Butterfinger has been completely overhauled by Nutella’s parent company — including a new recipe

Butterfinger's new look.

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Butterfinger’s new look.
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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

  • Butterfinger is rolling out a new recipe and design in 2019.
  • The new recipe uses a different type of peanut, more cocoa in the coating, and cuts the preservative TBHQ and hydrogenated oils.
  • Ferrero – the owner of Nutella, Ferrero Rocher, and Tic Tac – acquired Butterfinger from Nestlé earlier this year and immediately began the process of reinventing the brand.

Butterfinger has a revamped look and a brand-new recipe.

On Thursday, parent company Ferrero announced that the new Butterfinger will hit shelves in late January and be available nationally by early February.

The new recipe uses a larger, Jumbo runner peanut in the bar’s core, utilizes a higher percentage of cocoa and milk in the chocolate coating, and cuts ingredients such as the preservative TBHQ and hydrogenated oils.

The wrapping is now bright yellow and double-layered to prevent the candy from becoming stale.

Butterfinger’s revamp follows Ferrero – the owner of Nutella, Ferrero Rocher, and Tic Tac – acquiring Butterfinger from Nestlé for $2.8 billion earlier in 2018, along with the rest of Nestlé’s American candy portfolio. According to Kristen Mandel, a senior director of marketing at Ferrero-owned Ferrara, the company began its overhaul of Butterfinger immediately after the deal closed on April 1.

“The priority is really bringing Butterfinger back into the spotlight as a modern-day icon, because it hadn’t gotten the attention it warrants in recent years,” Mandel said. “We’re excited to have all the resources and investment to put behind it.”

Butterfinger backlash?

Butterfinger bars, old and new.

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Butterfinger bars, old and new.
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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

As companies work to drive sales of struggling brands, sometimes revamped recipes result in backlash from loyal customers.

Toblerone felt the wrath of shoppers when it changed its iconic triangular shape in the UK to avoid raising prices in 2016. Butterfinger’s sister brand Nutella faced boycott threats after quietly changing its recipe in 2017. And, while Reese’s has not even rolled out its new Reese’s Thins yet, customers reacted furiously to the mere idea of having less peanut butter in their chocolate cups.

Read more: Hershey plans to roll out Reese’s Cups that are 40% thinner – and people are furious

Mandel said that tests of the new Butterfinger have reinforced the company’s conviction that both dedicated fans and new shoppers will embrace the revamped recipe.

The old Butterfinger recipe (on the left) and the new bar (on the right).

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The old Butterfinger recipe (on the left) and the new bar (on the right).
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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

“Anytime you change, someone super, super set in their ways may not like it,” she said. “But the feedback we’ve gotten from consumers makes us confident.”

In February, Ferrero will launch a massive advertising push to promote the revamped Butterfinger, spending more than double than what the company has spent on the candy’s marketing in prior years. According to Mandel, this is the largest investment she’s seen in the brand in her 14 years working with Butterfinger and other former Nestlé US candies.

Despite pricier, higher-quality ingredients and the marketing push, Butterfinger’s prices will not increase, something even Butterfinger 2.0 skeptics can celebrate.