Retro Confectionery – The Aztec Bar, Walnut Whip and Flake

What Confectionery Bar Could tip the mighty  Mars Bar from it’s Perch?

Some confectionery brands have come and gone and have left a distinct retro feel.  Other like Mars and Kit-Kat are evergreen winners.  But for a brief period in the late 60s, the Mars Bar had contender.  It was called the Aztec Bar.  I used to like confectionery.  I definitely had a sweet tooth. Maybe because it was such a treat compared to today. But there was a certain pecking order.  Mars Bars were top, along with Kit-Kats, Flakes, Topic Bars. I also enjoyed Marathon Bars, now renamed Snickers for Euro and world wide branding consistency.   Yes, how silly is that name when Marathon was perfectly adequate if not better!   Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Bar was OK, although it was packaged in much thinner chunks in those days – And I liked to bite the sides off Bounty Bars, before eating the coconut inner.  Milky Way, Picnics and Rolos were in my top ten – they still are!  But, there were also some that did not quite make my radar.  These included: Fry’s Chocolate Cream, Bar Six, Treats, Milky Bars, Caramac,Old Janaica and Mint Cracknell. Of course, that did not mean I would not eat them!

The Aztec Bar Was Cool and Exotic

Cadbury Bar wrapper- Retro Confectionery

Cadbury’s Aztec Bar wrapper

Back in the Spring of 1968, the Aztec bar was top.  It had the same shape and weight as a Mars Bar, but had thicker chocolate, smoother caramel and more soft nougatine.  It was even sweeter than a Mars Bar – if that is possible – and of a similar overall consistency.  It came in a suitably exotic deep purple wrapper.  But it was the advertising that made it better than the leader, Mars Bar.  In those days, Mars still used the famous advertising slogan,  “Mars – Helps you work rest and play”.  It’s a good slogan, but the TV adverts were a bit obvious.  Pedestrian. Typically, some bloke or girl eating a Mars, smiling to friends and then racing off on a bike.  Whereas, the Aztec Bar adverts were exotic, set in Mexico and looked more like classy booze adverts. They were quite the craze at school for a while. Now we all know that when it warms up, Mars Bars were prone to melt and lost at least some of their enjoyment – but this flaw was fatal for Aztec Bars. They practically liquified in the heat. And as the Spring turned into a lazy, hazy Summer, sales fell and the makers, Cadburys, quietly dropped the brand. It’s ironic that Mars later solved this problem with the yummy introduction of the Mars Ice Cream Bar. I suspect that, had it come earlier, this innovation might have saved the Aztec Bar. Alas, it was gone. The Aztec bar is the ultimate in Retro Confectionery.

Rowntree’s Retro Walnut Whip?

Unlike the Aztec Bar the Walnut Whip has survived – albeit with a new owner and with less chunky chocolate.  The brand is now owned by Nestles. (Not “Nestles” as was originally advertised, but “Nest-lay”).  And it now has some imitators, notably those slightly inferior versions from Marks and Spencer.  So you might be wondering why I mention Walnut Whips as a retro item of confectionery? 

“The original Walnut Whip contained a half-walnut placed inside the cone on the thick chocolate base, rather than on top. It was later marketed with an extra walnut on top, and subsequently the walnut inside was removed to leave one walnut outside.”

Walnet WhipWell believe it or not, the original Walnut Whip had a secret. As well as a walnut on top of the chocolaty cone, it had another walnut INSIDE!   At the base of the cone, underneath all of that white creamy nougatine was another walnut. Brilliant!  It’s funny.  I talk to my friends of the era and no can remember this.  But look at this link to Wikipedia: Walnut Whip. There it is, plain as you like!  Walnut Whips DID have another walnut inside!

Best Chocolate Advert Ever?

On that bomb shell, perhaps it’s time to watch possibly the best chocolate advert ever made?  This is the cinema version with more sensuous music and darker tonal quality – and as a result; that bit more more racy.  Enjoy!

But for true retro value, the standard TV version is perhaps better remembered:

 

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