Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Reese’s Crispy Crunchy Bar

imageI’m not sure what’s taken Reese’s so long to come out with a Butterfinger-like candy bar. Maybe when Hershey’s bought 5th Avenue they made some sort of a deal. But here it is, 2006, some 88 years after the introduction of the Reese’s Peanut Butter cup and they’ve done it.

Instead of being a clone of the 5th Avenue, Butterfinger or Clark Bar, this one has both that layered crispy peanut butter crunch in the center, a supposed stripe of peanut butter as well as a liberal sprinkling of crushed peanuts and then milk chocolate.


The effect is a rather creamy and very crunchy bar. The textured center provides that high-frequency crisp and the nuts provide the low frequency crunch. The center has a salty hit to it that also gives it a little zing along with a good dose of molasses, which always pleases me. It also has 5 grams of protein, which is a pretty good density for a bar that’s more candy than nuts.

The crispy center was also lighter than the dense and sometimes inconsistent Butterfinger bar. The biggest drawback here is that Hershey’s has again skimped on the chocolate on the outside and gone for the marginal stuff that has PGPR in it.

If there’s one thing that really turns me off for this bar it’s the promo they’re running with its introduction. You can vote on their website for Crunchy or Creamy? and win a car based on your vote. Crunchy people win a Hummer H3 (blech) and Creamy people are entered to win a Corvette Coupe (meh).

My preference for this type of bar is the 5th Avenue, but those are extremely hard to find. If Hershey’s is planning on making these as widely available as other Reese’s products, this might be a new bar added to my repertoire.

Name: Reese's Crispy Crunchy Bar
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Reese's (Hershey)
Place Purchased: Walgreen's
Price: $.69
Size: 1.7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 153
Categories: Chocolate, Peanuts, United States, Hershey's, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:16 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. Yummmmmers. Just when I thought I couldn’t possibly find another chocolate bar I would love as much as Butterfingers! heaven!

    Comment by Riley on 12/12/06 at 9:11 am #
  2. You’ve mentioned PGPR several times now. I think you’re a little confused about it. It’s just an emulsifier used to keep the ingredients mixed during the production process, to delay separation and prevent the bars from sticking to the equipment. Sort of like PAM. It shouldn’t be noticeable in the taste of the product, and it can be used in all grades of chocolate, although it does tend to show up in less expensive chocolate more often simply because that’s what is made in more high-volume, industrial settings.

    Comment by Mark on 12/12/06 at 12:50 pm #
  3. Riley - please post if it measure up or surpasses Butterfingers for you!

    Mark - I understand that it’s an emulsifier, but it’s one that has not appeared in Hershey products until the last 18 months or so. They also do not reveal the origin of the PGPR - it can be made from vegetable sources or animal fats. Though the Kosher designation leads me to believe it’s certainly not porcine.

    Soy Lecithin has been widely used for decades and even by high end chocolatiers (Michel Cluizel is the only one that springs to mind that DOESN’T), but the appearance of PGPR usually indicates that it is replacing a portion of the cocoa butter.

    It’s just another dilution of the definition of “chocolate”, as far as I’m concerned.

    Hopefully I can find some items to blind taste “before and after” (I’m searching for Hershey’s Kisses right now.)

    Comment by cybele on 12/12/06 at 1:04 pm #
  4. Cybele—I still don’t see your problem with PGPR. Is it that you’re a vegetarian? Lecithin also “replaces cocoa butter” to the tune of one part lecithin for ten parts cocoa butter. Cocoa butter was only added in the manufacturing process for its emulsifying characteristics, not for taste. Lecithin was just a cheaper (because it’s more efficient per gram) alternative, developed by food scientists in the 1930s. PGPR is yet a newer alternative. A candy bar is less than 1/2 percent lecithin, and I believe that if PGPR is used, it’s even less than that. I think that the slightly chemically sounding name has caused a bit of an internet urban legend erruption. At any rate, here’s an idea: how about picking up the telephone and calling Hershey and a couple of university food science people, state your concerns, and see what they say? You run a blog specializing in candy; rather than perpetuate rumors, how about doing some reporting?

    Comment by Mark on 12/12/06 at 2:24 pm #
  5. PGPR - “is an artificially derived emulsifier that is mainly used to replace some of the cocoa butter in chocolate used in lower grade candy bars.”

    Soy lecithin - “Various studies (Brook et al. 1986, Spilburg et al. 2003) indicate that soy-derived lecithin may positively affect cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood.”

    Wikipedia cited in both instances.  Artificial vs. naturally derived. 

    That’s enough for me - keep up the good work Cybele!  smile

    Comment by April on 12/12/06 at 6:13 pm #
  6. mmm, i saw this in the vending machine today after my psychology exam.
    It looked good, but I didn’t try it.

