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
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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 jingle ("Only the crumbliest, flakiest chocolate, tastes like chocolate never tasted before") - was on allowing herself a guilt-free luxury.
Former Tyrannosaurus Rex percussionist Steve Peregrin Took wrote a song, Peppermint Flickstick in 1970 as a satire on the campaign. The song was recorded that year by his band Shagrat and released in 1990.
In 1999, a tribute advert to the Flake Girls of decades past was released. 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 advert 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 advert in which a woman sporting a dark, cropped hairstyle reposes in an overflowing bath tub in a great painted hall. Lastly, this tribute montage advert ended with the latest Flake Girl advert (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.
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 Archived 2006-09-12 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Cadbury brings back Flake Girl" The Guardian (February 9, 2007)
- Singer Stone is new Flake girl
- Cadbury's Flake