Zagnut

On the list of unusual candy bars that many people have loved for years, the Zagnut tops the list. This candy bar with a silly name is made in a very unusual way and offers a similar taste profile to a Mounds Bar. This is not a candy flavor profile that is reflected in many offerings in the candy market today, but in 1930 when this candy was first on the market, this was a common and popular flavor profile.

If you have ever wondered what this candy bar with the funny name is like, or this is the first time that you have been told that it existed, you need to read on! There is something delightfully interesting about these older candy bars that have been on the market for and you will love learning more about this creative candy treat.

Zagnut

Zagnut History

This candy was first sold in 1930. It was the creation of the D.L. Clark company who sold the product to Leaf later on. The candy was then acquired by Hershey Foods Corporation in 1996. This candy bar has had staying power despite its unusual taste profile and is still really popular with those who love peanuty snacks that have a hint of coconut in them.

This candy bar is made with a peanut butter center and then it is covered in a crunchy layer of coconut topping. The toasted flavor of the coconut is really unusual, as is the fact that this layer is on the outside of the bar and not the inside.

The name of the bar is likely mostly due to the coconut powder on the outside of the bar but it could refer to the peanut butter flavored interior as well. This was the kind of candy bar name that was popular at the time, and many of these treats were renamed with more modern names when they were bought later in life. Zagnut has held onto its delightfully wacky name throughout the years, which is one of the reasons that it is so memorable. You simply can’t forget a name like Zagnut!

These candy bars were originally designed with the military in mind. At the time, candy bars were always a part of the rations that were sent over to the troops, and Zagnuts were included in these rations. The bars were intentionally designed to be melting-proof and to taste great even when they had been packed up for some time in boxes.

This 30s candy bar was also made to be fairly nutritious in the sense that it includes a lot of fats and carbs. This was meant to make them more effective as emergency rations for troops on the move. The fact that these delightful little treats also taste great is a lovely added benefit to the overall quite healthy presentation of the ingredients.

Zagnut has had staying power in part because of its very unique flavor profile. You will get all of the interior elements of a lot of different candy bars without the chocolate on the outside. For some candy lovers, this is the perfect solution and being able to miss out on the chocolate does not hurt their feelings. This is where Zagnut differs from the offerings on the market like Mounds Bars.

The all-pervasive presence of chocolate in all candy bars on the market was not as common when this bar was first made. Chocolate could not be kept cold at that time in the hotter months of the year and without AC and refrigeration being common, there were more candy bars that excluded chocolate.

There are still people who love a good crunchy candy bar that does not have the chocolate exterior and this bar offers all of those benefits and more. This is also a great choice if you love a slightly healthier candy-eating experience.

Marketing For Zagnut

This candy bar is a little unique because it was not really produced with the mass market in mind when it first came onto the market. With the bar having been made largely to be included with rations sent to the military, it was not marketed heavily to children or adults at home. This did not change much later on in the life of this candy treat either.

Zagnut seems to have been one of those candy bars that just collected a following almost on its own. It could be that the clever and silly name really stuck with people and was the original spur to action to try out the candy bar. The staying power of the candy without intense advertising is also likely in part due to its unusual nature. There are few things on the market like this candy and you can only enjoy this flavor profile when you buy a Zagnut.

Even the wrappers are still styled much like the original packaging which can attest to the fact that the name and the taste alone are enough to help drive sales. This is one of those niche market bars that has done very well with very little input from the companies who have owned it over the years. The bar is still wrapped in a bright red wrapper and the bold yellow lettering still proclaims the brand name in that very 1930s font that everyone will recognize right off as being from the era.

Many of the ads that were created used the name as the main discussion point, with an executive wanting to know who on earth would name a candy bar something so silly as just one example. This shows you how key the name was to the recognition of the candy bar itself and people knew which candy they were getting immediately when they picked up this candy treat with its silly name.

This is a classic candy bar that has stood the test of time, so it is likely that there has never been any reason to change what is already working perfectly! People who loved this candy bar in childhood will still love it today and for all the right reasons.

Hershey’s has not seemed to feel any pressure to increase the advertising for this candy bar since picking up the product. They are being sold in more stores now, but the ads are still minimal. You will find what you need to know about the product on the Hersheys site, but it seems like this candy bar still largely promotes itself.

Zagnut Ingredients

This is a really simple candy bar that has stood the test of time despite not having a bunch of fancy fillings, flavor offerings or layers of different candy types. These are the ingredients per the Smartlabel site entry:

  • Sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Peanuts
  • Toasted coconut
  • Molasses
  • Partially hydrogenated oil- coconut, cottonseed, palm kernel, soybean, sunflower oil, safflower oil, shea oil
  • Palm oil
  • Salt
  • Chocolate
  • Lecithin
  • Milk
  • Lactose
  • Milkfat
  • TBHQ
  • Artificial flavor
  • Yellow 6 lake
  • PGPR
  • Sorbitan Tristearate

Similar Candy Bars

Many people ask what this unusual candy bar is the most like. This is a fair question since this is a slightly unusual concept for a candy bar these days. The equivalence to a Mounds Bar is mentioned frequently but there are also some other bars on the market that you could draw a line to. The Chick-O-Stick bar is a similar design with a molasses crisp interior as well as a honeycomb peanut butter center.

Other people point to the Clark Bar, but this is more along the lines of the Mounds Bar in design. You will have a similar interior filling to the bar but the exterior crunch is missing. Butterfinger bars offer the most equivalent crunchiness, but they again have a chocolate exterior so they are not perfectly alike this unique candy bar either.

The fact that the Zagnut bar has never been sold with any flavor varieties also makes it a really unusual offering on the candy market. There are few candy bars that are sold today that do not have many different variations on common themes or different spin-off products associated with them. Even classic bars like Snickers have some varieties and additional products that were made to be modeled after the original.

Zagnut stands almost alone in its solidarity with the original bar and you will find that eating one of these today is no different than eating one that was given to a soldier overseas in the 40s. This is a fun time capsule experience that you cannot get from many other candies or foods on the market today and many people want to try this bar just because of this unique fact. Whether you like coconut in your candy bars or not, the crunchy and special texture of this bar and the peanut buttery taste are usually appealing to everyone.

Pictures of Zagnut

Zagnut ads:

While this candy has not been advertised a lot, there are a few classics out there that you can still see:

Here is a taste test for the bar where you can see the current wrapping and hear about the taste experience:

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