Monday, August 20, 2007


When I was a kid I didn’t like Chunky bars. There was just something about raisins and chocolate that reminded me of those carob covered raisins that were foisted upon me as an alternative to candy (which makes it sound like there was a choice). As I got older I think I appreciated them more, mostly because the texture of such a “thickerer” slab of chocolate offers a different taste experience.


Back when they were first introduced in the 1930s they were larger (of course) and featured Brazil nuts, cashews and raisins. Today they’re made with raisins and peanuts ... I’ve always thought of them as what would happen if you dumped your Goobers and Raisinets into a dish and let them melt & reform into a bar.

The bars were originally made by Philip Silvershein and through a gentleman’s agreement with Wrigley, delivered and marketed along with their gums. Later the company was sold to the Ward-Johnson Division of the Terson Company, which oddly enough also bought up the Blumenthal candy group which made Goobers & Raisinets. Nestle bought the Chunky bar and friends in 1984. They changed it from a single chunk to four segmented chunks, I’m guessing in an effort to promote sharing.

The bar is beefy looking. Even though it’s thick, the sections are truly easy to snap apart (I don’t know how easy it’d be to break up otherwise). It smells rather sweet and more of rum and peanuts than chocolate. The chocolate is okay, it seems creamier than the stuff in Crunch bars. The bar reminds me of a cheap version of the Ritter Sport Rum Trauben Nuss. Since it’s a fraction of the price (at 33 cents) I can’t really complain of it not living up to a bar that’s usually three times the price.

For your enjoyment I dug up some old commercials.

This jingle from the early eighties says “you’ve gotta open wide to get a Chunky inside. Open wide for a chunkier bite.” The commercial also reminds me that they were actually one big piece back then instead of the four segmented block.

This one also references that same tagline, open wide.

This commercial is from the mid or late eighties ... and I’m guessing by the content that it’s from around the time that Nestle bought the candy bar. Note that the varieties available is down to two at the end tag. This one also shows the four segments for the first time. See how YouTube has become and candy archaeologist’s best resource?
This video also finishes with another commercial that mentions Old Nick which I just wrote about the other day!

Links: Retroland, Patti at CandyYumYum has an actual wrapper to prove that there was a Pecan version & JCruelty’s reviews of a variety of enduring candies (strong language)

Related Candies

  1. Bit-O-Honey
  2. Payday Fresh from the Factory
  3. Dark Raisinets
  4. Revels
Name: Chunky
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only Store (Silverlake)
Price: $.33
Size: 1.4 ounces
Calories per ounce: 136
Categories: Chocolate, PeanutsBrazil, Nestle, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:07 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. Oh wow that last commercial brought back a lot of memories! And I’m so glad I’m not the only one whose elders foisted carob-coated snacks upon them.

    Comment by Heather on 8/20/07 at 7:20 am #
  2. FYI—there’s a typo in your Russ link.

    I used to like Chunkys a lot when I was a kid, but I can’t remember the last time I had one.

    Would be nice to have something like this with dark chocolate.

    Comment by The Velvet Blog on 8/20/07 at 8:38 am #
  3. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a Chunky, come to think of it—the whole chcolate-raisin thing put me off.  Then in England I encountered Raisin and Biscuit Yorkies, and the scales fell from my eyes.  There was just something incredibly satisfying about chocolate larded with substantial chewy and chunky bits.  Whenever I encounter Raisin and Biscuit Yorkies, I always think about the Chunky and wonder if it supplies the same satisfactions—I have yet to put it to the test, though!  But since the Yorkie company is now marketing its bars in a fantastically sexist manner (“Not for girls,” indeed), I may have to…

    Comment by good enough cook on 8/20/07 at 5:55 pm #
  4. Hi… I’m looking for a North America distributor for these Brazilian Candies called PA?OCA or PA?OQUINHA ... Obrigado/thanks

    Comment by CandyLover on 9/03/07 at 4:06 am #
  5. I just bought a Chunky at a local convenience store today… it was broken up into six sections instead of four! Interesting change, considering you found the four-section one not too long ago.

    I also had to pay $1.19 for mine, haha. Yay overpriced convenience stores.

