Words: Shamim de Brún
In a shocking turn of events, Nestle is pulling the plug on two iconic treats – Animal Bar and Caramac. It’s a confectionary catastrophe.
The Animal Bar, with its whimsical animal moulds and a chocolatey legacy dating back to 1963, is getting the boot. Nestle spilled the beans to Sky News, citing “low performance” and a “steady decline” in sales as the culprits. This has hit 90s babies and middle-aged millennials particularly hard as we remember the golden age of the Animal Bar era.
Back in the day, Animal Bars were the undisputed champions of children’s lunchboxes. Even parents couldn’t resist the allure of an Animal Bar or two with the cuppa tea. It was the perfect little treat back before little treat culture became a mainstay on the internet.
The vibrant packaging teased the excitement within, followed by the shiny foil you’d playfully rub back and forth, revealing the intricate chocolate mould beneath. The ultimate challenge? Guessing the anima. The paper wrapper inside was a playground of games. ‘Which leopard boasts the most spots?’ it would quiz, sneaking in an extra math lesson during break time. Animal Bars boasted a diverse cast of potential critters—antelope, monkey, parrot, iguana, lion, bear, leopard, zebra, rhino, and the unexpected wildcard, a dog. Rumor has it, that some lucky souls might even unwrap the elusive deer from time to time. Now children will never know such joy, and entertainment, and some think they may never even know which animals are which!
Weirdly, however, it is the Caramac that is garnering more attention. Caramac, the golden bar that hit Irish shelves in 1959. Nestle, the sugar overlords who acquired the brand in 1998, dropped the bomb in a statement, saying, “We are very sorry to disappoint fans of Caramac.” Well, Nestle, you’ve succeeded.
In a world where sweet memories are crushed like candy canes, Nestle claims this drastic move is to refocus on their top dogs and whip up something ‘new’. As if anything could taste as good as the nostalgia of an Animal Bar.
But fear not, sugar enthusiasts – there’s a glimmer of hope in the form of a blast from the past. Remember the Whispa? Or the limited edition Caramac Kit Kat collab in 2005? Yeah, it made such waves that it came back in 2007 by popular demand. And let’s not forget the Caramac buttons that graced the candy aisle in 2015. This could happen for Animal Bar’s too if we band together!
Elsewhere on Char: Why we’re so obsessed with the price of Freddo bars.