Flake (chocolate bar)
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The product was first developed in 1920 and was discovered by chance by an employee of Cadbury's at the Bournville factory who noticed thin streams of excess chocolate falling from moulds cooled into flaky ripples.
By 1930, Cadbury's was selling half-length Flake specifically for prodding into vanilla soft serve ice cream in a cone ("99 Flakes") which was served by ice cream vendors. First sold in Britain, they would later be sold in Ireland, Australia, South Africa and other nations. Screwballs are similar but have a plastic cone rather than a wafer.
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Several varieties of Flake have been produced over the years, including:
- Versions based around dark (plain) chocolate
- Flake Snow (known as Snowflake until 2003) - a white chocolate flake bar dipped into milk chocolate. Launched 2000 and discontinued in 2008.
- Flake Dipped - milk chocolate flake dipped into milk chocolate (resembles a larger version of Twirl), and also known as Flake Luxury. Launched 2003.
- Flake Praline - milk chocolate flake with praline. Launched 2004.
- Flake Bar.
- Flake Allure - a milk chocolate flake half enrobed in rich truffle and milk chocolate. Launched 2011 (limited edition).
- Orange Flake - orange-flavoured milk chocolate flake (available in South Africa).
- Flake Mint - flake which has a pale green mint-flavoured centre. In South Africa it is a mint-flavoured milk chocolate flake with no colouring. Flake Mint was introduced in Australia in late 2016 as a Special Edition flavor.
- 99 Flake Cone - this is a waffle cone style pre-made ice cream, it plays off of the traditional 99 flake bought from ice cream vendors.
- Flake McFlurry original - a McFlurry with crushed bits of flake and chocolate. Limited edition run along with flake McFlurry raspberry.
- Flake McFlurry raspberry - a McFlurry with crushed bits of flake, chocolate and raspberry juice. Limited edition run along with original flake McFlurry.
- Cadbury Twin Pot Flake
- Flake Bites
- Flake Minis
- Flake Moments
The product gained some notoriety for its highly sensual advertising. In the UK, the adverts showed people - almost always women - enjoying a Flake whilst relaxing.
The Flake Girl became famous as a symbol of indulgence and secret pleasure. Her emphasis - to a raspingly emotional jingle ("Only the crumbliest, flakiest chocolate, tastes like chocolate never tasted before"), voted third most memorable of all time, - was on allowing herself a guilt-free luxury. However, many saw in the delicacy with which she nibbled the crumbly chocolate bar, more than a hint of sexual pleasure. In the 1970s, an advert was taken off air following complaints about the suggestive manner in which the woman bit into the bar.
The Flake song was composed by UK jingle writer Ronnie Bond who also composed "Tasty tasty very very tasty" for Bran Flakes, and "I'd rather have a bowl of Coco Pops" for Coco Pops. Ronnie has recently released the album "Songs in the Key of F".
In 1983, UK prog-rock band Twelfth Night included an impromptu song as part of an encore, to the tune of the flake jingle, "Only the crumbliest, flakiest skin, remains on your body after nuclear war...".
In 1999, a tribute advert to the Flake Girls of decades past was released, much to the delight of nostalgic fans. The montage began with a clip of the very first Flake Girl advert from 1959, followed by a 1965 clip of a girl relaxing in a rowing boat whilst being pestered by a cheeky swan for a peck of her Flake bar. The next clip showed the 1973 ad of a doe-eyed artist in a field of poppies painting a watercolour and indulging in a Flake bar, before being caught in a summer shower. This was followed by a clip of the exotic 1987 ad in which a restless woman in silk negligee reposes on a window sill on a sultry night, indulging in a Flake bar whilst a gecko lizard is noted crawling over a ringing telephone. Next was a clip of the classical 1991 Flake ad in which a woman sporting a dark, cropped hairstyle (resembling Demi Moore and Enya's hair at the time) reposes in an overflowing bath tub in a great painted hall. Lastly, this tribute montage advert ended with the latest Flake Girl ad (1999), featuring a Parisienne relaxing in a summery garden overlooking the Eiffel Tower. As she bites into the Flake bar in her ice-cream, the garden sprinklers are set off and she is drenched in refreshing water.
The Flake girl was finally retired after 40 years, in 2004. However, in 2005 she was found to have a 19% recall in the UK population, leading to a revival in 2007. The new advert featured Australian model Alyssa Sutherland eating a Flake in a convertible during a shower of rain.
UK singer Joss Stone became the new Flake girl in 2008 - the first non-model to promote the product. In the television advert she is seen breaking off a small piece of Flake before popping it into her mouth and brushing the crumbs off her blouse whilst softly singing the Flake theme song.
Magazine and Billboard ads show the new campaign "Succumb to the crumb", with a piece of flake on a lady's tongue.
On 8 June 2010, a new advertisement (first aired on Channel 4) saw a woman float around on a black background. Whilst part of 'The Flake girl' series, there is no mention of any text or slogan aside from the image of the bar at the end of the advertisement, and the familiar music jingle is replaced by a haunting piano piece.
- Corporate history of the product
- Oliver Thring (24 August 2010). "Consider the 99 Flake". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
- "70s and 80s TV ads for chocolate bars". Archived from the original on 31 May 2016. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
I didn't even realise that Cadbury's produced a plain flake [accompanying image displays- amongst other items- 'Plain Flake' in crimson wrapper with gold writing]
- Image of Cadbury's "Plain Flake" wrapper bearing description "a blend of plain and milk chocolate" (via )
- Cadbury Australia - Home - Products - Chocolate Bars - Flake
- "R.I.P. The Flake girl". BBC News. August 17, 2004. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
- The Scotsman
- "Cadbury brings back Flake Girl" The Guardian (February 9, 2007)
- Singer Stone is new Flake girl