Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
- Butterfinger rolled out a new recipe earlier this year.
- Some furious fans are complaining that the revamped version of the candy bar is not as good as the old.
- A Butterfinger representative said that sales have significantly improved with the new recipe, after facing double-digit sales declines prior to the brand revamp.
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Butterfinger fans are freaking out about the candy’s new recipe.
In February, Butterfinger’s parent company Ferrero launched the "Better Butterfinger" campaign, with the tagline: "nobody lays a finger on my better Butterfinger."
The campaign highlighted Butterfinger’s recipe revamp, which uses larger, Jumbo runner peanuts and a higher percentage of cocoa and milk in the chocolate coating and cuts preservative TBHQ and hydrogenated oils. The campaign was the brand’s largest advertising push in more than a decade, Kristen Mandel, a senior director of marketing at Ferrero-owned Ferrara, told Business Insider at the time.
However, many Butterfinger fans argue that the new recipe has ruined the beloved candy.
"The new recipe has removed most of the flavor and leaves a nasty aftertaste. Unless the new recipe is changed, hopefully back to the old, Butterfinger will disappear as a brand within two years," Bob Walker, a 74-year-old attorney and former Butterfinger fan, told Business Insider.
Other disgruntled Butterfinger lovers are making their concerns heard on social media.
Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
Butterfinger’s social media pages have been flooded with negative comments about the new recipe.
"The new butterfinger is terrible! Will no longer buy until they go back to the old recipe," reads one Facebook comment. "Why change a good thing?"
"Top fan here… you new recipe is trash. Go back to the drawing board," reads another.
A third says: "When are the original Butterfingers coming back? Let’s quit pretending that’s the new recipe is ok. Because, it definitely is NOT!!"
Instagram comments are similarly negative. Nearly every single post on the platform has been bombarded with comments slamming the new recipe.
"The new one is freaking nasty. Please bring back the old recipe," one person commented.
"New recipe means I never am buying again. So sad," someone else wrote on a different post.
Butterfinger defended the new recipe, with a representative saying that it is not uncommon for such changes to be met with "both praise and criticism" and that the brand remains proud of the product available today.
"Butterfinger sales have experienced periods of double digit growth while broadening the appeal of the brand to reach more consumers," a representative said in an email to Business Insider. "This is a great improvement versus a year ago, when Butterfinger was losing consumers and facing double digit sales declines."
When Business Insider spoke with Mandel earlier this year about potential backlash surrounding the new recipe, she said that the company wasn’t concerned based on positive responses from loyal fans and new consumers in tests.
"Anytime you change, someone super, super set in their ways may not like it," Mandel said. "But the feedback we’ve gotten from consumers makes us confident."
Business Insider’s own taste test reinforced Mandel’s optimism. The updated candy bar was less sweet and more wholesome than the original, with a slightly different texture — changes our taste testers appreciated. Clearly, others disagree.
The candy bar’s revamp follows Ferrero — the owner of Nutella, Ferrero Rocher, and Tic Tac — acquiring Butterfinger from Nestlé for $2.8 billion, along with the rest of Nestlé’s American candy portfolio. According to Mandel, the company began its overhaul of Butterfinger immediately after the deal closed in April 2018.
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