugar
- Artificial flavors
Reggie! Bar Packaging
The Reggie! Bar was quite distinctive, and you would have been able to tell that this was the product that you were buying with ease. The original base color of the wrapper was a reddish-orange, and there were a few different versions of the image of Reggie Jackson swinging to hit a baseball on the front. The logo proclaimed “Reggie!” in large block letters and below this was a simple description of the ingredients of the bar.
Most bars also showed a cartoonish baseball above the letter E in the logo as well. The price was in the top right corner above the logo. There were versions of the wrapper that were made in red rather than orange, and that showed Reggie’s entire body and the bat he was holding. These wrappers said more about the flavor and ingredients of the candy inside than the basic orange wrapper did.
The difference between the two wrappers is an indicator of the owner of the candy at the time that the wrapper was designed. The Clark Company had taken over by the time that the red wrapper was used. The orange version was made for the Standard Brands label.
How Successful Was the Reggie! Bar?
Despite its short lifespan, this candy bar apparently did make quite a bit of money when it was at its most popular. Reggie Jackson told a broadcaster in 2016 that the candy bar made 11 million dollars in the New York area in 1978 when it was first released with his name on the packaging. He credited the colorful packaging, association with his name, and the popularity of baseball in the New York area for the sales that the bar enjoyed in its first years after it was rebranded.
The sales numbers are less clear after 1978 because of issues that the Curtiss Candy Bar company was experiencing with SEC Security and Exchanges Commission. They ultimately lost the right to make the Reggie! Bar. Clark would have much less luck with the bar when they took control in the 90s to commemorate Reggie’s induction into the Hall of Fame. Clark even made sure that the baseball cards the bar was known for were included in the packaging.
Today, the taste test videos that are all over YouTube of people trying the Reggie! Bar are usually these candies from the Clark company’s time at the helm. They are frequently sold on eBay, and most of the people that have tried to eat them will tell you that the candy has not held up to this long in storage. Some people have described the taste as being like mothballs, but there have been even less flattering descriptions.
Given the way that the candy bar market has changed in the last twenty years, the overall style of the Reggie! Bar would have to change to keep pace with the times. People are much less likely to be open to a flat disc-like candy bar, and the simplicity of the flavors and ingredients might not be suitable for the desires of candy lovers today.
Pictures of Reggie! Bar
Reggie! Bar Commercials
This candy bar leaned heavily on the fame of Reggie Jackson to market it. Some of the most classic ads showed Reggie himself in the ad talking about how great the candy bar was. There are few ads that were run for the bar since it was so intimately connected with Reggie and because it was offered in the stadium to so many people when they walked in to watch each game.
There are various taste tests of the candy bar done by people who are brave enough to eat a candy bar that has been in storage for this long. These should be watched with caution as none of them end very well. Eating something that is as old as any Reggie! Bar would be at this point is not advisable.
A taste test of a 20-year-old bar:
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