    Comment by Tristyn on 10/05/07 at 2:41 pm #
  6. They used to do a version of Chunky that had pecans only, no raisins. It was available in the 60’s and 70’s. Not sure when they started (or quit) making it. Had a gold colored wrapper instead of silver. It’s easy to find the peanut/raisin Chunky’s at various online stores but never the pecan Chunky. :(

    Comment by Jessica on 12/30/07 at 3:16 pm #
  7. I remember Chunkys. They were great when they looked like a pyramid with the top cut off, and had the raised edge on the top. It seemed easier to eat with that configuration. They aren’t as tasty as they were! Go back to the original design…

    Comment by Joe on 4/08/08 at 9:23 am #
  8. Chunky was also my go-to candy bar when I was a kid.  I much preferred the pecan version, and no one in the whole world believed me when I told them about it.  Everyone said I was imagining it, even my parents, who bought them for me in the first place!  Thank you so much; I just sent them a link to this article.
    I found a large size of the dark chocolate version of Chunky last year at Dollar General store.  I bought all 20 that they had on the shelf and only managed to part with 5 as Christmas gifts.  I love them so much!

    Comment by Jessica J. on 12/17/09 at 2:11 pm #
  9. Chunky bar are a totally different candy today, then they were when I loved them. I miss the cashews and Brazil nuts..    I never buy them anymore..

    Comment by susan on 4/22/10 at 3:13 pm #
  10. Does anyone remember a Chunky’s commercial in the 80’s that was an animation and had lyrics that went something like: “Nuts and raisins and chocolate galore…Hey nah, hey nah, Chunky’s back”

    Comment by amalthia on 1/19/12 at 4:16 pm #
  11. I agree with Joe from 2008—not as tasty as they were when it was a Ward-Johnston candy.  I think Nestle changed the chocolate.  My earliest memories of Chunky were the gold-wrapped pecan ones.

    Comment by Sebastian on 4/30/12 at 3:25 pm #
  12. I could swear that there was a version of Chunky bars that had no nuts - only raisins. I do remember the gold wrapped kind but I don’t like pecans so never cared for those.

    Am I nuts? Did a raisin-only version of the Chunky Bar ever exist??

    Comment by KC on 7/25/12 at 6:39 pm #
  13. i totally remember that commercial! it was great!

    Comment by popeye on 12/07/12 at 6:43 pm #
  14. Absolutely!! There was a Chunky w/ just raisins. It was my favorite. Closest I get to it is brownies w/ only raisins

    Comment by Still-a-kid on 1/14/13 at 5:17 pm #
  15. Thanks for replying! I thought I was nuts!

    Any idea what it was called or if it is still made?

    Comment by KC on 1/14/13 at 5:32 pm #
  16. Does anyone know how much a Chunky weighed in the late 1950’s? The first Chunky I had was purchased in Gorham, Me at a store built to look like a log cabin. The Chunky cost 5 cents. Since then it has shrunken considerably and the price is much higher. Is there a site where wieghts/sizes of other items can be compared with today’s?

    Comment by JWR on 9/08/13 at 6:43 pm #
  17. i am allergic to milk chocolate. so, why is there not a dark chocolate chunky bar. i have not had a chunky in a lot of years. as a child my favorite candy was the chunky candy bar buy as i grew older i could no longer enjoy it. now, ive noticed other candy makers making DARK CHOCO-LATE versions of there classic candies.                GLORIA

    Comment by gloria mays on 10/24/13 at 9:32 am #
  18. Candy Blogger and friends,

    I am the grandson of Jeff Jaffe, he owned Chunky between Philip and Nestle.  In fact, he bought the company in 1950, and within a year (1951) had arranged to bring KIT KAT to America.  It was his promotion with the ‘Open Wide for Chunky’!

    It’s great to hear all the comments about how you love the candy bar.  I’m sad to say he passed away a month ago at 93, but I’m sure it would be great to hear and see his name in the history.

    Technically he purchased Chunky in 1950, and then WARD (his friend) hired my grandfather, JEFF JAFFE.  Once Hired, he bought back his company under the veil of Ward Candy.

    He wrote a book if any of you are interested;  “HOW SWEET IT IS; The Life of a Candy Man”

    All the best!

    Comment by Matt B on 9/09/14 at 6:11 am #
  19. What a chunk of chocolate

    Comment by Mary on 3/13/16 at 4:47 pm #
  20. there was also a version all milk chocolate. No nuts no raisins nothing but milk chocolate. I don’t think it was around very long, but this was my favorite Chunky, for sure.

    Comment by Sandra Wilson on 10/25/16 at 7:44 am #
  21. Just finished the book “How Sweet It Is: The Life of a Candy Man” = great and interesting book about a man of great character and integrity - Jeff Jaffe - quite an interesting career

    Comment by bob on 12/24/16 at 7:08 pm #
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