Aero (chocolate)

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An Aero bar
An Aero split
Aero bar. The bar was updated to have a bubble shaped crown on each segment.

Aero is an aerated chocolate bar manufactured by Nestlé. Originally produced by Rowntree's, Aero bars were introduced in 1935[1] to the North of England as the "new chocolate". By the end of that year, it had proved sufficiently popular with consumers that sales were extended throughout the United Kingdom.

By 1936, sales of the chocolate had spread to New York City, and later spread to many other countries including Canada, Mexico, Australia, South Africa and Japan. Aero has been manufactured by Nestlé since 1988, after a takeover of Rowntree's. Known for its unique "bubbly" texture that collapses as the bar melts, it is available in many different flavours, and various forms including Aero Bubbles and Aero Biscuits.[2]

History[edit]

The process of manufacture was patented in 1935 by Rowntree's in York, England.[3][4] The patent describes how the chocolate is heated and then aerated to create small bubbles. It is poured into moulds of the solid outer chocolate shell. As the chocolate cools, reduced air pressure allows the bubbles to expand inside the bar's filling.

In 1935, Rowntree's launched Aero into the United Kingdom, followed by the Peppermint Aero in the 1960s.[citation needed] The wrapping was brown (green in the mint 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.

During July 1983, the heatwave in the United Kingdom caused the bubbles in Aero bars to collapse due to the chocolate melting.[5]

In August 1993, a factory worker at Nestlé UK's factory in York was injured by machinery used to produce mint-flavoured Aero bars. He had leaned into the chocolate mixer to clean excess chocolate from the sides, and then fell,[6] and became caught in the paddles which started up automatically, causing severe injuries. Nestlé were later fined for failing to ensure worker safety[7] by not isolating the power to the Aero mixer.[8]

In 1997, Unilever sued Nestlé, stating that Nestlé infringed Unilever's patent for aerated chocolate ice cream products.[9]

In 2004, three workers at the York factory were dismissed for intentionally misprinting rude messages on the packaging of 20 pallets of Aero bars.[10]

A Mint Aero bar
An Aero Mint split

Distribution[edit]

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.[citation needed]

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 recently marketed a similar bar called Hershey's Air Delight but has since been discontinued.

Manufacturing[edit]

Since 1996, the Aero bar was produced in Britain.[11] In 2011, Nestlé commenced manufacturing Aero bars at their Campbellfield factory in Victoria. The bars had a different formula for Australian tastes with a smoother, creamier taste. The Aero bars sold in Britain would retain the older recipe.[12]

In April 2001, Nestlé Canada announced that Aero and other bars manufactured at their Toronto factory would now be made alongside bars containing nuts. Nestlé no longer guaranteed that the bars were free from nut-protein contamination.[13] In May 2001, the decision was reversed due to consumer outcry, and the company retained their nut-free guarantee for Canadian bars.[14]

In 2004, Ukraine commenced producing Aero bars.[15]

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.

Slogans and advertising[edit]

1930s[edit]

The Aero bar was advertised in the late 1930s with the slogan, "You get a lift".[1] Advertising about the imported bars in Melbourne, Australia in 1938 announced the Aero as the "...original English aerated milk chocolate... ...crisp, light and yet so sustaining.".[16]

1950s[edit]

Production ceased during wartime, and the bars were relaunched in the 1950s. The relaunch campaign had commissioned oil paintings of "ordinary" women, to highlight that the chocolate bars were an accessible treat for all. Some of the portraits decorated the York factory for decades. In 2013, Nestlé attempted to identify the models, known as "Aero girls", to better track their company history.[17][18] Some of the models were later identified as Janey Ironside, Rose Wylie and Pamela Synge.[19]

1970s[edit]

In the 1970s, an advertisement was aired which had kids flying an Aero bar as if it was a kite.

1980s[edit]

In the late 1980s, the slogan "Each Aero Chocolate Bar Has The Nourishment Of Almost Three Ounces Of Milk" was created by Toronto advertiser John Straiton.[20] In 1987, the advertisement won the Rotten Apple Award from the Quebec Corporation of Professional Dietitians, as the comparison between the nutritional benefit of confectionery and dairy was considered misleading.[21] Rowntree had previously received the same Rotten Apple Award in 1984 for a similar comparison between the bar with milk in a previous advertisement.[22]

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.

In circa 1989-1993, a young couple playing chess advert was popular in Ireland on television.

