A few weeks ago, Cadbury announced that they were releasing their first new ‘single’ chocolate bar for more than a decade. By ‘single’ of course, I mean that whilst they have released many a new large sharing bar (for instance they have recently released new 100g bars in Oreo, Toffee Popcorn, Shortcake and Toffee Nut) their permanent range of 40-60g chocolate bars has remained unchanged. Until now.
Cadbury have started making less and less money from the female market, and the Cadbury Crispello bar, or ‘bar’ (I’l get onto that later) is their response to that. Essentially, Cadbury believe the explanation for their falling sales figures from the female market is because girls have become much more diet focussed and won’t/don’t buy chocolate at all anymore. They’re probably right too- every feckin’ woman I see these days seems to be reading Heat Magazine or talking about Loose Women…it’s fair to say that we’ve become a country depressingly obsessed with celebrities. (Although that same accusation can be levelled at the whole of the Western world I suspect.)
The concept of the Crispello bar is that it’s low in calories (only 55 calories per piece; each packet has 3 pieces so 165 calories in total making it significantly lower than most alternatives) but still pleasantly chocolatey, meaning you can eat one of these and not worry so much about it if you’re watching your weight. So (in a nutshell) Cadbury think that they have lost a load of customers who are sitting at home eating Ryvita, celery and lettuce…and the Crispello is designed to tempt them back into the ‘dangerous’ world of chocolate.
The Crispello is described by the guys at Cadbury as ‘Thin crispy shells with a creamy chocolate filling, covered in milk chocolate’. So it’s chocolate, inside wafer, inside chocolate- not the kind of thing you’d traditionally associate with weight loss and dieting! Then again I think the idea here is that (as the Crispello is only 30g in total weight) if you watch your portions you can still enjoy some chocolate whilst being healthy.
The most obvious thing I should probably mention before I start the tasting is that I’m most definitely not the target market for the Crispello. I’m a 21 year old lad, which is about as far away from the ‘health conscious woman’ market as you can get I think. I tend not to fanny around with my food and whilst I try to look at ingredients listings on stuff, that is more out of curiosity than anything else. I don’t know exactly what you are Demineralised Whey Powder but I’ve eaten more of you than I care to think about.
The first thing to remark upon about the Crispello is that it isn’t actually even a bar. So you know all that information I told you earlier about it being the first new Cadbury bar to be released for more than a decade? Well, if we’re getting bogged down in semantics, the Crispello is three individual pieces in a single wrapper rather than a ‘bar’ as such (if we take the traditional meaning of the word ‘bar’ as opposed to…well, I don’t know any other understanding of the word bar to be honest.)
It did look attractive from the outside though with the traditional Cadbury’s purple dominating the wrapper. Interesting story- Cadbury’s now ‘own’ that colour purple. They have obtained some kind of copyright/trademark on it, and they control its usage as I understand it…I didn’t think it was possible to own a colour but (in their defence) I think the vast majority of people would recognise it and identify it with the Cadbury brand.
The name ‘Crispello’ is, in my opinion, a bit lame. I do understand that it’s a product aimed at the female audience etc, but it’s just so weak sounding. Cadbury have obviously tried to design every facet of the bar to be ‘woman friendly’ and the name needs to tie in with that…so I’d be interested to hear from any female readers about whether or not the name ‘does anything’ for you?
I took the three pieces out of the wrapper to take some photos and at this point got my first smell of the bar. It was kind of similar to the Ferrero Tronky I reviewed a while back, but without the nuttiness. There was some sweetness from the chocolate and a little bit of milkiness without much else.
Each Crispello piece is slightly fragile- the wafer layer is thin and snaps easily. But each piece was still intact when I opened the wrapper so maybe they are more study than they feel and look.
The wafer does the job as a ‘game changer’ texture here but the taste leaves a bit to be desired. It was dry and very crispy which was nice; it meant that each Crispello piece gave you a really satisfying crunch when bitten into. However it tasted quite bland and could have done with a bit of maltiness.
The ‘creamy chocolate filling’ was easily my favourite part of the Crispello. The texture is great; soft and smooth like a chocolate spread almost. I had anticipated a ‘whipped’ feel to it, like a Milky Way or Kinder Bueno, but it was actually quite dense. The flavour was enjoyable too- they described it as creamy and it really does deliver on that, with it tasting quite similar to a Galaxy bar as it melts away on the tongue.
The ‘second’ layer of chocolate (the outer coating) was only very thin so not as prevalent as either the wafer or the soft chocolate centre. It was pretty standard from Cadbury; that weaker chocolate that they use for covering their products. It’s not strongly chocolate flavoured but does have some milky notes which adds a little something.
I thought that Cadbury’s Crispello bar was ok as a whole, and the chocolate centre in particular is very good. The biggest problem I had with it was that it didn’t excite me. The middle of these are great, but the wafer isn’t very flavoursome and the chocolate coating is bog standard rather than enthralling.
But they are sufficiently chocolatey to cure a craving, and I suspect that the Crispello will do well amongst the target market that it is aimed at- those counting calories but trying to treat themselves.
I doubt many people will fall madly in love with the Crispello. But it is a slightly lower calorie product which is enjoyable and satisfying enough, which will make it a success for Cadbury I think. If you want something more exciting and fun, then have a look at their Dairy Milk Oreo bar and the other new Dairy Milk 100g bars they’ve just released. But if you are after something which ‘does a job’ and fills a chocolatey hole…this will do just nicely.