So, Hershey’s has a little secret. Why have you been holding out on us, oh corporate chocolate giant? The secret is Zagnut, a candy bar known for it’s red wrapper, pinball-game font proudly displaying the name. It’s a crunchy, peanut buttery center rolled in toasted coconut—with no chocolate. If you can imagine the crispy layers of a Butterfinger bar with a coconut coating instead of the chocolate shell, that’s very much what Zagnut tastes like. A candy bar with no chocolate—that’s different all right. But the taste is really actually unique and good. I can’t say that I missed the chocolate component all that much, because this bar had the right stuff. It was sweet but refreshing… a wholesome yet tropical taste experience that I’d have over and over again.
Since not everyone goes running out for a candy bar without chocolate, it’s said that most Zagnut bars are sold online rather than in stores. Hershey’s meet the needs of their niche market quite well, especially during summer months when chocolate sales go down. Though I don’t think I’d be tempted to order mass quantities online, I can certainly understand needing to feed an addiction for that one special candy that makes any rainy day shine, or the one sentimental sweet from childhood that takes you back. As a nostalgia candy, the Zagnut bar is worth keeping around. But first-timers are always welcome.
And just to unleash another little secret: the birth of this candy bar isn’t all thanks to Hershey’s. As early as 1930, you could find this delicious treat on sale courtesy of the D.L. Clark company, which has sold its business in the past decade to other candy companies. The Zagnut bar was saved (phew!) and acquired by the Hershey’s brand pretty recently, in 1996. It’s a good thing, because now the many Zagnut fans can pass this candy bar on to their future generations and keep spreading the good news that has for so long been a secret to many.