Why You May Not Be Able To Find A Butterfinger In Germany

In 2006, members of the English-language chat platform Toytown Germany were asked to help a user do the almost-impossible. "So my girlfriend made a bet with me that i (sic) couldn't find a butterfinger candy bar in Munich," explained adampayne03. "I have until Saturday afternoon to do so. Can anyone help?" It was February 6 – a Monday, according to Time and Date. So time was of the essence and, unfortunately, not on adampayne03's side. The first reply to the post was a disheartening "better find some military personel (sic)." The second response echoed that sentiment, claiming that Butterfingers "don't exist outside Military stores in Germany."

If only adampayne03 could have asked Master Chief for help. The heavily armored and even more heavily armed hero of the Halo franchise featured on Butterfinger wrappers in 2020 as part of a promotion for Halo Infinite (via Twitter). Then again, even Master Chief's otherworldly talent for slaying freaky creatures from other planets might not have saved the day this time. As one Twitter user said in a vexed message, "Bad promo we don't have #Butterfinger in #Germany I don't even know what kind of bar this is."

Germans used to know forever ago, specifically an eternity of about 22 years. But as The Daily Meal describes, in 1999, consumers began refusing to buy Butterfingers. When an entire country gives you the non-butter finger, it might be time to skedaddle, which is precisely what Butterfingers did.

War and Greenpeace

You might suspect that any country which shuns Butterfingers has developed a severe allergy to joy, especially Germany, where complaining is practically a pastime for many folks. Complaining is so pervasive that a pair of psychologists co-authored a book titled Germany: United Land of Complaining (Deutschland, einig Jammerland), per Deutsche Welle. But in fairness to the smileless Yammer-land that we've painted with an insanely broad brush, Germans didn't spurn Butterfingers for the fun of it.

Rather, as The Establishment Records mentions, the environmental group Greenpeace waged a PR war against Butterfingers, whose ingredients included GMO corn. This revelation displeased Germans and may have dismayed anyone who wanted to ensure their sugary candy didn't contain things that could be bad for you. (Though, GMOs pose no known health risk, unlike sugar.) At the time, the brand was owned by Nestle, which responded by taking its butter-ball and going home – or at least out of Germany. However, in 2018, the Motley Fool reported that Nestle agreed to sell Butterfinger and other candy brands to the Italian Ferrero, the company behind Nutella and other chocolatey delights.

Will Butterfinger try its hand at winning over Germany? Who knows? For now, the country will have to be content with the decadence of Black Forest Cake and the joy of Kinder Surprise Eggs, which were actually banned in the U.S. With those kinds of delights on offer, Germans really can't complain about their Butterfinger-less existence, but they probably will anyway.