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Jonathan Ball

Letterer & Typographic Designer

685

1

Munch Ado

UPDATE: September 06 2014

Welcome Sharers!

I don't typically spend a lot of time in the candy aisle so I had to reacquaint myself with it over the past couple weeks. It's not that I don't like candy—quite the opposite in fact—I have to protect myself from myself so I typically steer clear. The impulse gauntlet near the register typically gets me anyway.

I've given a great deal of consideration as to which candy bar I'd enjoy reinventing. There were a lot of bad ones out there. I picked up a number of candies both regional and national, but I eventually settled on the humble and very much underwhelming Munch Peanut Bar.

I'm not sure I've ever noticed a Munch Bar before on the shelf, much less tried one. I believe that’s because it’s not found everywhere. It has managed to stick around for over 40 years so they must be doing something right.

If you’re not familiar with it, it’s sort of like a dense, compacted Pay Day. It’s not bad, but it’s not terribly great either; it’s more peanut brittle than candy bar. For those unwilling to be adventurous, here's a review.

I’ve spent the past couple days researching the brand and came across this lovely timeline of the bar’s packaging courtesy of a great blog dedicated to candy. This image comes from Jason Liebig over at collectingcandy.com

The Packaging

As you can see from the timeline above, this packaging has seen some major (and frequent) overhauls since its introduction in the 1971. Originally it was co-branded with Snickers, but that association has since been dropped, added, and dropped again.

My favorites of the these identities for Munch are the original 1971 and the 1982 versions. They had such great vibrant, fun color. The 2005 version is probably the worst. The flesh (peanut) colored packaging with an open wound is just bizarre.

The most recent iteration is still a miss for me. I understand the thinking behind the exposed metallic gold and maroon as it feels like an energy bar (especially with the stroked white type), but it definitely doesn’t look tasty. Plus the combined use of dark red and beige feels a bit old and has very little shelf presence.

The Brand Position

After looking into the brand I’ve found that this sweet treat positions itself with basically two unique selling points:

  • Its Health Benefits: Eating peanuts is awesome for you & your heart
  • Its Simplicity: Only six all natural ingredients

It essentially boils down to “Yes, it’s a candy bar, but it’s not that bad for you.” Their existing brand promise—taken directly from their outdates site—reads:

“When you are looking for a wholesome snack, but don't want to compromise great taste, try a MUNCH Nut Bar!”

Much like the bar itself, it’s a little dry and uninspiring. I’m hoping I can change that. I'll be back with more soon. In the mean time, what do think about the Munch Bar?

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