So Long, Baby Ruth
Posted by bitguru on April 22, 2007
I was pondering the vending machine yesterday and the Baby Ruth didn’t even tempt me. This is good. It means it’s finally in my head that I don’t care for them anymore. The last few I have bought were edible, but were disappointing.
Baby Ruth used to be one of my favorites, but that was before Nestlé reformulated them to have a “tastier, softer center” in 2001. Evidently 75% of consumers preferred the new Baby Ruth in taste tests, but you’ll find me in the minority camp.
The old Baby Ruth had a stiff, white, chewy nougat. That’s what I had been looking for the last few times I’ve purchased Baby Ruths from the machines. Had I remembered that they now have brown nougat with no distinct flavor or texture, I would have gone for something like a Pay Day bar instead. (Pay Day has stiffer nougat than the reformulated Baby Ruth.)
Strangely, there seems to be close to zero information about the reformulation on the web. I suppose 2001 does predate the blogosphere.
Baby Ruth has been around since 1920, so 2001 may not have been the first reformulation. The nougat in this 1926 advertisement looks kind of white (though square, not round). In the 1961 advertisement it seems to have gone brown. It’s hard to know for sure because I presume these are drawings, not photographs.
The 1980s image is from a television commercial which proclaims, “now with richer chocolate taste so [it's] better than ever.” I don’t know about the chocolate, but the nougat looks like the good stuff.