11 Crispety, Crunchety Facts About Butterfinger

Invented almost 100 years ago, Butterfinger is the only candy bar to come with its own warning: "Nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger." Protect your stash and learn more about the peanut-buttery, $123.9 million-a-year candy.

1. THE NAME WAS SUBMITTED IN A PUBLIC CONTEST.

A Butterfinger ad from 1952. Classic Film via Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

In 1923, Curtiss Candy Company was looking for a name for its new chocolate-covered candy bar with a flaky, peanut butter core and decided to hold a contest to solicit the public for their ideas. Around the same time, sportscasters had started using the term “butterfinger” to describe players who were unable to keep a hold on the ball. A Chicago man who was a self-described klutz submitted the name.

2. BUTTERFINGER'S INVENTOR ALSO CREATED THE BABY RUTH.

Otto Schnering, the Willy Wonka behind Curtiss Candy, invented the Butterfinger as the follow-up to the popularity of his first candy bar, the Baby Ruth. While bought out by Standard Brands in 1964 (and then sold to Nestle in 1990), Curtiss Candy was once one of the largest competitors in the candy business.

3. THE CURRENT RECIPE ISN'T THE SAME ONE SCHNERING CREATED 100 YEARS AGO.

A Butterfinger ad from 1952.Classic Film via Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

Legend has it when Curtiss Candy was acquired by Nabisco in 1981, the original recipes for both the Butterfinger and the Baby Ruth were lost. However, the candy bar engineers at Nabisco quickly went about creating a similar version.

4. BUTTERFINGER COMMERCIALS WERE THE FIRST TIME MANY PEOPLE SAW THE CHARACTERS WHO WOULD BECOME THE SIMPSONS.

Before becoming the hugely popular cultural juggernaut that it is today, The Simpsons started as a series of shorts on the comedy variety series The Tracey Ullman Show. Then Bart, Homer and the rest of the family starred in popular commercials for the candy bar in 1988, a year before the crew from Springfield debuted their own show. So, if you hadn't watched the shorts on Tracey Ullman, it might have looked like some commercial characters scored their own primetime gig.

5. MILHOUSE MADE HIS FIRST APPEARANCE IN A BUTTERFINGER COMMERCIAL.

The ad, which aired in 1988, was the second commercial for the candy bar that featured the Simpsons. In it, Bart details the four major food groups to Milhouse (sandwich, cow, jungle and Butterfinger) while Milhouse, in what was just the first of many disappointments for his character, realizes that his lunch doesn't include the coveted candy bar.

6. BUTTERFINGER HAS ALWAYS RELIED ON BIG STUNTS FOR ITS ADVERTISING.

In one of its first efforts to make the candy bar more popular, Butterfinger dropped candy bars from airplanes across the country in 1923 (a strategy Curtiss Candy first successfully tried with Baby Ruth).

7. THE COMPANY ONCE MOWED A GIANT QR CODE INTO A KANSAS FIELD.

In 2012, in reference to the predicted end of the world by the Mayan calendar, Butterfinger launched its BARmageddon campaign, which included a working QR code mysteriously appearing in a field in Manhattan, Kan. The stunt was accompanied by a press release that detailed stories of Butterfingers going missing from supermarket shelves and solar flares, all of which pointed to the end of days.

8. AND LAUNCHED A NATIONAL APRIL FOOL'S DAY JOKE IN WHICH NEWSPAPERS REPORTED THE CANDY WAS CHANGING ITS NAME TO "THE FINGER."

On April 1, 2008, Butterfinger issued a press release detailing its name change and launched a new comedy website. However, it all turned out to be a promotion for the company’s new comedy video network on Yahoo!.

9. AT ONE TIME, YOU COULD PRE-PARTY WITH A BUTTERFINGER.

It was called the Butterfinger Buzz, and it contained 80 mg of caffeine—as much as a can of Red Bull. But, low sales (and a probable lack of mixers) led to a short-lived shelf life for the Buzz.

10. A GREENPEACE CAMPAIGN LED TO THE BANNING OF BUTTERFINGERS IN GERMANY.

In 1999, Nestle had its sights set on introducing its line of candy bars to the German market. However, at the time, Butterfingers contained genetically modified corn, which didn’t sit well with activists in the country. Eventually, Nestle chose to abandon German supermarkets instead of changing the ingredients of the candy bar.

