[Note: CollectingCandy.com posted a significant update to this article in March of 2013.]
I will admit to coming around to the goodness of the Munch bar a bit later in life. As a kid, it wasn’t my thing. If I recall, my brother dug this one, and I would sample one from time-to-time.
Introduced in 1971 by the Snack-Master division of M&M/Mars, the same division that brought us Skittles and the Marathon bar – it’s a bar that has withstood the test of time, and you can still get them today. If you aren’t familiar with the bar at all, you can read a nice review of it over at Candyblog.net.
I recall well the distinctive bouncing logo that was on the wrappers in the early 1970’s. I have a full-size as well as a fun-size wrapper from that period. [Note the inclusion of the Snickers branding during this period]:
I really do like the Munch bar packaging – it’s bold and clean, yet still fun to look at.
By 1977, the wrappers saw the addition of a photo of the bar itself, and a loss of the Snickers logo. They also changed from standard paper wrapping to a plastic material, a change that started earlier for sticky bars like this, but would eventually be industry-wide.
As to the loss of the Snickers logo; I wonder if the Munch branding was strong enough on its own at this point, or if they felt the Snickers logo was confusing consumers as to what kind of bar it was – one lacking chocolate. That kind of confusion would explain the addition of the photo as well.
The familiar 1970’s design would see its last use sometime in 1979, as is evidenced by this late 1978 wrapper – which is nearly identical to the 1977 version:
1979 would see a somewhat dramatic design change for the Munch bar. Also, the Snack-Master division of M&M/Mars would see it getting its own logo on the backs of the wrappers.
As with several items I’ve posted this week, and will no doubt post for months to come, the 1979 Munch bar wrapper comes out of the L.M. Kallok Collection. Once again, that collection has provided a wrapper I’d only previously seen in photos. It’s a great wrapper to be able to include here.
After 1979 I do not have any additional wrappers to show, until 1996. That’s quite a gap, I realize, but such is the way with trying to build a history of these things. I shall be keeping my eyes peeled for a 1980’s Munch bar wrapper. For now, we shall move on to 1996:
The 1996 wrapper shows the return of the Snickers name above the logo. I would speculate that the Munch bar might have been discontinued at a point, and brought back under the strong Snickers name, as it was when it was first launched. But I am just guessing.
The wrapper evolved again in the 2000’s:
The 2005 wrapper shows that the Snickers branding had once again been dropped, in favor of a straightforward design. This wrapper design looks much as it currently does, or did last year, when I picked up the following Munch bar:
Looking at the 2011 version, you could almost guess that M&M/Mars dropped the Snickers branding, in order to focus on the healthier aspects of a the Munch Bar. The more I consider it, it seems likely. I’m sure that a Munch Bar isn’t really much more healthy than a Snickers, but I’ve always FELT like it was.
That’s all for the Munch Bar today. M&M/Mars has done retro-packaged versions of it bars before, and I’d love to see them pull out the 1970’s wrapper designs to use again, for a short time. I think they’d jump off the shelf.
That’s everything I’ve got for the Snickers (or not Snickers) Munch Bar. Before I got, here’s a visual wrap-up – a timeline featuring several of the major design changes the wrappers have gone through: