The Goo Goo Cluster, the Titanic and the Berlin Wall

IMG_4294Friends Alex and Abby Bar recently returned from a trip to Nashville, and since they love me and have somehow not grown sick of Drunk Uncle Carp coming over and playing with their dogfriend, brought me back a regional gift bar: the Goo Goo Cluster.

It seems the Goo Goo Cluster has some historical significance, with a 100-plus-year legacy and an accompanying infographic.

More on this momentarily.

More on this momentarily.

You see, according to its website, the Goo Goo Cluster was The First Combination Confection,

In 1912, in a copper kettle at the Standard Candy Company at Clark & First Avenue in Nashville, TN, the world’s first ever combination candy bar was invented. A roundish mound of caramel, marshmallow nougat, fresh roasted peanuts and real milk chocolate; its renegade shape was more difficult to wrap than the conventional rectangular or square shapes of the day. More importantly, this was the first time multiple elements were being mass-produced in a retail confection. Previous to the advent of the Goo Goo Cluster, candy bar manufacturing consisted of bars solely using chocolate, caramel or taffy. The Goo Goo Cluster represented the first time a bar consisted of more than just one principal ingredient.

which, if in fact true [Ed. note: This is quite a boast.], is really something, and laid the groundwork for the Snickers, the PayDay and the candy bar scene of today.

The bar itself was a lovely wad of flavors, with chocolate, caramel, peanuts and a most impressive layer of marshmallow nougat. It was a hearty wad, but not an unbalanced one: multiple textures, a hint of salt and an appropriate level of chewiness.

IMG_4298IMG_4299Now, this is all well and good, a solid old-style candy bar that you can pick up when you’re in the Nashville metropolitan area. But … hold up. Let’s take a look at that graphic.

More on this momentarily.

It’s time, friends.

At first glance, you might say, “Andy, this is an entirely appropriate timeline and, even though it might be not be an orthodox way to talk about the history of a candy bar, it makes sense! Dummy!”

And I would say to you, “LOOK AGAIN.”

I’m not even talking about the inconsistency of scale, where it breaks my little graphics nerd heart to see the most recent 30 years of history take up nearly half of the real estate of the visualization of the Goo Goo Cluster’s illustrious century. No, the folks at Goo Goo Cluster picked out some of the very strangest historical events with which to align their candy bar.

The events:


Goo Goo Cluster was invented in a copper kettle at Standard Candy Co.

Bruh. This isn’t weird. What are you talking abou—

The Titanic sinks

Ok, um. I guess it was a pretty big deal and does a good job establishing the time period of Goo Goo Cluster’s origin, so it’s not THAT weird. You know, I could see Leo’s scamp buddy with the newsboy cap eating one of these. I wonder what ever happened to that guy; they totally dropped that plotline, now that I think about it …


Goo Goo is touted as “A Nourishing Lunch for a Nickel!”

What a slogan! Were candy bars really only a nickel back then? Wait, were candy bars really considered a nourishing lunch back then?! Wait, wasn’t that about the time the Great Depression set in or someth—


As chocolate continues to spread across caramel, marshmallows and peanuts, World War II spreads across the world [Ed. note: Emphasis all mine.]

Oh. Oh my.


Disco becomes the craze. Proof that Goo Goo isn’t the only thing in the country that’s nuts

LOL! You guys, how dumb was disco! See, this is the lighthearted stuff that puts a smile on my face. Let’s get a cand—


Proof that marshmallow nougat, chocolate and peanuts stand the test of time better than the Berlin Wall

Ok, you have a point here.

… Is that a diss on communism, or a ringing endorsement of the heartiness of these flavors?


Thanks to the movie, the Titanic makes a comeback. Thanks to our awesome flavor and history, we continue to stay afloat.

Waitwaitwaitwait … are they attributing the movie Titanic’s success to a renewal of Goo Goo Cluster support, or are they trolling, again, the Titanic for sinking? “Haha, fk you boat! Our peanuts have taken on icebergs and Billy Zane and lived to tell about it!”


For the life of me, I cannot understand why they picked THOSE events, and made THOSE analogies. They missed so many other opportunities:

  • An explosion on the the Deepwater Horizon oil rig leaked millions of gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico and Goo Goo leaked its way into America’s tummies!
  • What about Kent State? Nobody can protest Goo Goo’s great taste!
  • Hotel Rwanda was a pretty popular movie in 2004. Do you think their guests would have enjoyed a Goo Goo?

There are so many more, but I’m so close to finishing this without making a single Goo Goo Dolls pun that I’m going to let the rest of them slide.

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