Sunday, 14 March 2010

Teddy Takeover

The Cadbury's takeover and announcement of the rollout of Milka in the UK have had some people up in arms along the lines of "they're taking over our chocolate".

Interestingly enough, the "damage", if you see it that way, has already been done in the realm of sweet confectionary. Although I suppose it's been obvious for some while if you take a look at a grocery sweetie fixture, I was quite interested to hear that Haribo is the number 1 brand of sweets in the UK.

This is definitely something that has happened since I've been out of the UK (Germany got me and the UK got Haribo) and Haribo have managed it, I think, by simply being nice - and, dare I say it, a little bit bland?

With bright colours and fun shapes, pack sizes and formats to please everyone, Haribo have managed a kind of sweet ubiquity that's nevertheless clever in its fit to the way people buy and consume sweets these days. It's lowest common denominator stuff, albeit tremendously successful. Haribo makes our home-grown old favourites like Rowntrees and Trebor look slightly niche-y and ungenerous.

But while a whole generation of Brits have now grown up with Haribo as their childhood companion, I still have nostalgia and occasional yearning for those sweetshop specials, be it Sherbert Fountains, Black Jacks, Spangles or even oddities such as Pontefract Cakes.

Only Pontefract Cakes are now produced by Haribo.

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