Obit of the Day: What Did He Do for a Klondike Bar?
Klondike bars, the chocolate covered ice cream squares, were a local favorite produced by Isaly’s dairy beginning in 1922. For over fifty years you would have to find an Isaly’s in Pennsylvania or Ohio to unwrap the silver foil imprinted with the familiar polar bear.
In 1978, Henry DeBrunner Clarke bought the Klondike Bar from the Isaly family and planned to expand production. (It was still called “Isaly’s Klondike Bar” as you can see in the advertisement above.) He first began selling the bars in his home state of Florida and then, in 1982, started a national campaign.
Mr. Clarke made the ice cream treat a success with the help of a new slogan and jingle: “What Would You Do for a Klondike Bar?” Sales rose from $800,000 under Isaly ownership to over $60 million a year.
In 1993 the Klondike Bar was sold to the Unilever Corporation. Mr. Clarke was not involved in the sale since he was removed from his own company before that time.
Henry Clarke died on March 31, 2013 at the age of 79.
Sources: Greenwich Daily Voice, Isaly Family Website, Unilever’s Klondike Bar page, and Wikipedia
(Video of a 1983 Klondike Bar commercial with its famous jingle is courtesy of Video Archaeology on YouTube.com)