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Aero is an aerated chocolate bar manufactured by Nestlé. Originally produced by Rowntree's, Aero bars were introduced in 1935 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.
- 1 History
- 2 Slogans and advertising
- 3 Varieties and flavours
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
The process of manufacture was patented in 1935 by Rowntree's in York, England. 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. 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.
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, and became caught in the paddles which started up automatically, causing severe injuries. Nestlé were later fined for failing to ensure worker safety by not isolating the power to the Aero mixer.
In 1997, Unilever sued Nestlé, stating that Nestlé infringed Unilever's patent for aerated chocolate ice cream products.
In 2004, three workers at the York factory were dismissed for intentionally misprinting rude messages on the packaging of 20 pallets of Aero bars.
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 recently marketed a similar bar called Hershey's Air Delight but has since been discontinued.
Since 1996, the Aero bar was produced in Britain. 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.
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. In May 2001, the decision was reversed due to consumer outcry, and the company retained their nut-free guarantee for Canadian bars.
In 2004, Ukraine commenced producing Aero bars.
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
The Aero bar was advertised in the late 1930s with the slogan, "You get a lift". 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.".
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. Some of the models were later identified as Janey Ironside, Rose Wylie and Pamela Synge.
In the 1970s, an advertisement was aired which had kids flying an Aero bar as if it was a kite.
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. 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. Rowntree had previously received the same Rotten Apple Award in 1984 for a similar comparison between the bar with milk in a previous advertisement.
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.
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. The advertisement showed a woman's day dreams while floating away during eating an Aero.
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. 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?".
In 2001, The Aero White was relaunched as a permanent offering with a campaign theme, "Here to Stay". 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. 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. The animated mouse later won Best Animated Animal at the 2002 All Star Animal Awards. 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.
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.
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.".
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. Rushdie has said that he invented a whole series of bubble words for the campaign, including "Delectabubble".
Varieties and flavours
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.
- 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.
- Snow (white chocolate) was relaunched in 2000. The Aero White, with a milk chocolate outer and a white bubbly centre, was launched permanently in 2001.
- 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.
- Honeycomb, milk chocolate with honeycomb pieces.
- Orange, a limited edition introduced in Canada in late 2002.
- Caramel was released in late 2004. It has a caramel flavoured and colored white chocolate centre. Some varieties have a viscous caramel. 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.
- Milk Chocolate. The Chunky variety was released in Canada in late 2001.
- Mint Chocolate "Limited Edition" (2000 to 2010)
- White Chocolate, released with a white chocolate centre as a limited edition for Christmas 1998, and Christmas 2002.
Aero Bubbles are balls of aerated chocolate with a chocolate shell, sold in a resealable bag. 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.
- Caramel Bubble Bar consists of a Caramel flavoured white chocolate centre with a milk chocolate coating.
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.
- Milk Chocolate
- Mint Chocolate
- Orange Chocolate
- Pink Lemonade
Aero Bubble Biscuits
- Milk Chocolate
- 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. The mousse was produced by Nestlé's subsidiary Chambourcy yogurt brand. Nestlé Aero Mousse was introduced in Australia in 2001 in Chocolate and Chocolate Mint flavours.
- 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. The 180ml-sized chocolate orange flavour was added in March 1992.
Aero Ice Cream
- 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.
- The Aero Mint Egg was released in January 1996 and had light green mint-flavoured bubbles inside milk chocolate. A giant Aero Mint Egg was also available during Easter 1999.
- Nestlé's 1996 Christmas range included an Aero Christmas Pie, which combined Aero chocolate with spicy orange filling in the shape of a pie. The Christmas Pie also featured in 1997, and was changed in 1998 to green centred Aero Mint Pies.
- In 2010, Nestlé Canada introduced Aero in the shape of an egg for Easter.
- An Aero Milk Chocolates Heart Box, 112g red heart-shaped box was promoted for teens in Canada for Valentine's Day 2003.
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