    Comment by leah on 12/12/06 at 7:02 pm #
  7. The 7-Eleven near me has a king-sized version of this bar.  I prefer it over Butterfinger because the peanut buttery part doesn’t get stuck inbetween and around my teeth.

    Comment by Marvo on 12/12/06 at 8:06 pm #
  8. This bar has 370 calories, 22 grams of fat, and 28 grams of sugar! Good Lord! That’s crazy! Candy bars are getting more and more sinful and unhealthy!

    Comment by Samantha on 12/12/06 at 8:48 pm #
  9. 370 calories? God it’s like a meal!

    Comment by leigh on 12/13/06 at 12:35 am #
  10. It’s sad that Reese’s didn’t bother to give this product a real name.  It’s just a benign string of adjectives attached to the bland noun “bar”.  I don’t think I could remember it long enough to go to the store and ask for one.

    Comment by David on 12/13/06 at 3:21 am #
  11. I introduced my 13 year old to the wonders of the 5th Avenue just as they started becoming harder to find. At first he didn’t think there would be much of a difference to a Butterfinger, but he soon learned how much better the 5th Avenue was.  He actively looks for the 5th Avenue now.

    I’ve noticed that with few exceptions, purchased companies/bars like 5th Avenue don’t seem to get pushed much once the purchase money is made back. 5th Avenue should be part of the multi-packs of mini-bars, etc. That’s all it would take to get it better known, but Hershey’s won’t put anything that’s not an original Hershey bar into those packs (they even keep the Reese’s in their own packages).  one more evil of conglomeration.

    Comment by Jim Kosmicki on 12/13/06 at 4:37 am #
  12. Cybele's avatar

    Mark - You got it! I’m doing more research ... expect something in the new year. (Yes, part of my irritation about PGPR is that they don’t reveal the origin because I don’t eat meat ... they say that it’s Soy Lecithin, not Egg Lecithin ... why can’t they say that it’s Castor Bean PGPR? I can only assume that it’s not animal because it couldn’t be Kosher if it’s in milk chocolate.)

    Samantha & Leigh - I think that’s the king sized bar (the Hershey site seems to list the 2.4 ounce bar by default). The bar I had was 260 calories.

    Marvo - I haven’t had a Butterfinger in a while, but I was always annoyed with that property too.

    David - at least they didn’t go with the name style like the “Whatchamacallit” (I can’t remember the last time they actually named a bar over there at Hershey’s ... I’m guessing Kissables is the only thing they’ve given a “name” in the past 10 years.)

    Jim - yeah, I think they’ve done a poor job of promoting the 5th Avenue. Especially since they now have the Zagnut bar too they could do some special tie in between them. The weird thing is that they seem to keep all those companies separate even after they take them over (Peter Paul, York, Twizzlers, Jolly Ranchers ... it’s like they’re not integrating them so that they could sell them at any moment.)

    Comment by Cybele on 12/13/06 at 9:23 am #
  13. For all of you 5th Avenue fans you can find it on every other Candy designated register at your local Target store. If you want the bar to stay there…. Keep buying it. Candy only becomes extinct when people stop buying it.

    Comment by Bertha on 12/15/06 at 12:48 pm #
  14. I love this new candy bar.  It’s almost like Butterfinger meets Jar of Peanut Butter.  One comment about putting any candy bar with peanut butter in a multi-pack…the peanut butter candy bar takes over the flavor of whatever else is in there, and to me, ruins the flavor.  Ever had a Reese’s miniature peanut butter cup, that came out of a candy bowl mixed with other stuff (especially mint flavored stuff, those are the worst offenders)?

    Anyway, I’m a peanut butter chocolate freak, and always interested in new things with that combination.  Anyone remember the PBMax?  I don’t remember who made it, but that thing was good.

    Comment by Rita on 2/28/07 at 2:44 pm #
  15. I think this is far superior to both the original Reese’s and Butterfinger I hope its here to stay.

    Comment by Andy on 3/09/07 at 2:31 pm #
  16. Cadbury has a very popular 5th Avenue type bar called the Crispy Crunchy tha thas been around for years. Since Hershey’s produces Cadbury here in the USA and Hershey’s owns Reese’s now I am sure that is where the name came from.

    Comment by Joe on 5/22/07 at 6:59 am #
  17. Thse bars are great. They’re pretty close to Cadbury’s Wunderbar [look it up!], a favorite over here in Germany. I loved the PBMax, as well, anything with peanut butter or penuche [like Reese’s Pieces]. The stuff on Butterfinger isn’t really chocolate, BTW, to address the above argument about the PGPR. They may be thinking of “compound chocolate” : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compound_chocolate

    Comment by Tony on 10/31/07 at 9:11 am #
  18. Just picked up a Fruit & Nut Cadbury for the first time in a long while. Could’nt help but notice the PGPR ingredient. Thats why Im here on this web site looking as to what it might be.
    All I can say is that for all my life, chocolate has been just fine without it and I will no longer eat any products with that in it! Ever!

