Whatever Happened To Butterfinger BB's?

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Remembering the 1990s delivers a sense of nostalgia for all of the popular things of that decade, and of course, candy is no exception. Some of these sweets may be gone, but they'll never be forgotten. Not only were the candies of the '90s delicious, but some were fun, too. Remember Nestlé Magic Wonderball which had a tiny prize hidden inside the round chocolate shell? Whistle Pops were also an exciting candy-eating experience, packing a whistling melody and sweet flavor punch in every pop.

Among these classic candies lies the Butterfinger BB's. Who didn't love the buttery, crunchy, poppable candy that was available during the '90s? Those tiny bites of goodness satisfied many a sweet tooth. According to Newsweek, Butterfinger BB's became a household name in 1992. The candy were almost as iconic as those torn blue jeans and flannel shirts that polished off every cool kid's wardrobe. So Yummy claims that, to the dismay of millions, the tiny candies were discontinued 14 years later in 2006.

Controversy exists as to why the poppable Butterfinger BB's were dropped from the Nestlé line of confections. One theory is that the chocolate's quick melting point was what determined the candy's fate. The chocolate seemed to slip off the candy and onto your fingers more quickly than it could reach your mouth. Regardless of the reason, the melty, messy Butterfinger BB's are missed.

How Butterfinger changed through the years

In 2009, Butterfinger Bites were released in a vain attempt to mimic the iconic BB's, according to Insider. The bites were well-accepted, but they just couldn't replace the smaller poppable version that stole the hearts of millions. Butterfinger Bites continue to hold a fanbase though, and are sold today in Walmart stores and on Amazon.

The most significant change overall was Nestlé's decision to focus on its non-candy products. According to CNN, in 2018, Nestlé sold Butterfinger and 19 other brands to Fererro North America for almost $3 billion. One can't help but wonder that, if Butterfinger BB's were around today, would they even taste the same? The change in the brand's parent company led to tweaks in the recipe and a redesign of Butterfinger's packaging. Food & Wine reports that Fererro changed the recipe by removing the chemical tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), eliminating hydrogenated oils, and using larger peanuts while also attempting to make the flavor more "cocoa forward." Fererro also started double-packaging Butterfingers for greater freshness.

With a new recipe that boasts a more nutty cacao flavor, maybe we should just acknowledge BB's as they once were: An iconic piece of 1990s American culture.