As I teased yesterday, today’s article is the first half of a two-day span of coverage for the original two Wonka candy treats.
Today, we’ll be talking about Willy Wonka’s Super Skrunch. It might sound like an odd name, but for nearly a decade it was the chocolate bar face of the Wonka brand.
I’m going to be revealing wrappers today covering the entire life cycle of the bar, as well as its ultimate end. Many of the pieces I’ll be showing can’t be found anywhere else, and today marks the first time most of these will be seen in the internet age.
Before we get to the wrappers, I’d like to pull an image from yesterday’s trade ad preview shot. This is what an original 1970’s Willy Wonka Super Skrunch bar looked like, “unwrapped”:
I recall gleefully consuming these bars on a number of occasions, and when I see this image I can nearly taste them again – that great peanut butter texture clear in my memory. Yum!
Here’s a page from an early Willy Wonka Candy Salesman book:
Quaker Oats owned the Wonka brand when it was first introduced, and the earliest Super Skrunch bars were branded under that company. I don’t have any of the Quaker-branded Skrunch wrappers, but I do have a later example that retains the original design, as well as a 15-cent printed-on price:
This “full-body” Willy Wonka Super Skrunch bar wrapper design lasted from the 1971 introduction of the bar, likely until around 1974 or 1975. Here’s another example of this first design wrapper. This time sporting a slightly lighter weight (1 oz, down from 1 1/4oz), and without any printed-on price:
Here is the bottom and top of a Super Skrunch display box from the early 70’s:
In 1975, the Super Skrunch wrapper would lose its original design, briefly being replaced by a wrapper with an oddly-plain logo. Uncovered earlier this year as part of the L.M. Kallok Collection, this wrapper serves as an important and fascinating piece in the Skrunch timeline. This is the only known example:
Note that the early 70’s Willy Wonka’s logo remains, as does an inset image of the original Willy Wonka mascot. Also of note is the mail-away offer for “magic illusions”. That mail-away offer would be retained for one more year, when Super Skrunch would receive its recognizable late-70’s look:
Over the next several years, the look of the Super Skrunch remained fairly stable, with minor changes made to reflect marketing and standards adjustments. 1977 saw the first Super Skrunch wrapper to include a bar code:
Later that same year, Super Skrunch became Peanut Butterier and Skrunchier:
In 1979, focus was put on the Super Skrunch being larger than it had been:
The following year (in 1980) Super Skrunch would, for reasons currently not known, be renamed to an adjective-less “Skrunch”. The Wonka brand logo would also get a new look:
Here’s a vend bar variation of this same 1980 wrapper. Note that the “Willy Wonka’s” logo and size information were printed to be read with the bar standing up, as it would in a vending machine:
Finally, in 1981, the Skrunch bar would receive another major overhaul. Not only would the wrapper be completely redesigned, but actual peanuts would be added to the ingredients list. It would be a significant change, and would also be the final Wonka product to bear the name Skrunch:
1981 marks the first wrapper that lacks the Concorde company name, now replaced by Willy Wonka Brands. It’s impossible to know what led to the discontinuation of the Skrunch brand name, but we can assume that it simply wasn’t competing well enough in the marketplace. There must have certainly been changes in the company that might have led to some arbitrary desire to evolve and re-align the brand offerings.
Though 1981 was the end of the Skrunch bar in name, it turns out that it was not entirely dead. Several months ago I made a startling discovery when I learned of the existence of a Willy Wonka Peanut Butter Bar, from 1982. Upon close examination, Willy Wonka’s Peanut Butter Bar has an ingredients list which matches exactly the ingredient list of 1981’s Skrunch bar.
The gold foil Peanut Butter Bar wrapper is another CollectingCandy.com exclusive, and one I’m excited to wrap up with today. The gold foil of this wrapper evokes the look and feel of the cinematic Golden Ticket from the original film. At least it does to me. It’s pretty awesome:
I can’t be sure, but my suspicions are that Willy Wonka’s Peanut Butter Bar was short-lived. It was a dramatic redesign and re-branding of one of the two launch-pieces of the Wonka candy company – a final attempt to keep the Skrunch bar going, if not in name, at least in content. But sadly it didn’t last.
