June 17, 2008

Candy Cold War?

Soviet Snickers?

Anyone know what's up with this new Snickers wrapper? Saw it in Wal*Mart and it looks strangely soviet to me.

3 Musketeers had a different wrapper as well, which was vaguely American patriotic in red, white and blue.

Is there a candy Cold War going on?

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Posted by James at June 17, 2008 3:49 PM
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My first thought was rebranding--something marketers do to keep the brand fresh and make it seem like there's something new for a new year.

My next thought was tie-in to some show or movie.

Well, neither is correct. The "official" sites for both candies don't show either packaging (and there is an Indiana Jones Snickers, but it doesn't look like that).

I'm guessing this is packaging exclusively for Wal-Mart, which we know they can command. I'm sure you all remember their demand that Vlasic continue to offer the enormous jar of pickles, which Vlasic meant to be a one-off, but Wal-Mart insisted they continue, even though it cost Vlasic money. Vlasic felt they had no choice because they wanted "in" at Wal-Mart stores.

Posted by: Patti M. at June 17, 2008 5:54 PM

Good lord. I think I may have the answer.

From "Food & Beverage Packaging":

Snickers rolls out high-energy version

Mars Snackfood US has rolled out a nutritionally enhanced version of its iconic Snickers bar with distinctive graphics.

Snickers Charged features 60 milligrams of caffeine per 1.83-ounce bar, plus taurine and B vitamins. Graphically, the flowrapped film is a significant departure from the distinctive brown of mainstream Snickers. It uses a silver background, with the Snickers logo subordinated to the word “Charged,” and a frontal image of a rhinoceros head.

“Research shows that consumers desire a product that not only provides a boost of energy but is also satisfying in taste,” says Michele Kessler, vice president of marketing for Mars Snackfood US.


Yeah, that's what we need--to fool ourselves by saying the candy we're gobbling is ok because it's "high energy."

If you want candy, eat it. Don't be goofy about it. "High energy" candy bars sounds almost as stupid as "power yoga."

Posted by: Patti M. at June 17, 2008 7:36 PM

I've seen the "charged" version and it has a different wrapper (the rhino is quite evident).

I think they *should* tell consumers that these candy bars are high "energy," but they should explain that "high energy" actually means "high calorie."

And it would help me out a lot if they put one of those funhouse mirrors next to the display that shows me what I'm going to look like after I make a habit of eating them.

Posted by: James at June 17, 2008 8:18 PM

Snickers "Charged" has been out for a while now, I've seen it see it near Powerbars. They don't look like this. These look more 'retro'.

Posted by: mjfrombuffalo at June 17, 2008 8:19 PM

Snickers Charged label found here:


(The labels are alphabetical by candy bar. This guy has a LOT of time on his hands! And chocolate, too, probably.)

Posted by: mjfrombuffalo at June 17, 2008 8:37 PM

MJ, I suspect the chocolate itself is long gone. :)

Posted by: Julie at June 17, 2008 9:57 PM

I kinda' like the new Soviet-style Snickers wrappers. I wonder if people are Russian to the store to buy them?

Posted by: Bull at June 19, 2008 1:36 PM

I went to Walmart last night and was wondering the same thing, hence, me writing this here now, afer trying to figure out what they were doing. I don't think they have changed the wrappers since I went to both sites and Mars website. Probably just doing this for Walmart stores? The visiual appeal is just not there with these new wrappers. Kind of turned me off to buying them.

Posted by: Dave at June 19, 2008 1:47 PM

Bull -- LOL!

Posted by: James at June 19, 2008 2:35 PM

Could they be counterfeit?

Posted by: Patti M. at June 19, 2008 2:56 PM

I found this after doing a google search for the new snickers bar wrapper! I also have only seen them at Wal-Mart (not that I spend a lot of time looking at Snickers bars). I was hoping it was a return to the original wrapper, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Even though we don't have an answer, I'm glad someone else noticed.

Posted by: loren at June 19, 2008 9:13 PM

Perhaps someone else will find their way here and post an answer to the mystery.

Posted by: James at June 19, 2008 10:28 PM

You know, this lends credence to something I thought I saw at work the other day.
Walking past the open faced soda machine and I saw a new can of Coca-Cola, allegedly celebrating the Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Now, before I continue you need to know a few things about me. I'm a Graphic Designer.
I have a full-on grasp of Brand-Recognition (point one).
I started out my career doing page layout and typography for a textbook composition house, which means I can distinguish between different typefaces, or fonts, and what the different letters and glyphs are supposed to be and look like.

Now, on to the rest of the story.
I see a new spelling of 'Coca-Cola' and can't believe my eyes.
Not just that something referred to as 'American Champagne' as Clark orders an Omelet du Frommage in his Pig in a Poke won trip to Europe is misspelled in such a blatant fashion, but also that this global corporation got away with it.
The spelling on the can I saw was as follows:
Try to pronounce that out loud without saying 'flied lice' or 'me so solly' and adding to decades of yellow railroad stereotypes printed on the side of an American Soft drink acting not-so softly.

These wrappers lend themselves to the idea that perhaps the advertising world is starting up a second cold war.

Posted by: Some Guy With A Pen at June 20, 2008 9:11 PM

I searched "Koka Kora" and came up with some results on Google image search. I think it's actually a version of their brand which they use in another country ("Bulgaria" was what the caption said, but I have doubts that is accurate.)

So it may well be a longstanding version of their brand. Internationally, they have quite a few variations, and those variations do extend to typeface, although it's tough to say when some of the written languages have such different structures in their glyphs.

Posted by: James at June 20, 2008 10:26 PM

Did the same image search and James is right. what looks like a lower case cursive "r" is actually the cyrillic "l" (kinda' like a mini, cursive lambda). Also there is no hard "c" - just the "k" sound.

Posted by: Bull at June 22, 2008 9:36 PM

Ah, well that confirms the Bulgaria connection. Thanks, Bull!

Posted by: James at June 22, 2008 10:34 PM

It is odd hat the new wrapped bars in the plain packaging are right beside the old ones on the shelf. I spotted the new whoppers box before i Saw the snickers.

Posted by: kristie at June 25, 2008 1:18 AM

Warning: don't do a Google image search at work for "Whoppers" unless you have safe search on.

I mean it. Ugh.

Posted by: James at June 25, 2008 11:59 AM


Posted by: Patti M. at June 25, 2008 12:45 PM

Why, are my butt-zits featured?

Posted by: Bull at June 25, 2008 1:41 PM

I shudder to think of the output of such a search. Some things are better left uninvestigated.

James, I'll bet you wish you could wipe your mind clean.

Posted by: Patti M. at June 25, 2008 2:03 PM

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