Wonka Bar (History, Varieties & Commercials)

If you loved the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, you probably always wanted to try one of the Wonka bars that the movie was centered around. These candy bars were of mythical status in the movie and everyone want to get a golden ticket out of one of the candy bars they bought so they could go see how the chocolate factory worked.

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The frenzy over the candy bars in the movie became linked to a real candy bar that Quaker Oats hoped would be equally popular when they started making them. Quaker Oats even funded most of the cost of the movie just to link the cult classic to their products. This candy bar has had some ups and downs in its history and certainly never occupied the same place in people’s hearts as the film did.

Wonka Bar

History Of The Wonka Bar

As mentioned previously, Quaker Oats funded most of the making of the movie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which was based on Roald Dahl’s well-known book by the same name. The candy bars that the company was developing were intended to be released in conjunction with the film release and were to be sold under the “Wonka Bars name.

The original candy experienced issues with the formulation and was pulled from shelves almost right away. The 1971 candies were wrapped with brown, orange, and pink wrappers that showed a top hat perched on the letter W in the name.

The candy bars were intended to be like Cadbury Dairy Milk bars and were supposed to be sold with various marketing connections to the different books that Dahl had written in the same universe as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Everyone who loves the movie is grateful that Quaker Oats chose to fund it on the apparently false hope that they could sell candy bars related to it with ease.

The story that the Quaker Oats Company tells about the reason for this move on their part says that Hollywood director Mel Stuart’s 11-year-old daughter asked him to make the book into a movie after she read it. Stuart floated the idea to producer David Wolper, who was coincidentally working with Quaker Oats on another project. Quaker Oats had already stated that they wanted to get into the candy business and a plan was concocted to make both dreams a reality.

The candy bars that would ultimately fail for a formulation error were heavily marketed in the run-up to the movie’s release. This is arguably one of the biggest campaigns that have ever been done to release a candy to market. Ultimately, the movie was not a box office hit and the candy bars were pulled off shelves due to formulation issues almost right away.

The company did manage to successfully sell Everlasting Gobstoppers and Scrumdidilyumptious bars after the movie was released even if the Wonka bar melted too easily to stay on shelves.

The candy formula was later corrected and it was added to the candy lineup once Nestle had taken control of the Wonka brand. By this time, the candy bar was really a graham cracker that was dipped in milk chocolate. The candy bar in this formulation had been around since 1976 despite lackluster sales.

When Nestle bought the Wonka bar and the other Wonka candy products in 1988, they quickly went to work on marketing these products with nods to the movie.

Another chance to make Wonka Bars a household name took place when the 2005 adaptation of the film starring Johnny Depp was released. Nestle sold these candy bars with golden tickets in them, just as in the film and the books. They also started selling the Wonka Xploder, Wonkalata, and Wonka Biscuits. There were only 5 of each product that held a golden ticket, just like in the original story. The golden ticket in this case made you the winner of a $10,000 cash prize.

One of Nestle’s European candy factories also began making Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delights and Nutty Crunch Surprise as well as Triple Dazzle Caramel. All of these new candies were mentioned in the new film. This gave the candy a bit of a boost and kept it on the shelves for a few more years.

In 2010, Nestle USA said they were launching a candy lineup called Wonka Exceptionals. This was a line of candy bars that would include a Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate bar, a Wonka Chocolate Waterfall Bar, and a Wonka Domed Dark Chocolate Bar.

Ten golden tickets were released in bars and bags of these Exceptionals and people who found them were to get a trip around the world. This foray was partially discontinued in 2012 when added flavors like Wonka Fantabulous Fudge were pulled from shelves.

Nestle stated in 2013 that the Wonka Bar was going to make a comeback, having been off the shelves of most candy sellers since 2005. These new bars were going to be sold in small-size bars as well as big block bars of 100g. These candy bars were sold in Millionaire’s Shortbread, Crème Brulé, and Chocolate Nice Cream flavors. These candy bars never made it to the US and were discontinued when they did not sell particularly well.

