The Actual Difference Between Nestle Crunch And Hershey's Krackel Bars

Silky milk chocolate embracing crisp, puffed rice. This combination is so well-loved, two major candy companies created sweet treats around the same concept. On its website, Nestlé describes its Crunch bar as "real milk chocolate and crisped rice." Hershey's web site defines Krackel as "milk chocolate and crisped rice." Sounds pretty similar (actually identical), but is there an actual difference?

Nestlé's Crunch bar was conceived in Fulton, New York, in 1938, and the "milk chocolate bar with crisped rice" sold for five cents (via Nestlé USA). That same year, the first version of Hershey's Krackel bar, milk chocolate with almonds, was introduced (via Snack History). In 1939, peanuts were added to the almond studded Krackel, but in 1941, both nuts were removed and rice stepped in (via Snack History).

The main ingredients in the Crunch bar (like the rest of Nestlé USA's confectionary division, now owned by Ferrero) are sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, nonfat milk, milk fat, lactose, soy lecithin, natural flavor, and crisped rice (via All City Candy). Head over to Krackel and you'll find a similar lineup; sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, nonfat milk, milk fat, lecithin, PGPR (an emulsifier), vanillin, and rice flour (via Smart Label). With nearly identical ingredients, how different can these two be?

The same ingredients, but two different candy bars

According to The Houston Press, Krackel reigns supreme because it's thin but strong and the sweet milk chocolate boasts "many fresh krispies." On the contrary, they find the Crunch bar crumbly, waxy, and fake tasting, with "slightly soggy" rice cereal. This notion is supported by others, who describe the Krackel as smoother and more flavorful than the waxy, off-flavored Crunch bar.

The folks at Epicurious agree and assert that Krackel's chocolate is more intense and the candy bar has a distinct puffed rice flavor and crunch with nutty undertones. But those were the adult taste-testers. The kids in the crowd favored the milkier, less bitter Crunch bar because it was "very crunchy, rich, and wonderful" (via Epicurious).

The Daily Ping claims that it's the thickness of Krackel that makes the difference — thinner than the Crunch bar, the consistency is "just right," and the candy delivers the perfect ratio of chocolate to rice.

Nutritionally? Again, the two bars are almost identical. One mini Crunch bar contains 50 calories, 6.5 grams of carbohydrates, 0.8 grams of protein, 2.4 grams of fat, and 17 milligrams of sodium (via Nutritionix). One mini Krackel has 44 calories, 5.5 grams of carbohydrates, 0.6 grams of protein, 2.3 grams of fat, and 17 milligrams of sodium (also via Nutritionix).