Chocolate maker Whittaker’s is reinventing another old favourite in the New Zealand lexicon of sweets – this time its own Toffee Milk bar.
The Porirua-based manufacturer has launched a limited edition of the sweet, featuring toffee milk pieces combined with its own milk chocolate in 50g bars and 250g blocks.
Whittaker’s latest creation follows a string of chocolate products which have teamed up with Kiwi favourites including L&P and K-bars.
Not to be outdone, rival Cadbury retorted with Jaffa and Apple Crumble chocolate blocks, and concern was high about the fate of Pineapple Lumps and Jaffas when it was announced the Dunedin Cadbury factory would close.
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More generally, marketers say there’s big business in childhood favourites which is why there has been public outcry over the loss of Kiwi staples such as Snifters, Sparkles and Pascall’s Licorice Allsorts.
And it’s not all about sweets. The trend towards nostalgia is also becoming evident in the many Gen X and Millennial TV shows being revived in movies and cable TV.
Public relations expert Sue Allen said nostalgia evokes powerful memories which consumers will pay good money to recapture.
“It takes us back to happier, simpler times in our lives – using actors and musicians from films and TV shows we loved as teens, games and books we loved as children and food we saved our pocket money for.
“From a marketing perspective, exploiting nostalgia makes a lot of sense. If your content can evoke feelings of nostalgia, it will also make people feel good.”
Toffee Milks actually belong to Whittaker’s, which created them in the 1930s. “So extending the concept is a natural step,” the company’s assistant marketing manager Jasmine Currie said.
Whittaker’s has also commissioned a Wairarapa company to build a horse-drawn cart, similar to one used by its early founders.
Samples of the chocolate will be distributed by the cart today in Auckland but the rest of hte country will have to wait until they hit the shelves on May 1.