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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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Pop Culture
How Jimmy Buffett Turned 'Margaritaville' Into a Way of Life
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Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Few songs have proven as lucrative as “Margaritaville,” a modest 1977 hit by singer and songwriter Jimmy Buffett that became an anthem for an entire life philosophy. The track was the springboard for Buffett’s business empire—restaurants, apparel, kitchen appliances, and more—marketing the taking-it-easy message of its tropical print lyrics.

After just a few years of expanding that notion into other ventures, the “Parrot Heads” of Buffett’s fandom began to account for $40 million in annual revenue—and that was before the vacation resorts began popping up.

Jimmy Buffett performs for a crowd
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

“Margaritaville,” which turned 40 this year, was never intended to inspire this kind of devotion. It was written after Buffett, as an aspiring musician toiling in Nashville, found himself in Key West, Florida, following a cancelled booking in Miami and marveling at the sea of tourists clogging the beaches.

Like the other songs on his album, Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, it didn’t receive a lot of radio play. Instead, Buffett began to develop his following by opening up for The Eagles. Even at 30, Buffett was something less than hip—a flip-flopped performer with a genial stage presence that seemed to invite an easygoing vibe among crowds. “Margaritaville,” an anthem to that kind of breezy attitude, peaked at number eight on the Billboard charts in 1977. While that’s impressive for any single, its legacy would quickly evolve beyond the music industry's method for gauging success.

What Buffett realized as he continued to perform and tour throughout the early 1980s is that “Margaritaville” had the ability to sedate audiences. Like a hypnotist, the singer could immediately conjure a specific time and place that listeners wanted to revisit. The lyrics painted a scene of serenity that became a kind of existential vacation for Buffett's fans:

Nibblin' on sponge cake,
Watchin' the sun bake;
All of those tourists covered with oil.
Strummin' my six string on my front porch swing.
Smell those shrimp —
They're beginnin' to boil.

By 1985, Buffett was ready to capitalize on that goodwill. In Key West, he opened a Margaritaville store, which sold hats, shirts, and other ephemera to residents and tourists looking to broadcast their allegiance to his sand-in-toes fantasy. (A portion of the proceeds went to Save the Manatees, a nonprofit organization devoted to animal conservation.) The store also sold the Coconut Telegraph, a kind of propaganda newsletter about all things Buffett and his chill perspective.

When Buffett realized patrons were coming in expecting a bar or food—the song was named after a mixed drink, after all—he opened a cafe adjacent to the store in late 1987. The configuration was ideal, and through the 1990s, Buffett and business partner John Cohlan began erecting Margaritaville locations in Florida, New Orleans, and eventually Las Vegas and New York. All told, more than 21 million people visit a Buffett-inspired hospitality destination every year.

A parrot at Margaritaville welcomes guests
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Margaritaville-branded tequila followed. So, too, did a line of retail foods like hummus, a book of short stories, massive resorts, a Sirius radio channel, and drink blenders. Buffett even wrote a 242-page script for a Margaritaville movie that he had hoped to film in the 1980s. It’s one of the very few Margaritaville projects that has yet to have come to fruition, but it might be hard for Buffett to complain much. In 2015, his entire empire took in $1.5 billion in sales.

As of late, Buffett has signed off on an Orlando resort due to open in 2018, offering “casual luxury” near the boundaries of Walt Disney World. (One in Hollywood, Florida, is already a hit, boasting a 93 percent occupancy rate.) Even for guests that aren’t particularly familiar with his music, “Jimmy Buffett” has become synonymous with comfort and relaxation just as surely as Walt Disney has with family entertainment. The association bodes well for a business that will eventually have to move beyond Buffett’s concert-going loyalists.

Not that he's looking to leave them behind. The 70-year-old Buffett is planning on a series of Margaritaville-themed retirement communities, with the first due to open in Daytona Beach in 2018. More than 10,000 Parrot Heads have already registered, eager to watch the sun set while idling in a frame of mind that Buffett has slowly but surely turned into a reality.

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Design
The Secret to the World's Most Comfortable Bed Might Be Yak Hair
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Tengi

Savoir Beds laughs at your unspooling mail-order mattresses and their promises of ultimate comfort. The UK-based company has teamed with London's Savoy Hotel to offer what they’ve declared is one of the most luxurious nights of sleep you’ll ever experience. 

What do they have that everyone else lacks? About eight pounds of Mongolian yak hair.

The elegantly-named Savoir No. 1 Khangai Limited Edition is part of the hotel’s elite Royal Suite accommodations. For $1845 a night, guests can sink into the mattress with a topper stuffed full of yak hair from Khangai, Mongolia. Hand-combed and with heat-dispensing properties, it takes 40 yaks to make one topper. In a press release, collaborator and yarn specialist Tengri claims it “transcends all levels of comfort currently available.”

Visitors opting for such deluxe amenities also have access to a hair stylist, butler, chef, and a Rolls-Royce with a driver.

Savoir Beds has entered into a fair-share partnership with the farmers, who receive an equitable wage in exchange for the fibers, which are said to be softer than cashmere. If you’d prefer to luxuriate like that every night, the purchase price for the bed is $93,000. Purchased separately, the topper is $17,400. Act soon, as only 50 of the beds will be made available each year. 

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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