A Bertie Beetle is an Australian chocolate bar manufactured by Nestlé. It consists of chocolate shaped like an anthropomorphised beetle with small pieces of honeycomb throughout. It was created as a way to use up pieces of coconut, and honeycomb left over from the production of Violet Crumble bars .
The Bertie Beetle was first produced in 1963 by Hoadley's Chocolates who were later taken over by the Rowntree Company and became Rowntree Hoadley Ltd., when it was launched by VFL footballer Ron Barassi, and was sold in shops until 1970, when manufacturer Nestlé entered an exclusive agreement with 'Showbag Marketing' to only sell the chocolate at shows and exhibitions in showbags.
Bertie Beetles are most well known for their inclusion in the reliably cheap Bertie Beetle showbag, available around Australia at various Shows. The 'Bertie Beetle Showbag' is one of the most popular showbags ever made. When the bag was withdrawn from sale at Royal Shows, Nestlé bowed to the resultant community pressure and recommenced sale of the bag.
The bag traditionally cost $2 and came with a few Bertie Beetles and some * Allens lollipops. Until 12pm on the first day of a royal show there is often an early bird special with some Bertie Beetle bags discounted to $1.
The 'Bertie Beetle Bonanza' was created to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Bertie Beetle in 2003, which came with many Bertie Beetles as well as some other products. In 2006, there were four variations in existence: a small red bag, a medium sized blue bag, a large gold bag and the '1-2-3' bag, which contains the three bags as well as some extras. The price for the classic blue 'Bertie Beetle' showbag was increased in 2006 to $3. For the 2007 Royal Shows however, the price has returned to its traditional price of $2.
In the 2009 Royal Easter Show, there were a number of bags, including a Bertie Beetle Blue, Gold, Red and Green, along with a Bertie Beetle Bonanza Bag and a Bertie Beetle Black- Triple Deal.
The product comes in the regular packaging as well as a red and white Christmas edition. The standard sizing for both versions is 10 grams. Bertie Beetles contain gelatine so are not suitable for vegans.
In 2013 a 50th Anniversary special edition of the Bertie Beetle showbag was made available, consisting of 50 Bertie Beetle chocolates and a mask.
Sadly, Bertie Beatles aren't available at shops and supermarkets like they used to be. The only way to get a Bertie Beatle is to buy a show bag from various events.
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No longer available is Lady Beetle, Bertie's white chocolate equivalent, which had its own, slightly more expensive showbag.
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- Smith, M. 'Remember when', The Advertiser, 6 September 2006.