11. NESTLE WENT ALL OUT FOR THE LAUNCH OF BUTTERFINGER PEANUT BUTTER CUPS.

The cup variation on the classic candy bar was the company’s first new product in five years and had been under development for two years. So Nestle did not hold back when introducing them to the American market and went ahead and bought the company's first-ever Super Bowl ad in 2014. It seems to have paid off, though, as Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cups have attracted some famous fans.

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Why a Readily Available Used Paperback Is Selling for Thousands of Dollars on Amazon
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iStock

At first glance, getting ahold of a copy of One Snowy Knight, a historical romance novel by Deborah MacGillivray, isn't hard at all. You can get the book, which originally came out in 2009, for a few bucks on Amazon. And yet according to one seller, a used copy of the book is worth more than $2600. Why? As The New York Times reports, this price disparity has more to do with the marketing techniques of Amazon's third-party sellers than it does the market value of the book.

As of June 5, a copy of One Snowy Knight was listed by a third-party seller on Amazon for $2630.52. By the time the Times wrote about it on July 15, the price had jumped to $2800. That listing has since disappeared, but a seller called Supersonic Truck still has a used copy available for $1558.33 (plus shipping!). And it's not even a rare book—it was reprinted in July.

The Times found similar listings for secondhand books that cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars more than their market price. Those retailers might not even have the book on hand—but if someone is crazy enough to pay $1500 for a mass-market paperback that sells for only a few dollars elsewhere, that retailer can make a killing by simply snapping it up from somewhere else and passing it on to the chump who placed an order with them.

Not all the prices for used books on Amazon are so exorbitant, but many still defy conventional economic wisdom, offering used copies of books that are cheaper to buy new. You can get a new copy of the latest edition of One Snowy Knight for $16.99 from Amazon with Prime shipping, but there are third-party sellers asking $24 to $28 for used copies. If you're not careful, how much you pay can just depend on which listing you click first, thinking that there's not much difference in the price of used books. In the case of One Snowy Knight, there are different listings for different editions of the book, so you might not realize that there's a cheaper version available elsewhere on the site.

An Amazon product listing offers a mass-market paperback book for $1558.33.
Screenshot, Amazon

Even looking at reviews might not help you find the best listing for your money. People tend to buy products with the most reviews, rather than the best reviews, according to recent research, but the site is notorious for retailers gaming the system with fraudulent reviews to attract more buyers and make their way up the Amazon rankings. (There are now several services that will help you suss out whether the reviews on a product you're looking at are legitimate.)

For more on how Amazon's marketplace works—and why its listings can sometimes be misleading—we recommend listening to this episode of the podcast Reply All, which has a fascinating dive into the site's third-party seller system.

[h/t The New York Times]

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Elsie Hui, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Sam's Club Brings $.99 Polish Hot Dogs to All Stores After They're Cut From Costco's Food Courts
Elsie Hui, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Elsie Hui, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

In early July, Costco angered many customers with the announcement that its beloved Polish hot dog was being removed from the food court menu. If you're someone who believes cheap meat tastes best when eaten in a bulk retail warehouse, Sam's Club has good news: The competing big box chain has responded to Costco's news by promising to roll out Polish hot dogs in all its stores later this month, Business Insider reports.

The Polish hot dog has long been a staple at Costco. Like Costco's classic hot dog, the Polish dog was part of the food court's famously affordable $1.50 hot dog and a soda package. The company says the item is being cut in favor of healthier offerings, like açai bowls, organic burgers, and plant-based protein salads.

The standard hot dog and the special deal will continue to be available in stores, but customers who prefer the meatier Polish dog aren't satisfied. Fans immediately took their gripes to the internet—there's even a petition on Change.org to "Bring Back the Polish Dog!" with more than 6500 signatures.

Now Sam's Clubs are looking to draw in some of those spurned customers. Its version of the Polish dog will be sold for just $.99 at all stores starting Monday, July 23. Until now, the chain's Polish hot dogs had only been available in about 200 Sam's Club cafés.

It's hard to imagine the Costco food court will lose too many of its loyal followers from the menu change. Polish hot dogs may be getting axed, but the popular rotisserie chicken and robot-prepared pizza will remain.

[h/t Business Insider]

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