1990s[edit]

The Aero packaging in 1993 in America had the slogan, "Melt into the moment.",[23] supported by television advertising showing a woman taking a bath in liquid chocolate.[24]

In 1996 the Aero bar was repackaged and relaunched with television advertising with voice-over by Dani Behr, and the phrase "Great chocolate taste". The structure of the blocks was changed to be easier to break into sections.[25][26] The advertisement showed a woman's day dreams while floating away during eating an Aero.[27]

2000s[edit]

In 2000, Nestlé apologised and withdrew milk and white chocolate cranberry-flavoured Aero bars from the market. The accompanying slogan "Stuff Xmas! Treat yourself!", was considered potentially offensive by the Church of England and let to the suspension of distribution.[28][29] In January 2001, the packaging was described as featuring a cartoon turkey with the words; "Delicious Aero chocolate with a touch of sauciness - What could be more uplifting than bubbles that melt into delicious Nestlé chocolate?".[30]

In 2001, The Aero White was relaunched as a permanent offering with a campaign theme, "Here to Stay".[31] In May that year, Nestlé UK's "All Bubble. No Squeak." campaign was previewed online prior to television, an unusual step at the time. It was previewed on the internet first, as the mouse character, Aeron, was computer-generated and this was considered a good strategy.[32] The advertisement slogan, "All bubble. No squeak.", and the clip showed a man buying an Aero bar, which included a free hula-hooping mouse. He declined the mouse as the chocolate bar was considered good enough as to not require gimmickry.[33] The animated mouse later won Best Animated Animal at the 2002 All Star Animal Awards.[34] The promotional campaign included people in mouse costumes in Manchester providing passers-by with a hula-hoop challenge in exchange for a free Aero bar.[35]

In July 2001, presenter Davina McCall accidentally promoted Aero during a live eviction episode of Big Brother UK. She highlighted crowd banners which stated, "Hats Off To The Bubble", mistakenly thinking that they were about evictee Paul "Bubble" Ferguson. It was later revealed that they were professional advertisements for the chocolate bar.[36]

In 2002, Nestlé Canada's research showed that consumers would often break the Aero bar into pieces and then let it melt in the mouth to prolong the experience. Their subsequent advertising showed two women, the first biting into the bar, the other responding, "What are you doing? That's not right.".[37]

In 2009, skateboarder Bob Burnquist featured in a UK ad called "feel the bubbles", filmed skating through chocolate coloured balloons, with the Jackson 5's song ABC playing in the background.[38]

2010s[edit]

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.[39] Rushdie has said that he invented a whole series of bubble words for the campaign, including "Delectabubble".[40]

Varieties and flavours[edit]

There are several flavours of Aero bars, with the Original being composed of milk chocolate throughout. The Aero bubble sensation has also been extended to other confectionery and dessert products.

Regular[edit]

  • Milk Chocolate (original)
  • Mint Chocolate (with a green, bubbly, mint flavoured centre, covered in milk chocolate)
  • Orange Chocolate
  • Dark Chocolate (70%)
  • 2 in 1 Milk Chocolate Shell, White Chocolate Filling
  • Strawberry was released in the 1970s.
  • Cappuccino was released as a limited edition flavour in 1996.[41]
  • Latte
  • Snow (white chocolate) was relaunched in 2000.[42] The Aero White, with a milk chocolate outer and a white bubbly centre, was launched permanently in 2001.[31]
  • Milk Chocolate with Cranberry Flavor [sic] was a limited edition release in 2000 and 2001, with a milk chocolate with a white chocolate flavour and a cranberry flavoured bubbly centre.[30]
  • Honeycomb, milk chocolate with honeycomb pieces.[43]
  • Orange, a limited edition introduced in Canada in late 2002.[44]
  • Caramel was released in late 2004. It has a caramel flavoured and colored white chocolate centre. Some varieties have a viscous caramel.[45] The variant Aero Temptations included a caramel topping.
  • Crispy (similar to Nestlé Crunch bars)
  • Vanilla Milkshake; Hot Milk; Green Tea; and Aero Cocoa flavours were produced in Japan.
  • Irish Cream was available in Ireland.
  • Vanilla Yogurt flavour was introduced in Canada in 2006.

Chunky[edit]

  • Milk Chocolate. The Chunky variety was released in Canada in late 2001.[46]
  • Mint Chocolate "Limited Edition" (2000 to 2010)
  • White Chocolate, released with a white chocolate centre as a limited edition for Christmas 1998,[47] and Christmas 2002.[48]

Aero Bubbles[edit]

Aero Bubbles are balls of aerated chocolate with a chocolate shell, sold in a resealable bag.[49] 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.