So, what began in 1971 as Willy Wonka’s Super Skrunch bar, ended in 1982 as Willy Wonka’s Peanut Butter Bar. Beautiful in gold foil, but destined to become a near-forgotten part of confectionery history.
And that’s everything I’ve got to share today with regard to the history of the Skrunch. Come back again tomorrow to check out our look at one of my all-time favorite treats: Willy Wonka’s Oompas!
See you next time!
I remember the Super Scrunch bar with the 1970s wrapper. I remember very distinctly, after swimming at the Pawnee Park pool, we’d go to the Candy Shack and have one of these nearly every visit.
Well it’s a good thing Mr. Dealer *didn’t* discard that box top!
Really great job dude…I had no idea about the last gold foil wrapper…super cool… 🙂
Maybe the Wonka folks will see your post and do a revival of Skrunch and Oompas… if we’re lucky.
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Best candy bar in the world,please bring back
4th grade 1971 east view Americus,Georgia.
This is my favorite Candy Bar of all time. I feel like there are some on the market close but not near as good. I don’t know why they have not brought them back. Yum I can almost taste it……
These were awesome!!! I used to by them by the case as a kid. Can we get these anywhere? Are they coming back??
It’s been 30 years since these were discontinued so no, sadly I doubt they’ll be returning. -Jason
Wish they would bring back the best candy bar ever made! Haven’t found anything remotely close.
Comic Book Day was every Thursday afternoon in 1976. My junior high was 2 blocks from the local drugstore, just outside of O’Hare Airport. A Super Skrunch bar always inevitably sat atop my weekly stack of books on the register counter. Its my favorite mass market chocolate bar to this very day. So damn tasty. And the rice made the interior perfectly light. Awesome. THANK YOU VERY MUCH for the photos & information. Great job. You put a smile on my face this warm summer evening. I’m a happy 6th grader all over again!
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Anyone have the recipee for the candy bar? Was my favorite and then they quit making it.
The recipe, if it even still exists at all, would be locked away in the corporate files of Nestle at this point. And they don’t give stuff like that out, because they might one day use it for something. But my guess is that since the bar was discontinued by the time that Nestle bought Sunline/Sunmark/Concorde, the actual recipe could be lost forever.
This remains my favorite candy bar of all time. I was very disappointed when it disappeared from shelves. My understanding from something I read years ago on the Web was that was discontinued due to the fact that it tended to be “meltier” on shelves than other candy bars tended to be, but I’m not sure I believe that.
Thanks for your comment. The Skrunch bar is one of my all-time favorites as well. The mythology around why certain products are discontinued can sometimes be based on fact, and sometimes based on fanciful notions. I suspect the “melty” argument falls into the the fanciful notions group. If there was a problem with the “meltiness” of the bar, I just don’t think it would have been on shelves for a decade.
Inevitably, these things come down to money. And to me, it seems clear that in the final years of the Skrunch bar, they were trying to play with the marketing to make it sell better than it was. After all, it went from “Super Skrunch” to “Skrunch” to “Peanut Butter Bar”. That seems to indicate the bar had branding problems, not melty problems. And the name-changing is at least concrete evidence of something.
Though, without word from someone who worked on the brand for Wonka at the time, we can’t know for certain.
Agreed on all counts. I only know that I would love to have another one again someday, and that’s pretty unlikely.
What got me thinking about this was the fact that I just ate a Whatchamacallit, and was lamenting the fast that they changed the recipe on that many years ago, too. The original was so much better…but Super Skrunch beat them both.
Miss the Oompaa’s Too
This was my favorite candy bar. I wish they would bring it back. There’s nothing like it out there that is this good.
Absolutely the best candy bar ever lots of fond memories would love to see a comeback
I used to buy them when they first came out totaly enjoyed them
I loved the skrunch bar…! I was just thinking about it, and decided to look it up on the Internet to see if it was still sold somewhere. I used to eat it all the time in the mid 70’s til the end of the 70’s. Used to grocery shop with my mom in grade school and she would let me pick a candy bar. It would either be skrunch or a marathon bar which wasn’t made by wonka but was tasty anyway! LoL.thought about the skrunch bar a lot over the yrs. Knowing my kids and grandkids will never know how good they were…that’s sad.