Nestle rubbed salt in the wounds of those who loved these candies and renamed the Willy Wonka Candy Company the Nestle Candy Shop in 2015. All the fun and colorful wrappers and boxes went away and the top hat vanished with the logo. The candy that did survive the purge of the old livery and advertising style was made to be healthier and its flavor profile changed significantly.

Amidst backlash and angry fan reactions, Nestle sold the remainder of what had been the Willy Wonka Candy Company to Ferrero in 2018. Everlasting Gobstoppers remain the one survivor of this process of change and sales, but many people still long for the Wonka Candy bar lineup and the fun and enticing wrappers that reminded them of their favorite movie.

It seems like a sad mishandling of this candy brand that all of the wonder and fun of the names and the ingredients was not backed up by a stellar marketing plan and some connective tissue to make the brand have longevity. After all, the movie has been a cult classic for years now and the candy bars should have been able to enjoy a new lease on life when the 2005 movie was released.

For those who loved this candy brand, the fact that it was not saved from ruin and was only sold off at the end of its life is very sad. There was something special and memorable about these candy varieties, particularly to those who great up watching the film they were originally made for. Seeing the candy company disappear entirely feels to some fans like the loss of a childhood dream.

While you can still get some Wonka candies in certain key markets, the return of this candy brand is not likely. For those who loved Wonka Bars and all the spin-off candies that were made because of them, this is a tale to tell younger people who will never get to try these delightful candies.

Wonka Bar Logo

Ingredients in Wonka Bars

From the listing for the Scrumdiddlyumptious bar which was similar to the original Wonka Bar:

  • Sugar
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Chocolate
  • Nonfat milk
  • Peanuts
  • Milkfat
  • Lactose
  • Butter
  • Rice flour
  • Less than 1% of palm oil, so lecithin, corn flour, modified cornstarch
  • Salt
  • Natural flavors
  • High fructose corn Syrup

Wonka Bar Nutrition

Serving Size: 1 bar % Daily Value*
Amount Per Serving
Calories 360
Calories from Fat 170
Total Fat 19g 29%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 85mg 4%
Potassium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 49g 16%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 40g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0%
Iron 0%
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Varieties of Wonka Bars

  • Original Wonka Bar
  • Wonka Xploder
  • Wonkalate
  • Wonka Biscuits
  • Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight
  • Nutty Crunch Surprise
  • Triple Dazzle Caramel
  • Piritto Natty Bur
  • Edible Garden
  • Eureka Moment
  • Happy Go Lucky
  • Making WoW!
  • Wonka Exceptionals
  • Wonka Chocolate Waterfall Bar
  • Wonka Fantabulous Fudge
  • Crème Brule
  • Chocolate Nice Cream
  • Millionaire’s Shortbread
  • Chocolate Tales Bar
  • Caramel Hat Trick
  • Wonka Triple Chocolate Whipple Bar
  • Nutty Crunchilicious
  • Cookie Creamery
  • Mudpuff Caramel Stuff

Not all of these flavors were sold in the US and many of them were specifically made for unique candy types like the Exceptionals lineup. Most of these bars were not sold in varying sizes either and you might find that one or another of them were only sold as mini bars while others were only sold as large bars. The changes that constantly plagued the Wonka brand name created many spin-offs in other countries that were never marketed anywhere else.

Most of these flavors or varieties of candies were sold for a year or less at a time and then never showed up on the scene again. Some of them were versions of previous flavor offerings with a few new ingredients thrown in or a few added layers or other candy types. It would be difficult to track down any of these candies these days with an original wrapper or in all of these flavors. The various markets that were involved in selling them combined with the way that distribution and marketing were done have made sure that most of these candy bars barely saw the light of day before being pulled from shelves.

Pictures of Wonka Bar

Commercials for Wonka Bars:

A 2005 ad:

One of the newer ads that were made toward the end of the Wonka Candy Brand:

A 1971 ad:

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1 thought on “Wonka Bar (History, Varieties & Commercials)”

  1. Bought a wonka bar with a golden ticket in irelabd may 5, 2022. Some of the bars can still be bought in other places besides usa. And of course, the Candy Box in Ireland does ship to USA quite often.

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