  • Milk Chocolate
  • Mint Chocolate
  • Orange Chocolate
  • Strawberry Milk Chocolate
  • White Bubbles bars were released in Australia in 2001, with a milk chocolate outer and white chocolate bubble centre.[50]
  • Caramel Bubble Bar consists of a Caramel flavoured white chocolate centre with a milk chocolate coating.

Aero Biscuits[edit]

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.[51]

  • Milk Chocolate
  • Mint Chocolate
  • Orange Chocolate
  • Pink Lemonade

Aero Bubble Biscuits[edit]

  • Milk Chocolate

Aero Mousse[edit]

  • Mousse, a chilled dessert in milk and peppermint flavours. It was the first collaborative product by Nestlé and Rowntree after the takeover of Rowntree in June 1998. Details of the mousse were released in 1990, but there was no planned consumer advertising for that year due to possible advertising agency conflicts between the different brands.[52] The mousse was produced by Nestlé's subsidiary Chambourcy yogurt brand.[53] Nestlé Aero Mousse was introduced in Australia in 2001 in Chocolate and Chocolate Mint flavours.[54]

Aero Drink[edit]

  • Aero chocolate drink was released in chocolate and chocolate mint flavours in February 1991. The drinks were advertised for teenagers and young adults with the same animated characters as those in Rowntree's Aero bar ads. The 200ml packaging encouraged consumers to "Chill 'n' shake" to produce Aero-like bubbles in the liquid.[55] The 180ml-sized chocolate orange flavour was added in March 1992.[56]

Aero Ice Cream[edit]

  • Aero Ice Cream bars were released in the United Kingdom in 1995. The 60ml bars contained Aero chocolate inside a chocolate shell, surrounded by Aero chocolate ice cream.[57]

Seasonal editions[edit]

