The Flirty Theory Behind The Oh Henry! Candy Bar Name

The classic Oh Henry! candy bar wrapper looks old fashioned with it's heavy block font and unassuming wrapper of yellow, red, and brown, which makes sense as the candy bar has been around for over 100 years. But, while it was beloved by many and is still sold by certain retailers, the bar made up of crunchy peanuts, caramel, and fudge wrapped in chocolate was discontinued in 2018.

While Americans may associate Snickers bars with the candy to eat to sate hunger, Canadians reach for Oh Henry! bars, which targeted those with the munchies in a 2020 advertising campaign. This approach doesn't differ too much from 1990s television commercials for Oh Henry! that positioned the candy bar as something filling rather than a mere sweet treat. And while the distributor, branding, and recipe have all changed, the unconventional name of this candy bar that contains punctuation and the name Henry itself comes from a rather flirty folklore.

Henry, the alleged flirt who roamed a chocolate factory

Some may mistakenly believe that the Oh Henry! bar is an homage to the famous American short story author O. Henry. But Nestle itself has put that rumor to rest by stating the story isn't a fact. Still, according to Candy Favorites, the origin of the name Oh Henry! Candy bars isn't quite clear, though it has a "somewhat complicated history." Even the exact origins of when the candy bar first came onto the market is murky: Some say that a man from Chicago, Greg Williamson, launched the bar in 1920, while others maintain that a certain Thomas Henry, who managed another candy company in Kansas, first created a Tom Henry Bar in the 1910s before later selling it to Williamson. When the recipe for Oh Henry! Bars exchanged hands, only the name was slightly altered to Oh Henry!

However, a more romantic and randy theory has it that there was a lustful young man who frequented the Williamson candy factory in order to flirt with the workers on the assembly line. In response to his advances, the ladies working would reportedly say "Oh Henry!" If the story is true, Henry's flirting won him more than a heart, but over a hundred years of fame with a beloved candy bar that bears his name.