The History behind Chick-o-Stick

Posted on by Jack Johnson

The Atkinson Candy Company was originated in 1938 as the only confectionery company in Texas. Chick-o-Sticks are one of the Atkinson’s classic candy creations. They are a honeycombed candy with centers filled with peanut butter and rolled in desiccated toasted coconut. The candy was initially called the “Chicken Bones” which was later changed to “Chick-o-Stick” in 1955 because of some copyright claims. The only thing that creeps people out about Chick-o-Sticks is probably the name too. The mention of the word “chick” makes people think as to the candy has some sort of association with the chicken flavor.

But of course, there is no chicken flavor included in the Chick-o-Stick. So, why did Atkinson come up with this name?

The Atkinson Candy Company’s website states that: “The real answer [to the origin of the name] has probably been lost in our corporate history." They then speculate that the toasted coconut on the outside made the candy look like fried chicken coating. Although, the stick part of the candy’s name is accurate to the fullest. The candy is shaped as a long orange colored tube that is made to look like a cigar. The most common reference to the taste and texture of the Chick-o-Stick is with that of a Butterfinger or Zagnut Bar. Butterfingers were invented first of the three treats in 1923 with Zagnut Bars following in 1930. Chick-o-Sticks were not invented until late 1930s.

Chick-o-Sticks are one of the very few unintentionally vegan candy-bars ever brough to the market. The long candy bar has a filling of peanut butter, sugar and corn syrup and has a dusting of toasted coconut on the outside. When the candies were first introduced in 1930s, there was a chicken on the wrapper, but it was later removed when people started misunderstanding it to be a chicken-flavored candy. The artificial red and blue colorings were replaced with natural turmeric and vegetable juice concentrations to give natural colorings. The formula does not contain any hydrogenated oils or artificial preservatives.

The president of Atkinson Candy co. states that “We want to make candies that consumers can feel good about. This is not a radical change in formulation, but a small tweak that will resonate with today’s ingredient-conscious consumers.”

Ahead of the changes in the flavors and the packaging, the vice-president of the company said: “There are brand elements that are essential to the Chick-O-Stick, and those won’t be going away, but we are making some changes to bring a younger demographic along.”

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