Everyone knows that the chocolate snacks of today don’t hold a candle to the stuff you used to find in newsagents 20 years ago. I’m talking about the Taz bars, the Cadbury’s Snowflakes and the Cadbury Snaps that you used to be able to buy mountains of with your £2-a-week pocket money. You know the stuff.
Today, you might be lucky to find an out-of-date bar of your favourite retro chocolate on sale in eBay or the Pound Store. But we prefer to do our reminiscing without the risk of food poisoning – with these throwback facts about our favourite retro chocs!
The new-and-improved KitKat Senses – although sadly not available in the UK anymore sobs Image: Instagram / @doodee1412
Although they were discontinued about five minutes after they were first created, that didn’t stop Cheryl Cole and her Girls Aloud cronies from getting in on the KitKat action.
Back in 2008, the ‘00s answer to the Spice Girls lent their mouths and best acting skills to the £9 million campaign. There’s no official word on how much they actually got paid, but consider this: they basically got paid an inordinate amount to eat chocolate. Whatever you think of their music, Girls Aloud have officially won at this game called life.
Milk Tray Helped Launch The Career of an A Lister
Get in my mouth. Image: Instagram / @anna_ana21
When you were younger, Milk Tray chocolates were those things your mum received on her birthday every single year. On one hand you viewed them as something associated with middle-aged people, but on the other hand you were conflicted because Oh My Gosh Have You Actually TASTED Those Truffle Hearts?
Roll on a few years (or 20), and you’re free to buy yourself as many Milk Tray chocolate boxes as you wish (although the physical consequences of eating your way through an entire tray of chocs has definitely got worse…). But did you know that Milk Tray helped launch the career of Resident Evil and Love Actually actress Sienna Guillory?
Back in 2000, Miss Guillory played the part of the lucky recipient of a box of Milk Tray chocs from a geeky admirer. And yep, it was still more romantic than Twilight.
Cadbury’s Snowflake Destroyed Anthea Turner’s Career
Oh, the romance. Image: Instagram / @thebuxley
Ah, your wedding day. The biggest day of your life: a day between you, your betrothed…and a chocolate bar you’re being paid to shove into your mouth at every possible opportunity.
In what’s probably the tackiest collection of wedding photos since the creation of cameras, TV presenter Anthea Turner and her then husband were photographed chomping down on a Snowflake chocolate bar – the pictures were then plastered all over OK! Magazine in an exclusive £300,000 deal.
At least we’ve still got the OG Flake. Image: Instagram / @chocolate_brands
The public were confused. The media was confused. Literally everyone was confused. (But at least you got a free Cadbury’s Snowflake with every OK! Magazine that you bought while you mulled it all over.)
Turner received so much flack from the incident – now fondly remembered by her fan(s) as ‘Flakegate’ – that her career dwindled and she went on to making TV adverts for household detergents.
Echo Bars Probably Weren’t As Popular As You Remember
Do more than 38 people remember these things? Image: Amazon
These milk and white chocolate bars had a special place in our school lunch boxes next to the Capri Suns and squashed cheese and cucumber sandwiches. But obviously not that special, as a 2015 petition to bring back the bar only got, uh, 38 signatures. Bad luck, guys.
Crunchie Bars Tried Out Some Weird Stuff
I’m already salivating… Image: Instagram / @carolin_store
A Crunchie bar is my personal preferred choice of chocolate when I’m looking for a mid-afternoon snack. But how many of the limited edition flavours do you remember?
Back in 1999 Crunchie HQ released a champagne-flavoured bar to celebrate the Millennium (and allow 10-year-olds to feel like they were getting drunk at midnight). Other creations have also included a lemonade and a Tango Orange bar, which weren’t quite as ‘out-there’, but were still pretty gross.
Mars Are Cheating You Out Of Life
Explain this PLEASE. Image: Instagram / @xplosivejules
Think you’re getting ripped off on your visit to the newsagents to pick up your daily Mars Bar? Sorry to break the news to you, guys – but you actually are.
Back in 2008, the standard bar of Mars weighed 62.5g. By 2013, the standard Mars bar was reduced to 51g. That’s 11.5g missing off our Mars! I don’t even want to think about how many precious calories that’s saving us. The thought’s not even worth thinking about.
Milky Way Isn’t Named After What You Think It Is
Yep. It’s got nothing to do with that big ol’ space. Image: Instagram / @beatles_65
Does the Milky Way remind you of anything particularly, um, space-like? Well, scrap that thought from your mind right this instance. Because, contrary to popular belief, Milky Way chocolates were not named after any celestial body – but rather malted milk. Thanks to its purported health qualities, this particular drink was incredibly popular at the time Milky Way bars were released – all the way back in 1923.
Eager to capitalise on this popularity, Milky Way took inspiration from their Business Marketing 101 classes, taking the name and running with it, claiming the bar had ‘more malted milk content than a soda fountain double malted milk!’ Nicely played, Milky Way. Nicely played.
Starbar Chocolates Changed the Way the Irish Speak…Sort Of
My whole childhood just flashed before me. Image: Instagram / @nicolepollock90
What a claim to fame! Imagine that conversation with the fam when the Starburst bars got home that night. “What did you do today, kiddo?” “Ah, nvm, just entered the Irish language, nbd.”
In case you’re not Irish and have no idea what I’m talking about, let me start this off by saying that Starbars are actually the creation of Cadbury Ireland. This fact doesn’t seem to have escaped the notice of the Irish. Instead of saying thanks to people by saying, “You’re a star!”, many now say, “You’re a Starbar!” Super cute.