16 Sep
Whatever Happened to the Texan Chocolate Bar?

Texan was an American-inspired, toffee and nougat chocolate bar that was introduced in 1973 by Rowntree Mackintosh in the United Kingdom, with a price of 3 pence. Notable for its very chewy texture, it came with the slogan "The mighty chew", and certainly helped keep dentists in employment! 

Sadly, as with other 70s favourites such as Treets and Spangles, Texan joined the great sweet shop in the sky when it was discontinued in 1984, although there was a brief relaunch of a limited edition in 2005, which came with a "Blast from the past" graphic on the wrapper. 

Texan is one of the most lamented chocolate bars from the 20th century, and is regarded with much fondness by people who remember the iconic bar.

Gold coloured Texan chocolate bar wrapper from the 1970s, with stars and stripes title font

Iconic gold wrapper

One of the most striking features of Texan was it's distinctive gold-coloured wrapper, which included a title font bearing the Stars and Stripes of the flag of the United States, which is nick-named the "star-spangled banner". The bar certainly caught the eye in sweet shops, and looked very different to rival chocolate bars on sale in the 1970s. In fact, the bar became an iconic part of the 70s, and is often shown in nostalgia articles and TV programmes about the decade.

Texan was one of a number of chocolate bars manufactured by Rowntree's in the 1970s, that were given a manly image, although there were plenty of girls who enjoyed the bar, too. Yorkie and Lion Bar (which launched in 1976) were also marketed towards a male audience.

Racist TV adverts

A series of TV adverts were produced featuring a cartoon cowboy. In the first advert, the cowboy is tied to a pole and surrounded by American Indians (Native Americans) who are about to start a fire beneath him. The cowboy says to their leader, "Hold on their Bold Eagle, you wouldn't fire a man 'til he finished his Texan bar, would you? After a very long time chewing, the natives run out of energy after their continuous war dance, and the cowboy remarks "Someone should've told 'em, a Texan takes time a chewin'", and he walks off into the sunset with the pole still tied to his back.

The TV advert above would certainly not be shown on TV channels today, as it portrays the Native Americans in a negative light and would be deemed as racist. However, it was still seen as acceptable at the time for Hollywood films and cartoons to use harmful stereotypes and misrepresent indigenous cultures. Indeed, as a child of the 70s, I was highly influenced by these films, and like many children. I used to dress-up and play "Cowboys and Indians", with the "Indians" always being deemed the bad guys. 

A TV advert shown in 1979 featured stereotypes of Mexican bandits, who are about to fire their guns at the cowboy, but fall asleep after waiting for him to finish chewing his Texan. 

Thankfully, most people remember Texan for being a delicious, chewy chocolate bar, and not for the adverts. 

I hope you enjoyed reading about Whatever Happened to Texan chocolate bar. You may also like our post Whatever Happened to Pacers Sweets? 

Cartoon cowboy holding a Texan chocolate bar. Screenshot from a 1973 TV advert.
Texan chocolate bar with 'The Might Chew' slogan, from 1973
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