    Comment by Henri Tenthorey on 3/04/08 at 4:01 pm #
  19. I’m worried that the PGPR is derived from vegetable products that may include gluten (and I can’t have gluten).Someone said Cadbury’s Carmello is not gluten free and I wondered if that’s due to this PGCP stuff.

    I wish Candy bars would just clearly state “gluten-free” or not. It is such a pain to have to read a ton of ingredients that don’t clarify the sources fully and I don’t know how to contact Hershey’s to find out. Could you possibly include some gluten sleuthing when you do your blog?

    Comment by Marjorie Cooper on 1/18/09 at 8:53 am #
  20. Ok this is a confession of a Reese’s crispy crunch bar. I’m hooked i tell ya!

    I’ve noticed that the bar comes in two size. 1.7oz and 2.4oz. Regular and King.

    I’ve also noticed that some vendors are charging the higher price for both bars @1.48 which seriously pisses me off. I’m sure this kills sales.

    I can get the 1.7 for .65 at giant tiger but if i go to any convienient store i’m charged $1.48 + !!!


    Comment by addict on 5/19/09 at 6:35 am #
  21. I spend about $100/month on this; 3 king size bars
    a day.  Its just too good to resist.

    Comment by So Addicted on 10/01/09 at 4:07 am #
  22. im not a huge candy fanatic, but as far as candy bars are concerned this is the KING for me. its friggin’ perfect, and i get other people hooked on it when i let them have a piece.

    Comment by tasty viper on 2/15/10 at 1:05 pm #
  23. This is the one the best candy bars I’ve ever had.  I am seriously hooked on them.  When I don’t have time for a meal, I will eat a king sized one to tie me over.  At least they have some protein as well.

    It looks as if they have been out for at least 4 years, I’m just kicking myself that I didn’t discover them sooner. 

    One problem I have found is many stores don’t carry them, even though they carry regular Reese’s items.  And the stores that do carry them usually don’t order enough, so the box is constantly empty.  When I do get lucky and find them in stock, I get a bunch just to make sure I don’t run out. grin

    I also can’t beleive the original author of this page gave them a 7 out of 10.  If you are a chocolate/PB fan, this is easily a 9 if not a 10.  I would only say 9 because I figure there’s always something that could be a little better to come along.  It may never happen, but that’s okay, because I always have my Reese’s Crispy Crunchy.

    Thanks! grin

    Comment by Dana Hauser on 5/31/10 at 11:03 am #
  24. omg crisy crunch is the best candy bar EVER but u cant get every where. why is that? i live in no arlington nj 07031 and i can only get a dollar general sometime. y isnt it everywhere the peanut butter cups r?

    Comment by ruth ameiorsano on 8/07/10 at 5:10 am #
  25. cocoa butter has no emulsifying properties—it is a fat. is used in chocolate only because its melting point is 97 degrees—for that melt in your mouth feel.  most other fats must be hydrogenated to get the same melting point.

    Comment by Steven on 8/10/10 at 7:58 pm #
  26. It is soo awsome beats butterfinger by far.  best candy bar on the planet but I can’t find it just anywhere. walmart did have it now they don’t usually have to go to Shell station to find it.  WHY DON’T YOU ADVERTISE IT & PROMOTE IT ON TV?  MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT IT [LEASE GET IT IN EVERY STORE. IT IS THE BEST THING REESE’S EVER MADE

    Comment by Linda Crippen on 4/01/14 at 3:33 pm #
  27. I did NOT enjoy the Reese’s Crispy Crunchy bar.  I hated it so much I called the 800 number to complain.  I purchased by mistake because it was in the bin with the delicious Nutrageous bar.  I paid $1.89 for the king sized bar and am very disappointed.  I do not care for Butterfinger bars either.  I cannot stand the texture or taste.  This candy bar is not for me.  YUCK.

    Comment by Tina Fringer on 8/07/14 at 12:55 pm #
  28. I DID enjoy the Crispy Crunchy candy bar. This is by far the BEST candy bar on the market today!  Butterfinger and 5th Ave have been favorites of mine for years.  Without a doubt, the crispy crunchy is far superior to both.  I suggest trying one if you haven’t already.  If you ENJOY butterfinger “type” candy bars, this is a must!

    Comment by Sam on 12/22/14 at 1:41 am #
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