Stopping at the ‘Sev for my morning tanker of joe, I saw them in the aisle, calling out to me from their cardboard stand like a siren—the Butterfinger Buzz bar. It feels like it’s been an awfully long time since I’ve seen something new on the shelves that I actually let out a little yelp of excitement, thus enduring strange glances from the other patrons and the clerk.
Inside the package, the Buzz felt thick and heavy. Opening it, I discovered that there were actually two bars inside, each shorter and thicker than your average Butterfinger. And that was pretty much the only discernible difference between the Buzz and the regular variety.
The package excitedly claims that the Buzz has “as much caffeine as the leading energy drink.” I wasn’t sure exactly what sized energy drink is considered “leading” since these days they come in a variety of sizes from ginormous to gargantuan. It was also unclear if this statistic counted for one or both bars in the package. Some clever sleuthing led me to the answer typed in fine print located where candy lovers never go, the bottom of the bar next to the nutrition info. Each bar contains 40 mg of caffeine, which is about half of an 8 oz can of Red Bull, a half a cup of coffee or about 16 ½ regular Butterfinger bars. The warning also said that the candy was not recommended for children, which is exactly like me putting a shiny red button that lights up and makes sounds in front of my son, then standing across the room and whispering, “don’t touch it.”
I really can’t figure out why they put caffeine in candy, other than because suckers like me will buy anything labeled “new” or “limited edition.” But hey, I’m a traditionalist. I tend to want my caffeine fix in beverage form. Plus, if coffee had as much fat and calories as the Butterfinger Buzz, caffeine addiction would be the least of my problems. I’d be one of those guys you see being airlifted out of their beds.
Despite the emergence of some other caffeinated bars, I think buzzy candy is going to be a pretty short-lived gimmick in the annals of candy history. If you haven’t tried one, you’re not missing much, except the jitters.