  • The Aero Mint Egg was released in January 1996 and had light green mint-flavoured bubbles inside milk chocolate.[58] A giant Aero Mint Egg was also available during Easter 1999.[59]
  • Nestlé's 1996 Christmas range included an Aero Christmas Pie, which combined Aero chocolate with spicy orange filling in the shape of a pie.[60] The Christmas Pie also featured in 1997, and was changed in 1998 to green centred Aero Mint Pies.[61]
  • In 2010, Nestlé Canada introduced Aero in the shape of an egg for Easter.[62]
  • An Aero Milk Chocolates Heart Box, 112g red heart-shaped box was promoted for teens in Canada for Valentine's Day 2003.[63]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Kit Kat Marks 50 Years Without A Break / Rowntree Mackintosh celebrates anniversary of chocolate bar". Financial Times. 23 March 1985. p. 4.
  2. ^ http://www.aerochocolate.co.uk/
  3. ^ 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 
  4. ^ 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 
  5. ^ "Marketing Week has commented on the products that increased sales during the recent heatwave". Marketing Week: 6. 5 August 1983.
  6. ^ "Man rescued from chocolate tank - Nestle". The Herald. Glasgow. 2 August 1993. p. 3.
  7. ^ "Nestlé fined after Aero worker hurt". Financial Times. 2 February 1994. p. 6.
  8. ^ "Firm fined over man in chocolate mixer - Nestlé". The Independent - London. 2 February 1994. p. 5.
  9. ^ Durman, Paul (31 January 1997). "Unilever looks for an Aero meltdown". The Times. p. 23.
  10. ^ "Three sacked for printing swear words on Aero bars". The Northern Echo. 22 April 2004. p. 4.
  11. ^ "Back to bubble". The Sunday Times (Perth). 27 February 2011. p. 7.
  12. ^ Kermond, Clare (25 February 2011). "Chocolate finds new flavour for mums with special tastes". The Sydney Morning herald. p. 3. ISSN 0312-6315.
  13. ^ "Nestlé to stop making chocolate in nut-free facility". Waterloo Region Record. 20 April 2001. p. A04.
  14. ^ "Nestle keeps nut-free guarantee". National Post. 15 May 2001. p. A04.
  15. ^ "Svitoch Launches Production Of Aerated Chocolate Aero". Ukranian News. 31 March 2004.
  16. ^ "Melbourne discovers Rowntree's English Aero!: New imported chocolate delights Victorians". The Herald (Melbourne, Victoria). 9 November 1938. p. 13.
  17. ^ "Aer-looms". The Sun. 12 October 2013. p. 17.
  18. ^ "Mystery of the missing 'Aero girls'". The Times (United Kingdom). 12 October 2013. p. 27.
  19. ^ "Pamela Synge". The Times (United Kingdom). 17 January 2015. p. 72-73.
  20. ^ Roseman, Ellen (14 June 1984). "The Consumer Game: 'You get the ads you deserve'". The Globe and Mail. p. CL6.
  21. ^ "Across Canada TV: Ad for candy bar wins Rotten Apple". The Globe and Mail. 20 February 1987. p. A5.
  22. ^ "'Misleading' food ads win Rotten Apple awards". The Toronto Star. 23 February 1987. p. C3.
  23. ^ "Nestle Aero Candy Bar MANUFACTURER: Nestle Foods Corp. CATEGORY: Chocolate Candies". Product Alert Market Intelligence Service, Ltd. 23 (8). 22 February 1993.
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  27. ^ "Relaunches and repackagings". Brand Strategy. 22 February 1996. p. 26-31.
  28. ^ Gledhill, Ruth (11 November 2000). "Nestle bows to Church's protest". The Times. p. 25.
  29. ^ Mason, Tania (16 November 2000). "Nestle halts Aero 'Stuff Xmas' bar after Church call". Marketing. p. 1.
  30. ^ a b "Nestle Aero Candy Bar - Milk Chocolate with Cranberry Flavor; Mint". Product Alert. 31 (1). 8 January 2001. ISSN 0740-3801.
  31. ^ a b "White on! Nestle appeases fans by making Aero variant permanent". The Grocer. 3 March 2001. p. 60.
  32. ^ Keevins, Barry (10 May 2001). "Mouse about that?". Daily Star.
  33. ^ "Nestle UK ad previewed on internet". Marketing. 3 May 2001. p. 5.
  34. ^ Arnold, Matthew (4 April 2002). "Aero mouse too busy to receive first-ever award". Marketing. p. 44.
  35. ^ "Meet the hula-hooping mouse which is set to follow in the footsteps of the famous Budweiser frogs...". Manchester Evening News. 11 May 2001.
  36. ^ "Davina is ad". News of the World. 1 July 2001. p. 4.
  37. ^ Heinzl, John (24 May 2002). "Aero takes aim at bubble lovers". The Globe and Mail (Metro ed.). p. B10.
  38. ^ Clews, Mary-Louise (26 February 2009). "Nestle unveils 7m Aero campaign". Marketing Week. 32 (9): 52. ISSN 0141-9285.
  39. ^ Daily Express, P7, 8 April 1982.
  40. ^ Sheff, David (1 April 1996). "Playboy interview: Salman Rushdie". Playboy. 43 (4): 49. ISSN 0032-1478.
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  42. ^ "Nestle to relaunch chocolate". Marketing Week. 14 September 2000. p. 11.
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  44. ^ "Nestle Aero Candy Bar - Orange". Product Alert. 31 (22). 25 November 2002. ISSN 0740-3801.
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  46. ^ "Nestle Aero Candy Bar - Chunky". Product Alert. 31 (22). 26 November 2001. ISSN 0740-3801.
  47. ^ "Winter blues will be wonderful". The Grocer. 17 October 1998. p. 63.
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  49. ^ Lee, Jenny (26 April 2005). "In Store - Tried & tested Jenny Lee takes a closer look at Aero bubbles". The Irish News. p. 30.
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  51. ^ "Aero chocolate biscuit launched in the UK and Ireland". Nestlé. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  52. ^ "Chambourcy introduces Aero Mousse to its product range". Marketing Week. 4 May 1990. p. 10.
  53. ^ "Nestle's Aero breaks into the chilled desserts sector". The Grocer. 28 April 1990. p. 41.
  54. ^ "Nestle Aero Mousse - Chocolate; Chocolate Mint". International Product Alert. 31 (6). 19 March 2001. ISSN 1086-1238.
  55. ^ "Aero drink to launch this month". Marketing Week. 15 February 1991. p. 9.
  56. ^ "Nestle adds orange flavour to its aero chocolate milks range". The Grocer. 14 March 1992. p. 50.
  57. ^ "Nestle Aero Ice Cream MANUFACTURER: Nestle CATEGORY: Ice Cream & Ice Cream Cones". International Product Alert. 12 (7). 5 April 1995.
  58. ^ "Aero moves into filled eggs". The Grocer. 20 January 1996. p. 30.
  59. ^ "Game on for Easter '99". The Grocer. 14 November 1998. p. 51.
  60. ^ "New brands and brand extensions - briefs". Brand Strategy. 24 May 1996. p. 13-25.
  61. ^ "Nestle gears up for quality attack on Christmas market". The Grocer. 9 May 1998. p. 57.
  62. ^ "Eggs-citing News". Food in Canada. 70 (2): 14. March 2010. ISSN 1188-9187.
  63. ^ "Nestle Aero Milk Chocolates - Heart Box". Product Alert. 31 (22). 25 November 2002. ISSN 0740-3801.

External links[edit]