Bertie Beetle

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Bertie Beetle
BertieBeetleShowbag.jpg
A Bertie Beetle showbag
TypeChocolate bar
Place of originAustralia
Created byHoadley's Chocolates
Invented1963
Main ingredientsChocolate, honeycomb
VariationsLady Beetle

Bertie Beetle is a small chocolate bar manufactured by Nestlé. It consists of a chocolate coated bar containing small pieces of honeycomb that is shaped like an anthropomorphised beetle. It was originally created as a way to use up honeycomb left over from the production of Violet Crumble bars.[1] Originally manufactured in Australia, today they are manufactured in a factory in New Zealand.[2]

For many years Bertie Beetles were generally only available to the public in showbags sold at Australian agricultural shows.[3]

History[edit]

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 (the company was later acquired by Nestlé in 1988). Intended to rival MacRobertson's (later Cadbury's) Freddo Frog,[4] it was launched with advertisements featuring VFL footballer Ron Barassi,[5] and was sold in shops until the 1970s.[4] At some point after,[when?] a deal was made to only sell the chocolate at shows and exhibitions in showbags.[6][7][2][4]

In 2007, Bertie Beetle multi-packs were briefly available in supermarkets under Nestlé's Willy Wonka sub-brand.[8] Bertie Beetles returned to select confectionery stores in 2018.[3][4] In 2019 Peters launched a Bertie Beetle ice cream.[7]

Showbags[edit]

Bertie Beetles are most well known for their inclusion in the reliably cheap classic Bertie Beetle showbag, sold at various shows around Australia. Although initially included in Hoadley's Chocolate Showbag starting in 1963 (alongside Polly Waffle, Violet Crumble and White Knight bars), Bertie Beetle did not receive its own bag until 1965. The showbag, which as of 2022 comes with a few Bertie Beetles and other confections such as Red Ripperz, was traditionally sold for $2 for many decades. Although the price for the showbag was increased in 2006 to $3, in 2007 it returned to its traditional price of $2 and remained that way until 2021.[4] In 2022 the showbag again increased in price to $3 due to inflation.[9]

The Bertie Beetle showbag is one of the most popular showbags ever made.[10] At the 2017 Brisbane Ekka, more than 250,000 Bertie Beetle showbags were sold.[7] When the showbag was briefly withdrawn from sale at shows,[when?][why?] Nestlé bowed to the resultant consumer pressure and recommenced sale of the bag.[11]

Other variants of the Bertie Beetle showbag are also offered, containing more items and subsequently selling at a higher price. In 2003, the Bertie Beetle Bonanza showbag was created to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Bertie Beetle, which came with many Bertie Beetles as well as a choice of a branded cooler bag or a basketball. 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 all three bags as well as some extras. In 2009, there were a number of bags, including Bertie Beetle Blue, Gold, and Platinum bags along with the Bertie Beetle Bonanza bag and a Bertie Beetle Triple Deal bag, which like the 1-2-3 bag contained the three coloured Bertie Beetle bags. In 2013, a 50th anniversary special edition of the Bertie Beetle showbag was made available, consisting of 50 Bertie Beetle chocolates and a mask. In 2019, the Bertie Beetle Retro Showbag was introduced to the range; it included a retro paper bag, Bertie Beetle chocolate bars and a choice of a bucket hat, socks, a collector's tin or 2 enamel camping mugs with retro graphics. In 2021 the most expensive Bertie Beetle showbag variant sold for $18.[4] The Bertie Beetle showbag brand is currently managed by showbag company Chicane Marketing, which acts as an agent for Nestlé and produces other branded showbags for the multinational company.[2][4]

In 2016, a range of Bertie Beetle showbags and other products were made available to purchase online. The Bertie Beetle Biggest Showbag included 80 Bertie Beetle chocolates. The Bertie Beetle Bounty Box included 150 Bertie Beetle chocolates and comes in a gift box. The Bertie Beetle Bulk Bundle is a carton of 250 Bertie Beetles, and the Bertie Beetle Huge Haul included 350 Bertie Beetle chocolates.[12]

No longer available is Lady Beetle, Bertie's white chocolate equivalent, which had its own, slightly more expensive showbag.[7]

Ingredients[edit]

The standard weight of the bar is 10 grams. Bertie Beetles do not contain gelatine and are suitable for vegetarians. They do contain glucose from wheat. Bertie Beetles contain milk, soy and wheat. They are manufactured on equipment that processes products containing peanuts and tree nuts.

Ingredients: Sugar, Vegetable Fat, [Emulsifiers (Soy Lecithin, 492)], Milk Solids, Toffee Pieces (8%) - Sugar, Glucose Syrup (Derived from Wheat), Vegetable Fat, Raising Agent (Sodium Bicarbonate) - Cocoa, Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin), Salt, Flavours.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cockington, J. 'It's in the bag', The Age, 7 March 2006.
  2. ^ a b c Wilson, Roxanne (26 August 2016). "Show staple — The Advertiser finds out more about the iconic showbag". AdelaideNow. Retrieved 6 April 2021.
  3. ^ a b Mattson, Diana (4 March 2018). "Bertie Beetles now sold all year round in Adelaide and not just in showbags". AdelaideNow. Retrieved 6 April 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Lyons, Erin (8 April 2021). "Bertie Beetle: Strange fact about famous Australian chocolate treat". News.com.au. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
  5. ^ Edmonds, M et al. 'Watch this space', The Herald Sun, 13 September 2005.
  6. ^ 'Mr Beetle brings smiles', Northern News, 7 August 2003.
  7. ^ a b c d "1963 Bertie Beetle launched by Hoadley's". Retrieved 6 April 2021.
  8. ^ "Woolthworths advertisement, July 2007" (JPEG). Photobucket. 8 July 2007. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  9. ^ "Ekka's cheapest showbag Bertie Beetle increases in price by $1 due to inflation". Retrieved 8 July 2022.
  10. ^ 'Bertie Beetles a hit with nation's chocolate lovers', The Advertiser, 15 November 2006.
  11. ^ Dyer, B. 'The big loot is in the bag', Gold Coast Bulletin, 15 February 2003.
  12. ^ "Showbag Shop". Showbag Shop. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  13. ^ Nestlé Ingredient List PDF, Nestlé Australia, 2014