The Disingenuousness Of The Limited Edition Chocolate Bar

Added on 16 June 2011

Was passing through the Co-Op today on the way to collect my morning pain au raisin, when I noticed a new display for Cadbury's Flake Allure. Normally I would pass a new chocolate bar without a second glance, but then I noticed that the display indicated the Allure was a Limited Edition chocolate bar. 'Limited edition?' I said to myself, 'that means they'll only make like forty or fifty of them, I'd better buy one.' I eschewed the morning pastry and instead handed over 69p for the Limited Edition bar of chocolate which, given that they're only making fifty of them, seemed pretty cheap.

[Interestingly, not far from the Flake Allure stand was the regular chocolate bar stand. 200g of Cadbury's Dairy Milk - which is a pretty big bar of chocolate by the way - cost £2.15. A 400g bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk - which is an enormous bar of chocolate - cost £2.00. No wonder we're a nation of indolent fat fuckers.]

On the packaging of the Limited Edition bar itself, it doesn't have the words Limited Edition. That was just on the cardboard display in the shop. What it does say on the bar is:

the crumbliest flakiest milk chocolate…

Oh, and when you're reading this, imagine it being read out by a large breasted, delicious young woman enrobed in underwear, and not just any underwear, but M&S underwear…

the crumbliest flakiest milk chocolate half enrobed in rich truffle and milk chocolate

OK, so now we're beginning to get some idea of what kind of bar we're going to encounter once we break into the non-Limited Edition embossed wrapping. It's chocolate half-wrapped in chocolate. One is automatically intrigued about what's happening with the other half of the bar, but you know that you're going to be disappointed. It would be great if the other half was enrobed in pyjamas or gold or mince.

Part of the problem with the traditional non-Limited Edition regular Flake is that it's the chocolate bar equivalent of Weetabix. It's impossible to open without spilling crumbs everywhere. With Weetabix, as with Flake, you'd think they'd have done something about it by now, but if they tried they'd probably have the Mail and the Express pishing their festering pants in moral indignation, claiming that it was the work of Satan (i.e. Brussels). So, has the half-enrobed Flake Allure eliminated this problem?

Well…. it's half eliminated the problem. In fact, to get down to minutiae, technically the Flake Allure isn't half-enrobed, it's three quarters enrobed. Perhaps they were going for juxtaposition. Perhaps actual half-enrobing was technically difficult, but to term the bar three quarters enrobed was too clumsy from a marketing perspective. The end result is that, as I sit here, I've got quarter the amount of chocolate crumbs on my computer keyboard than I would have done if I'd just unwrapped a Flake.

Why did they three-quarter enrobe the Flake, rather than fully enrobe it? Who the fuck knows? Maybe it's because that would have made it a Twirl.

You're wondering what it tastes like. I don't know. Why don't you eat the one that's just spilled crumbs all over your keyboard, you're thinking. I can't. I had it sitting there in front of me, while I wrote about it, and I was on the point of getting to the part where I describe that it tastes like a bar of chocolate, when my wife walked past. And that was the end of the chocolate.

It was so fast that I didn't actually see the Limited Edition bar of chocolate move, but now it's gone and she's sitting next door with crumbs all round her face.

If a kid ever asks you the definition of the word disingenuous, show them a limited edition bar of chocolate, packet of crisps or bottle of shampoo. The marketing people all learned the lesson of New Coke. If you bring out an exciting new product and no one wants it, you look stupid, your company looks stupid, your competitors rake in the benefits and the shit hits the fan. Much better to bring out a new product as a Limited Edition. If it bombs, it fits easily back into the can; if they sell out their Limited Edition product…. well then all they have to withdraw is the term Limited Edition, if they even do that.

Well, big business, this is what you get for your greed and avarice and multinational conglomerate gang rape of Planet Earth; the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe are all Limited Edition, and we're all going to die.

Think I'll go and get that pain au raisin now. The Chocolate Fiend in the other room doesn't like 'em.