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Willy Wonka, Willy Wonka. The amazing Chocolateer


jhlurie
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I've seen this stuff for years. And I imagine with the upcoming release of the movie remake (retitled from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory back to the original book title of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) that there's probably a marketing blitz of unparalleled proportions ready to be unleashed on us.

But I don't get this stuff. Contrary to the song, very little of the Wonka Brand stuff I've seen is chocolate. :biggrin: And frankly, very little made by Wonka brand has seemed all that good, at least to me. Laffy Taffy? Pu-lease. Nerds? Not for me. Runts? I don't even know what those are. Heck, even SweeTarts don't appeal to me the way they did when I was a kid.

The Wonka website says that there is indeed a chocolate Wonka bar sold, but I think I've seen it in a store rarely to almost never.

I know Wonka is currently a division of Nestle. Have they always been? Was there a purpose to this brand at one point, or was it a skeezy marketing device for inferior candy from day one?

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Not inferior. I tasted the new Wonka Donutz candy bar at the Candy Expo in Chicago. According to Nestle, it's "not a baked good" but just "shaped like a donut, with a chocolate fudge center and sprinkled with colorful candy pieces." I think that rather than fudge, it's lighter in texture - more like what Americans think is a chocolate truffle - a darker-than-milk-chocolate dipped ganache - but donut shaped and with sprinkles. Nestle also eagerly pointed out that it's the first candy bar that's not a bar - the donut shape chosen to make it more interactive with "'tweens" - i.e. eating it off their fingers while worn like rings, etc. And the Wonka bar - "milk chocolate with graham cracker pieces inside" - in fact has always been on the market - though rare - but is being released in a new, smaller, and they hope more marketable 1.3 ounce size.

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I saw Hostess "Willy Wonka" cupcakes at a 7-11 store yesterday. They looked like the average Hostess chocolate cupcake, but they were frosted with purple frosting and decorated with a curlicue of orange frosting on top. They looked kinda gross, but I appreciated the psychedelic color scheme.

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I've seen Willy Wonka movie a lot of time but I didn't know that his chocolate really exist!  :blink:

I'm a little bit envious... I think that here I couldn't find Willy Wonka products.

Interesting fact...the movie made in the '70's was actually a marketing ploy for the candy. The ultimate product placement. The irony being, of course, that the film became a cult classic and the only Wonka brand candy that's caught on (at least that I know of) is Nerds.

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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I haven't seen the chocolates, but do they still make the everlasting gobstoppers? I remember these when I was a kid. You could spit 7 different colors! Or something like that. It had different colored layers that would turn your mouth/saliva different colors as you sucked on it.

M. Thomas

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I tried the Donutz and the Wonka bar. Both crappy quality chocolate and I definitely won't be purchasing them again.

Oddly enough, in the 1971 movie some of the chocolates looked REALLY good - the plain old wonka bar and the Scrumdidliumptious bar looked tasty and when I was little I used to dream of the day that they might start selling them IRL.

Speaking of marketing blitzes, anyone ever try any of the Harry Potter candies? Especially the ones sold in the UK? Some of those were pretty good IMO.

Believe me, I tied my shoes once, and it was an overrated experience - King Jaffe Joffer, ruler of Zamunda

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Interesting fact...the movie made in the '70's was actually a marketing ploy for the candy.  The ultimate product placement.  The irony being, of course, that the film became a cult classic and the only Wonka brand candy that's caught on (at least that I know of) is Nerds.

A little poking around and I found this: http://www.verybestkids.com/brands/wonka/aboutBrand.aspx

If correct, it claims that the whole thing began with a company called Breaker Confections, in the 1950s. IN 1965, Sunmark Companies bought Breaker, who in turn was purchased by Nestle in 1988.

The name change between Sunmark and Willy Wonka Brands happened in 1980. That doesn't discount the idea that the original movie was made to sell the candy, but it makes you wonder that if that's true, why they waited so long to change the name.

And the Wonka bar - "milk chocolate with graham cracker pieces inside" - in fact has always been on the market - though rare - but is being released in a new, smaller, and they hope more marketable 1.3 ounce size.

Also according to that site, no such thing as a Wonka Bar existed until 1998. Also, of note is the fact that Wonka/Sunmark DID have at least one smash success, at least in my neck of the woods--Everlasting Gobstoppers (introduced in 1976). Every kid I knew around 1977 ate Gobstoppers (in my original post I didn't know this was a "Wonka" product--it's certainly not mentioned on their website as part of the current movie promotion).

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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They made Everlasting Gobstoppers in the 70's, but they weren't that cool, squared-off chrystalline shape like they were in the movie, much to my dismay. Rather, they were simply jawbreakers. Big round ball, changed colors and flavors (slightly on the latter) as you sucked it down to a little core that was something like a sweetart.

Disappointing in that they didn't look at ALL like the movie version, but cool by association, no less. I'm interested to see what they come up with this time. I've seen Wonka products many times over the past few years, but they've always been found in dollar stores, and the quality, not surprisingly, has lacked. I hope they come out with something really cool this time around so that my kids can enjoy it!

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They still had everlasting gobstoppers a couple years ago (as in, like 12 years ago, I still can't admit middle school was over a decade ago) here, they were some pretty awesome candies.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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Yeah, I've never actually laid eyes on a Wonka Bar either. When I was a kid, Nerds were huge tho'. I really prefer that type of candy, so Nerds and the jaw breaking Gobstoppers were favorites of mine. Haven't had any in years. :sad:

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There's a Wonka product called the Nerds Rope which is absolutely wonderful. Admittedly if you don't like Nerds it won't float your boat, but it's a long (1 ft+) strip of gummy candy coated with Nerds of many flavors and the crunch, chew and melange of artificial fruit flavors is really great.

