We share many similarities with our neighbors to the north, eh! And our love for candy bars is one. Americans have more choice when it comes to life’s chocolatey little pleasures, but did you know that you can’t find certain Canadian favorites in any US. city? Here are the Top 10 Canadian Candy Bars America Wished They Had.
10. Mr. Big
We are not talking about the character on Sex & the City – Mr. Big. We are talking about the delicious chocolate bar made with layered vanilla wafers coated in caramel, peanuts, and rice crisps and covered in chocolate, which is only sold in Canada. Called Mr Big because of its size, it comes in at a whopping 8 inches long. Now, get your mind out the gutter, but if you’re keeping stats, that’s the length of two standard sized chocolate bars. Mr. Big has a light chewy bite, even if it’s packed with loads of peanuts and caramel. It is filling and satisfying. Made by Cadbury Canada, Mr. Big was originally a Nestlé product licensed by Neilson, which started as a dairy company. In the 1980s with mergers and acquisitions happening left and right, Neilson Chocolate Company was sold to Cadbury. Mr. Big has become a Canadian staple, and is sold at many local convenience stores and gas stations. In a 70s commercial, the tagline for Mr. Big chocolate was “Mr. Big, so big they call him Mister”. The product did make an appearance in the U.S. in 1995, with basketball player Shaquille O’Neal as spokesman (quite fitting), but the chocolate bar did not catch on. Mr. Big also has a variation of an ice cream bar made by Nestle. Canadians seemingly can’t get enough of it. Several other variations of the chocolate bar exist including Mr. Big Fudge, Mr. Big Maple, and Mr. Chew Big. A miniature version of Mr. Big sells during the Halloween season only.
They say that Wunderbar is “Wonderrrfull” and the best thing that was ever invented since sliced bread. Our neighbors up North would most certainly agree. Wunderbar is so decadent that once you try it, you won’t go back to anything else. It’s one of the top 10 selling chocolates in Canada and for good reason. This chocolate bar comes packed with a soft peanut butter center all wrapped up in caramel with small amounts of rice crisps and milk chocolate. It’s a soft, gooey mess and possibly the best chocolate experience you will ever have. Made by Cadbury Canada, it can be found everywhere in Canada, but unfortunately not in the US. The U.K. has its own version called the Star Bar. It contains identical ingredients but is smaller and rounder. It is also much harder to bite into. It lacks the “je ne sais quoi” that sets the Canadian version apart. The secret to a Wunderbar is that it has been engineered to always retain its soft texture no matter what. Wunderbar is a wonderful Canadian success story. Some specialty stores in the NY state area may sell them, but if you need a real quick fix, you can try ordering them online. Otherwise, you will have to make a quick trip across the border, or beg a travelling friend to bring you back a few next time they’re in Canada. Stock up on them if you can, because they’re worth it.
8. Big Turk
As you can surmise, this candy bar is named after a modified version of Turkish Delight. The Big Turk, so appropriately named, consists of chewy, magenta colored Turkish Delight, wrapped in a delicious, rippled coating of milk chocolate. The Big Turk tastes like a cross between berry-flavored candy and chocolate. Made by Nestlé Canada, it is exclusive to The North and very distinctive. It is more of an acquired taste though, as not everyone is a big fan. The chocolate coating is great, but the inside is…well, not the most exciting! This candy bar has been around since 1974, and apparently it’s not going away any time soon. Lovers of Big Turk mostly love it because it contains 60% less fat than the average candy bar. The bar is unique as there definitely isn’t anything quite like it. Perhaps that’s why they have such a cult following. Many Canadians have had a love/hate relationship with this mysterious chocolate bar that comes packaged in a red, white and blue wrapper.
7. Crispy Crunch
Crispy Crunch is a hard chocolate bar made with a brittle crispy peanut butter flaky center. Also manufactured by Cadbury Canada, it is exclusive to Canadians. An employee of Neilson Chocolates developed the original Crispy Crunch in the 1930’s. An old-fashioned, classic snack, it was sold to Cadbury in 1996. Since Cadbury began manufacturing the chocolate bar, the recipe has changed to make it sweeter and a little less salty. But people do miss the sweet and saltiness that the original bar contained. These days it has more of a crunchy topaz-colored candy coating center and is flakier on the inside. At one time, Crispy Crunch became available to the US market, but it failed to impress. Crispy Crunch was sold in the United States for a brief time in the 1990s by the food distribution arm of Pro Set, which went bankrupt, resulting in Crispy Crunch no longer being available on U.S. shelves. Apparently it has not been missed. In Canada however, highly successful Crispy Crunch ad campaigns in the late 80s catapulted the brand from No.10 to No.1 at the time, growing the volume of sales by 55%. With its perfectly crispy peanut butter flaky center surrounded by milk chocolate, Crispy Crunch remains a popular Canadian favorite.
Not to be confused with a Crispy Crunch, the Crunchie bar has a honeycomb toffee center wrapped in milk chocolate. The honeycomb toffee is produced in large slabs, and cut using a rotary saw that slices them into uniform sharp-edged portions. The honeycomb toffee is then covered in delicious chocolate, cooled, and packaged. Crunchie has the perfect name, as you will feel the crunch between your teeth with every bite. Popular in Canada, you can easily find one of these candy bars in any local convenience store across the country. First introduced to the Canadian market in the 1960s by Cadbury Canada, it has been a Canadian iconic candy bar ever since its inception with its own very unique recipe. Truth be told, the Crunchie Bar originally started out in late 1929 in the UK and was called Cinder Toffee. It was made by a company called J.S. Fry & Sons. In the late ‘90s, Cadbury released a line of limited edition Crunchie bars. Flavors included the likes of lemonade and orange. For New Years Eve in 1999, they even came out with a champagne-flavored bar. Up until recently, Cadbury even sold a white chocolate version in a blue wrapper in South Africa. You can also find Crunchie brand ice cream bars and cheesecake in some countries. Over the years, there have been many flavors and variations of this famous chocolate bar, many of which were not exclusive to Canada. Rumor has it that some of these bars have been spotted in certain New York area stores.
