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Butterfinger bars may taste different next year — here's why

After being bought by Nutella-owner Ferrero Rocher, the iconic candy bar now has a new recipe.
/ Source: TODAY

Someone laid a finger on Butterfinger — the recipe, that is.

That's right, the Butterfinger candy brand — which had been owned by Nestle since 1990 — was bought by Ferrero (the company behind Nutella) in January. The new parent company is making some big changes to the iconic bar and claims that the new formulation will include "higher quality ingredients."

The new bars, which will be available in stores nationwide in February 2019, are made using a chocolate shell coating that contains more milk and cocoa (instead of hard-to-pronounce fillers).

A company spokesperson told TODAY Food that this change will result in a "richer, creamier" taste.

Nestle's iconic Butterfinger bar will get a new look in February 2019. Amazon / Amazon

In addition to the updated chocolate coating, the brand is now using "carefully selected" U.S. grown peanuts to make the crispety, crunchety interior. The peanuts all also be roasted in house.

That's not all — Butterfinger is, quite literally, trimming the fat. The new recipe is getting rid of hydrogenated oils, which contain trans fats, and TBHQ, a preservative found in many processed foods. According to the brand, these updates have resulted in a crispier, fresher candy bar.

Even with all of the changes, the bars still look nearly identical to the old ones. The packaging, however, is getting a fresh update to reflect the new ownership and will be double layered — another addition that the brand says will improve the bar's freshness and allow it to last longer.

The new bars will be available at convenience, drug and grocery stores, as well as large retailers like Walmart, Target, CVS, Kroger, Publix and 7-Eleven.

While premium ingredients may seem like a smart move for any modern food company, when General Mills removed the artificial colors from its popular Trix cereal in 2015, there was a big public outcry. The company then brought back a version of the cereal with artificial colors just two years later. So when it comes to beloved sweets, sometimes going the natural route isn't always best.