This was my FAVORITE candy. I was just a wee lass but I remember it well. By the time I got old enough to have my first job, it wasn’t around anymore. 🙁 I wish they’d bring it back. I mean even if just like for an anniversary or put them out for the holidays. I have found a few recipes online that try to mimic it. Really liked reading this. Maybe we could start a petition. lol. Be about like my attempt at getting mars to bring back the coconut m & ms. 😉
I loved this candy bar. My 3rd grade teacher Mr. Foose read us the book and then one day hid one in each of our pencil boxes. I hadn’t seen my box since day one of school but he carefully dug it out from behind my papers put the candy bar in the box and re-buried it behind all the junk in my desk. Great memories! I can almost taste it when I saw the picture of the wrapper. They need to bring this back.
Came here to see if my favorite candy, Willy Wonka’s Super Skrunch, was still being sold somewhere. Sad to see it’s truly discontinued. I haven’t found anything better, except maybe on par with Ferrero Rocher. Hopefully, some confectionery reading this will feel it’s worthwhile bringing back the Skrunch.
I miss that candy I’m 58 yrs old and still remember that awesome taste.
Oh me too!! I can remember the flavor, the crunch… I’m 54, and i still think of scrunch bars and marathon bars… they were both sooo delicious !!
My all-time favorite candy bar. I was so sad when I found out it was discontinued. Kids today have no idea what they’re missing.
I LOVE the Scrunch Bar SO much! I still crave it after all these years! It was just the perfect amount of peanut butter, crispies and chocolate!
I remember emptying my bank and walking to our local market and buying them! I had to sneak it because my parents didn’t really want us to snack between school and super! Lol! I am going to try to make something that hopefully will come close. On my covid shopping list is Peanut Butter, Rice Cereal…fingers crossed
I love this scrunch bar so much that at 60 years old I hope I will one day taste it again before I leave this planet. There has never been a candy bar so perfect!!!
I am absolutely positive that this candy bar lived into the 1990s here in Southern California. Specifically because in 1991, my wife and I separated and I was suddenly a single father. One of my small pleasures, along with my comic book habit, was buying a Skrunch bar from the 7-11 next door to the apartment I lived in for 10 months. They disappeared just before September of 1991. I know this because there is simply no other candy bar that compares to it and I still miss it greatly. And I’m quite certain that they weren’t re-selling 10-year-old candy bars. That is all.
Hah! I knew it! I just submitted a comment saying I could have sworn I was eating Super Skrunches at least through the mid 80’s. I was in Costa Mesa, Ca. so maybe Southern California was the only region where Skrunch bars lived on. Now that I know early Alzheimers isn’t setting in, I will venture to say up to the late 90’s. Anytime after 2000 is when I remember wondering what happened to my beloved Skrunch bars, and I never thought their disappearance would have been due to poor sales. I had figured it was maybe a trademark issue or a now-deemed unsafe ingredient, but never sales!
Well, Pat according to every piece of research I’ve ever uncovered, Skrunch was gone by the early 80s.
It’s possible that they keep a version of it in circulation for the vending trade. There were unusual examples like that.
But in spite of what the research shows, I always say anything is possible!
Does anyone have the recipe for these bars? They are my favorite candy bar ever.
Just spent a weekend in Wisconsin Amish country and they have unlocked the secret of the scrunch. I had no idea it was named after an original wonka treat until I decided to google it just now. Sure looks like the same thing. So maybe try going to an Amish market that sells candy and see if you have any luck. I know I will pick up more the next time I’m in the area.
Man the scrunch bar is the best, i wish they would have never ever left. The scrunch bar was the greatest of all,i coukd eat a box of them. Bring them back now.
Oh my, Scrunch bar and Ompas were the best. My brother and I loved ❤ them, both. I would love to have more than 1 right now. Lol!
It’s hard to believe it was discontinued due to poor sales. There are many candy bars still on the market that aren’t nearly as good. It’s hard to believe the magic-invoking name of “Willy Wonka’s Super Skrunch Bar” was thought to be the reason for the poor sales and even harder to believe that they thought “Willy Wonka’s Peanut Butter Bar” would be the answer. There is nothing on the market that has that soft yet skrunchy texture that apparently not all of us loved. Very strange. Also, 1981?? Seems I remember eating them up to ’85 or ’86, but I guess not. You would know better than I. I still can’t believe it couldn’t hang with sales numbers similar to the likes of bars like 3 Musketeers (which I am not a big fan of).