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Aero is a chocolate product manufactured by Nestlé. It was originally introduced to the North of England as the "new chocolate" by Rowntree's in 1935. By the end of the year, it had proved so popular with consumers that sales were extended throughout the United Kingdom.
By 1936, sales of the chocolate had spread to New York City, and has since spread to many other countries including Canada, Mexico, Australia, South Africa and Japan. Aero has been manufactured by Nestlé since 1988 after they absorbed Rowntrees. Known for its unique "bubbly" texture that collapses as the bar melts, it is available in many different forms including Aero Bars and Aero Biscuits, and originally had a mint flavour.
The process of manufacture was patented in 1935 by Rowntree's in York, England. In 1935, Rowntree's launched Aero Mint into the United Kingdom, followed by the milk chocolate variation in the 1970s. The wrapping was green (brown in the chocolate version) and displayed the "Rowntree's" script logo and the large word "AERO", along with the slogan "Hold on tight or I'll fly away!" below the "AERO" name.
The words "Aerated Mint Chocolate" ("Aerated Milk Chocolate" for the chocolate version) were seen multiple times in the word "AERO." In the 1970s, an advertisement was aired in which kids flying a kite thought the kite was an Aero bar.
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There are several flavours of Aero. These include the Original Aero (which consists of milk chocolate throughout), Mint Aero (with a green, bubbly, mint-flavoured centre, covered in milk chocolate), Caramel Aero (with a caramel layer on top of the chocolate layer), Dark Chocolate Aero, White Chocolate Aero, Latte flavour Aero and Crispy Aeros (similar to Nestlé Crunch bars). Orange Aeros (orange/chocolate layered) were sold for a while as well, and larger 100 g sized bars are currently available in some stores.
In the 1970s, there were also Strawberry flavour bars. In the United Kingdom, and recently Canada, Aero Bubbles are also available. These are small, round chocolates with a bubbly centre, available in Milk Chocolate, Mint and Orange flavours and a mixture of both.
In May 2012, Aero Orange and Aero Bubbles Orange were both introduced in Canada and in the United Kingdom as a limited edition. In January 2014, customers in Canada reported on two new flavours of Aero Bubble Bars that arrived in shops; a Strawberry flavour and a new variation of a Caramel Aero. While bars were (and still are) produced with chocolate and a liquid caramel, the new Caramel Bubble Bar consists of a Caramel flavoured white chocolate centre with a milk chocolate coating.
Japan has produced a number of unique Aero flavours, among them Vanilla Milkshake, Hot Milk, Green Tea and others. They usually consist of a flavoured, coloured chocolate centre and outer milk chocolate layer. Aero Cocoa (plain, Green Tea and Strawberry flavours) is also sold in Japan. Released in 2006, the Aero Vanilla Yogourt flavour was released only in Canada. As with all other Aero bars manufactured by Nestlé in Canada and Nicaragua, it is manufactured in a peanut free facility. In Australia there is also an Aero Temptations bar, which has the bubbly chocolate, but with a caramel topping. In Ireland, there was an Irish Cream flavour Aero.
In 2010 in the United Kingdom, and 2011 in Ireland, Nestlé modified the ingredients and colouring of the Mint Aero Bubbles product. This resulted in the product retaining its mint flavour, but losing its green coloured bubble interior. This has been explained by Nestlé as being a response to corporate policy to remove artificial food colourings from the product.
There has, however, been no indication that the Mint Aero chocolate bar is to be modified in the same way. The Aero Mint interior was later re coloured with copper complexes of chlorophyllins and circumin. For the Easter holidays of 2011, 2012 and 2013, Nestlé manufactured an Aero Lamb with a peppermint centre. In 2012, Nestlé discontinued the traditional "speed bump" bars and replaced them with Aero Bubble Bars.
On 4 May 2011, Nestlé introduced the Aero Biscuit. Aero Biscuit consists of the classic flavour Aero chocolate and round pieces of biscuit. It is currently sold throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, and is also available in Aero Orange and Aero Mint varieties.