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There's a Wonka product called the Nerds Rope which is absolutely wonderful. Admittedly if you don't like Nerds it won't float your boat, but it's a long (1 ft+) strip of gummy candy coated with Nerds of many flavors and the crunch, chew and melange of artificial fruit flavors is really great.

My 3.5 year old loves this!

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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Some of the current Wonka lineup includes:

BOTTLE CAPS®

EVERLASTING GOBSTOPPER®

FRUIT RUNTS®

LAFFY TAFFY®

LAFFY TAFFY® FLAVOR FLIPPERS®

LIK-M-AID® Fun Dip

NERDS®

NERDS® Gum Balls

NERDS® Rope

OOMPAS®

PIXY STIX®

SPREE®

CHEWY SPREE®

SWEETARTS®

CHEWY SWEETARTS®

SWEETARTS® Shockers

SWEETARTS® Gummy Bugs

TART 'N TINYS®

WONKA® Bar

I most of these are pretty common (except for the wonka bar, which I also have never seen or heard of)

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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SPREE!! Aren't those the candy coated sweet tart thingies? Yum. I may have to send the spawn to her grandma's tomorrow so that I can go on a candy bender. I'm not sharing.

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While not a Willy Wonka candy product, there's a recent Hostess product promoting the new "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" film. In small print on the back of the package it says, "chocolate cupcakes". The cupcakes have purple and orange frosting and a purple cream filling. Haven't tasted them yet. I took a picture of the the package with my digital camera to post, but can't seem to find any way to upload it.

Edited by CMA (log)
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The name change between Sunmark and Willy Wonka Brands happened in 1980.  That doesn't discount the idea that the original movie was made to sell the candy, but it makes you wonder that if that's true, why they waited so long to change the name.

I first heard of the old movie being a promotional gag when I listened to the commentary on the 25th anniversary edition of the DVD. (The commentary is by the five child actors, now all grown up and working as veterinarians and such - it's priceless.) I think one of them (or maybe one of the accompanying documentaries/making-of featurettes) mentioned the link to the Nestle marketing behemoth.

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Didn't the Bottle Caps used to fizz (kind of like pop-rocks or Alka-seltzer), or did I imagine that?? I remember getting them at the Children's Day Parade where my dad grew up and not liking them because of this. I bought a HUGE bag of mini Willy-Wonka candy for my students during finals week and I tried the Bottle Caps, and alas, no fizz. Did they change this???

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The name change between Sunmark and Willy Wonka Brands happened in 1980.  That doesn't discount the idea that the original movie was made to sell the candy, but it makes you wonder that if that's true, why they waited so long to change the name.

I first heard of the old movie being a promotional gag when I listened to the commentary on the 25th anniversary edition of the DVD. (The commentary is by the five child actors, now all grown up and working as veterinarians and such - it's priceless.) I think one of them (or maybe one of the accompanying documentaries/making-of featurettes) mentioned the link to the Nestle marketing behemoth.

I think the best part about those special features is that the interview of the German actor who played Augustus Gloop, and the guy is grown, but still a big guy, and STILL WEARING LEDERHOSEN!

Believe me, I tied my shoes once, and it was an overrated experience - King Jaffe Joffer, ruler of Zamunda

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The name change between Sunmark and Willy Wonka Brands happened in 1980.  That doesn't discount the idea that the original movie was made to sell the candy, but it makes you wonder that if that's true, why they waited so long to change the name.

I first heard of the old movie being a promotional gag when I listened to the commentary on the 25th anniversary edition of the DVD. (The commentary is by the five child actors, now all grown up and working as veterinarians and such - it's priceless.) I think one of them (or maybe one of the accompanying documentaries/making-of featurettes) mentioned the link to the Nestle marketing behemoth.

I think the best part about those special features is that the interview of the German actor who played Augustus Gloop, and the guy is grown, but still a big guy, and STILL WEARING LEDERHOSEN!

YES! Augustus is the best. His lederhosen are spectacular. And I get the feeling that he left the viewing room after his character was sucked up the pipe...

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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The name change between Sunmark and Willy Wonka Brands happened in 1980.  That doesn't discount the idea that the original movie was made to sell the candy, but it makes you wonder that if that's true, why they waited so long to change the name.

I first heard of the old movie being a promotional gag when I listened to the commentary on the 25th anniversary edition of the DVD. (The commentary is by the five child actors, now all grown up and working as veterinarians and such - it's priceless.) I think one of them (or maybe one of the accompanying documentaries/making-of featurettes) mentioned the link to the Nestle marketing behemoth.

Well, the problem with that theory is that Nestle didn't own the line until many years later. So if that's what the folks on the DVD said, they were wrong! :laugh:

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Didn't the Bottle Caps used to fizz (kind of like pop-rocks or Alka-seltzer), or did I imagine that?? I remember getting them at the Children's Day Parade where my dad grew up and not liking them because of this.  I bought a HUGE bag of mini Willy-Wonka candy for my students during finals week and I tried the Bottle Caps, and alas, no fizz.  Did they change this???

I used to love bottlecaps. I remember them being more of a tingle then a full on fizz. I probably haven't had them in 20 years though but I could go for some right now. Are oompas like big Reece's pieces? I remember something like that.

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