5. Mars Bar
Some of the best things in life are often the simplest. The Mars Bar is a no-frills chocolate bar that is packed with a soft creamy nougat and caramel center. Produced by Mars Incorporated, it was first manufactured in 1932 in England by Forrest Mars Sr. Even though Mars Inc. is an American company, because of a family dispute, they cannot sell the Mars Bar in the US because of direct competition. The bar has seen many changes over the years, but its packaging – a black wrapper with red gold-edged lettering – is synonymous with the brand. The Mars chocolate bar resembles the American-made Milky Way, with slight variations. Once famous for their sports endorsements as a great snack, Mars Inc and the Mars Bar have recently been plagued with recalls and controversies. Some vegan groups have come out saying that the Mars bar can not be considered vegan due to the use of rennet: a chemical sourced from cow stomachs to produce whey. Vegan or not, they are a delicious and a much-loved chocolate bar.
Bounty is another chocolate bar that is no longer distributed in the US market and is only available in Canada, the U.K. and some other international markets. Manufactured by the Mars Company, Bounty Bars have not been available in America since the mid 90s. Maybe this is for the best as Bounty truly is an acquired taste. This chocolate bar is far from being a fan favorite. Basically, it’s popular with those who love a mix of coconut flakes and chocolate. Bounty was first introduced to the market in 1951. It comes sold in a blue wrapper with coconut trees emblazoned on the side of the wrapper. Hard to miss, it exudes that tropical feeling of swaying palm trees in the breeze on some Caribbean Island. Bounty usually comes sold as two bars in one package. The dark chocolate version of Bounty comes in a red wrapper, but this is a rarity and usually hard to find. In 2006, a cherry-flavored version was sold for a limited time only in Australia, but was discontinued in 2013. Europe got a mango flavored Bounty, and Russia & Ukraine even had a Pineapple flavor for a while. Even though Bounty is no longer distributed in the US, they can still be purchased online or found in some specialty stores.
3. Aero and Mirage Bar
This melt-in-your-mouth chocolate bar needs no introduction. Aero has been around since 1935, originally produced by Rowntree, a British confectionery company based in York, England. Rowntree also developed the ever famous Kit Kat, Smarties, Rolo, and After Eight Mints. In the late 80s, it was purchased by Nestle, who then attempted to launch the Aero chocolate bar in the US after their acquisition. Unfortunately, Aero was not a big hit with Americans and the US market never saw the likes of them again. Aero is a rich milk chocolate bar with a unique light bubbly texture. It is simply delicious and Americans don’t know what they are missing. Aero is a simple, no fuss chocolate bar packed with lots of bubbles. The bubble process is a mystery. It has been a proverbial favorite not only in the U.K. but in Canada since its inception. Aero also has a bigger cousin called the Mirage bar. Mirage Chocolate bars are a bit thicker than the Aero bar, and are not segmented, which means more chocolate for the same price. This thick but light chocolate bar is perfect for chocolate lovers. No frills, no add ons, just bubbly chocolate goodness.
Many have wondered about the Caramilk Secret. Like their slogan says “how do they get the caramel inside a Caramilk bar”? This rich and creamy caramel milk chocolate bar is like sweet ambrosia. If you have never had one, you will never know the sweeter pleasures of life. The Cadbury Caramilk Chocolate Bar has been around since 1968 and was originally sold in the US, Australia & New Zealand. These days, it is banned in the US, because of a dispute and lawsuit between Hershey and Cadbury. Basically, Hershey sells its own version of this chocolate called Caramello. The US company did not want British imports to compete with American brands, hence the lawsuit and the non-existence of this candy bar in the US. In Canada, this candy bar is a proverbial favorite. They have also had different variations, like dark chocolate, maple flavored, or cappuccino. They have thicker versions called Caramilk Thick and cylindrical versions called Caramilk Rolls, which are similar to Rolos. No matter what shape or size, the secret to how they make them became an advertising campaign phenomenon. The formula is actually locked in a vault in Toronto, Ontario — headquarters for this mysterious sweet chocolate.
1. Coffee Crisp
If you ask a Canadian how they like their coffee, they just might answer “crisp”! Stemming from a long running commercial that used this as their slogan, Coffee Crisp is one of the most popular Canadian chocolate bars. Coffee Crisp contains a coffee-flavored cream, sandwiched between layers of crisp vanilla wafers and coated in milk chocolate. Like many Canadian chocolate bars, it originated in the U.K. in the 30s and was once called Rowntree’s Wafer Crisp. It was introduced to Canada in 1938 and renamed Coffee Crisp. In the 1980s, Nestle Canada acquired Rowntree’s operations in North America and started making them on this side of the Atlantic. Coffee Crisp has become an iconic Canadian Chocolate bar and is on top of many chocolate lovers fav list. Many Canadian expats complained about their favorite chocolate being unavailable outside of Canada. There was even a petition asking Nestlé to market the Coffee Crisp in the U.S. The petition was successful and Coffee Crisp was launched in the US in 2006. By 2009 though, the bar had been discontinued in the US. It seems that Americans wanted their coffee to come in a cup and not a chocolate bar.