Halloween is almost upon us and most of us are scrambling to find the right treats to hand out this year. With childhood obesity continuing to grow, many people are trying to be more cognizant of the type of candy they distribute.
To make that job a little easier, I am doing an analysis of some of the most popular Halloween candy treats. The next stop on this year’s Halloween candy train is Bart Simpson’s favorite – – Butterfinger. I’m reviewing the 8 pack Fun Size Bars.
Made by Nestle, the Butterfinger is popular because of its main ingredient, which is peanut butter; its chocolate coating and the fact that it is both crispy and crunchy. An old time favorite, this candy bar experienced resurgence in game after Bart Simpson endorsed the product.
Like most candy, Butterfinger is packed with some questionable ingredients. These include cocoa, confectioner’s corn flakes, cornstarch, corn syrup, ground roasted peanuts, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, molasses, nonfat milk, salt, soybean oil, sugar and whey. It also contains artificial flavors, citric acid, lactic acid, red dye 40, soy lecithin and yellow dye 5.
There are 8 .65-oz bars in the Fun Bar Pack for a total weight of 5.2-ozs. A serving size is considered to be 2 bars, making one package equate to 4 servings.
One serving of Butterfinger represents 170 calories. There are 7 grams of fat in each serving. Of that amount, 3.5 grams come from saturated fat. Additionally, there are 27 grams of carbohydrate, 17 grams of sugar and 85 milligrams of sodium.
On the flip side, Butterfinger Fun Size Bars contain 2 grams of protein, 1 gram of fiber and 2% of the daily-recommended amount of iron.
Obviously, Butterfinger is not a good choice for children that are allergic to peanuts. Additionally, the fact that it contains corn syrup, molasses and sugar speaks to the sugar rush that trick or treaters might expect from this sweet treat.
Here is my summary review:
Smart Choice? Probably not. Used in moderation, one Fun Size Bar of Butterfinger is certainly no worse than most other candy options. However, the amount and type of sugar contained therein should at least give parents pause. Additionally, the whole peanut issue has to be of concern, given the number of children who are allergic to peanuts today.
Tasty? That is up for debate. Some children love this candy treat, while others will be inclined to trade it away. Nestle has done a good job with rejuvenating the candy’s once sagging reputation by connecting it to Bart Simpson. On the other hand, if it isn’t what kids like once they give it a try, they probably won’t eat it again. That is not necessarily a bad thing. (Sorry Nestle!)
Variety? No. Nestle has toyed around with the Butterfinger formula, trying to make the candy more mainstream in popularity. Some of those experiments have worked, at least initially, but most of them have not. The best change has been in making the inside peanut butter center less hard and, therefore, less likely to break fragile teeth. In that respect, Nestle has succeeded somewhat. However, the initial formula for this sweet treat remains the same. In this case, variety isn’t a factor.
Attractive Packaging? Yes. The bright yellow and blue packaging has been a part of Butterfinger since the beginning. It makes the candy very easy to spot on the store shelf. The fact that it is yellow, like Bart, works in the candy’s favor.
Easy to Store? Yes, the Fun Size package measures 11 1/2″ by 2 2/3″ by 5/8″ by almost ¾”. It is relatively flat and easy to store anywhere, including a kitchen cabinet, pantry or drawer. The individual bars are small at 2 ½” by 1 1/8″ by ½”. That means they are tiny enough to fit almost anywhere, including a traditional candy bowl or jar.
Are They Fresh? Yes. Each Butterfinger is individually wrapped and sealed in cellophane. The candy will stay fresh for quite awhile as long as it isn’t exposed to heat or extreme cold. Each package or carton also comes with an expiration date so the consumer can be confident in its freshness.
Diet Safe? Probably not. High in carbs, sugar and sodium, Butterfinger should not be used in excess by people who are trying to watch their waistline.
Easily Available? Yes. Butterfinger is sold virtually anywhere candy is sold. That includes grocery stores, drug stores and discount department stores like Target and K-Mart.
Price Effective? Not really. At between $1 and $2 a package, that means those 8 bars retail for between $.15 and $.30 each. With only 4 servings per package, that means this candy won’t go very far.
Product Purchase Recommendation? Reluctantly. The high sugar and carb intake makes this candy questionable at best. However, if monitored and allowed in small doses, it’s really no worse than a dozen other options available.