As well as the United Kingdom, its place of creation, the bar is also sold as Aero in Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bulgaria(as LZ, through Aero is sold in some shops in Bulgaria), Canada, Colombia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Hong Kong, Nicaragua, Ireland, Kuwait, Malta, Mauritius, Portugal, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, New Zealand, Japan, South Africa, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates.
In Brazil, the bar is known as Suflair, in Hungary as Boci Aero and in the Netherlands as Bros (meaning "brittle"). Aero enjoys a large market following in South Africa with Aero, Aero Mint, and recently White Aero and Cappuccino Aero.
The Aero bar was made available for a short time in the United States by Nestlé during the 1980s, though it seems not to have been a commercial success. However, they are still available at certain speciality vendors or supermarkets such as Big Y, Wegmans and Publix that import the bars. Previously The Hershey Company sold Aero bars in the United States under licence from Rowntree Chocolate Company from 1937 until 1939. Hershey currently markets a similar bar called Hershey's Air Delight.
In Germany the brand Aero is owned by German chocolate brand Trumpf. Unlike the Nestlé Aero bars, the Trumpf Aero bars are solid white or milk chocolate, foamed up with carbon dioxide, and have no filling; the inside also has a different texture.
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Aero bars are manufactured in nut-free facilities in England and Canada. However, in Australia where they are manufactured, they do have traces of nuts. They are made in a number of discrete stages beginning with deposition of unaerated shell chocolate into the bar moulds. A frozen cone shaped to fit into the bar is then pushed down to spread the liquid chocolate into the entire mould and set it.
The aerated chocolate is then deposited into the centre and the moulds are shaken to distribute the chocolate evenly in the cavity. This is then chilled to set the bubbly chocolate in place before a final backing off deposit is created to give the back. The moulds are then shaken again to get a flat even back.
The moulds are specially shaped to ensure that no meniscus is formed on the bottom, which can give the chocolate a scuffed appearance and also cause issues with the machines when they break off and build up. The bars are then chilled again for a longer period. This helps to make the chocolate contract for easier demoulding. The moulds are then tipped over and hammered to demould the bars, which then go to the packaging section.
The slogan for Aero in Australia during the 1980s was "It's the bubbles of nothing that make it really something." From the 1999 redesign and "singers" advertising campaign Aero's tagline was "Have you felt the bubbles melt?" This slogan was invented by Nick Welch, an advertiser and the father of Florence Welch of the indie band Florence and the Machine. The slogan in 2011 was "Irresistabubble", a revival of a 1980s campaign which also featured the word "Adorabubble", and was created by Salman Rushdie, during his time as an advertising copywriter.
Marketing and advertising
One commercial involves two women buying the bar from a convenience store and one of the women instructing the other to wait for the bubbles to melt. They both try it and remark to one another (their mouths still full of the chocolate), "You feel the bubbles?" "I love the bubbles".
More recently an advert featured American actor Jason Lewis in just a towel explaining how chocolate melts at 37.0 °C (98.6 °F) (body temperature) and that as the bubbles melt it "increases the pleasure...".
A recent commercial from Aero featured skateboarder Bob Burnquist; it consisted of skateboarding through a skate park full of balloons. This advert has become very popular due to its entertainment value and its lack of "gender branding". The song used in this advert is Jackson 5's "ABC" song.
Varieties and flavours
- Milk Chocolate
- Mint Chocolate
- Orange Chocolate (It is now discontinued)
- Dark Chocolate (70%)
- 2 in 1 Milk Chocolate Shell, White Chocolate Filling
- Caramel (Caramel flavored & colored white chocolate center)
- Milk Chocolate
- Mint Chocolate
- Orange Chocolate
- Strawberry Milk Chocolate
- Milk Chocolate
- Orange Chocolate
Aero Bubble Biscuits
- Milk Chocolate
- GB 459582, Todd, John William & Rowntree & Co. Ltd, "Improvements in and relating to manufactured articles of food or confectionery", published 11 January 1356, issued July 11, 1935
- GB 459583, Todd, John William & Rowntree & Co. Ltd, "Improved process for manufacturing articles of food or confectionery", published 11 January 1937, issued July 11, 1935
- "Aero chocolate biscuit launched in the UK and Ireland". Nestlé. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
- Daily Express, P7, 8 April 1982.