After the Butterfinger bar, which is hugely popular and a bit of an American classic, I’ve got a British equivalent today to review. It might not be as old as the Butterfinger range from Nestle, but Cadbury’s Wispa bar is massive. I worked in a newsagents for a year and I’ve no doubt that we sold far more Wispas and Wispa Golds than any other product- even the legendary Mars and Snickers bars. Cadbury (back when they really WERE Cadbury, and not Kraft) discontinued it in 2003, but when the Wispa was brought back, people just EXPLODED for it.
The Wispa is an amazingly simple concept. It is Cadbury’s milk chocolate, but with an aerated centre. The amount of air which is whipped into the chocolate makes the bar quite a bit lighter than most other major products on the market at a mere 39g, but it has to have that air in it for the bar to work…otherwise it would just be a standard bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk.
It’s a pretty massive player in the British market as mentioned already. The Wispa, Wispa Gold and even the recently released Wispa Bites absolutely blow Nestle’s aerated alternative, the Aero, out of the water in terms of units sold. I seriously don’t know a single person who regularly chooses plain Aero over a plain Wispa.
The Wispa Gold was one of the first bars I ever reviewed on this site. Bearing in mind the Wispa is the same product but without the thin layer of caramel, I’m expecting to like this as I did the Gold alternative.
Ok, so it isn’t much to look at. There isn’t a fancy, embossed logo or even an interesting shape. In fact, it looks pretty awful really…it’s dull as shit.
Not that what a bar looks like out of its wrapper is particularly important. Because, unless you walk around shops opening up wrappers and deciding which bar to buy on the basis of which one looks most attractive OUT of its wrapper…well, it’s a bit bloody late by the time you find out what the chocolate itself looks like anyway.
The actual packaging is far more important, and I love the Wispa’s appearance. It is absolutely classic and basically, as a 90’s kid, it’s my childhood in a nutshell. I remember the WISPA lettering on the original Wispa and Wispa Gold, as well as on Wispa Mint, Wispa Easter Eggs, and (most disgusting of all looking back!) even the Wispaccino which was a Wispa Gold but with coffee flavoured caramel. Bleugh. But ALL of those things are a mammoth nostalgia trip for me! On a similarly nostalgic but totally irrelevant point…anybody else remember Crunchies flavoured with champagne?! What the hell was that all about Cadbury?!
Cadbury’s chocolate normally smells nice, and it’s no different here. Chocolate snobs laugh at it, but screw them- the intense milkiness and dairy always work for me and you get all of those in an abundance with the Wispa bar. It is ever so slightly lighter and less intense than a bar of standard, unaerated Dairy Milk and I guess that’s because you’re getting a bar which is loaded with plain old air here!
Aerated chocolate is something that is (in my experience) inexplicably nicer than the same milk chocolate but without the air bubbles. And that is a trend continued with the Cadbury’s Wispa here.
The texture is fantastic. It’s luxuriously light and crumbly inside. The outer coating of chocolate is just standard, unaerated stuff…but when you bite through that covering, you reach the bubbly centre, and that melts extremely quickly and in silkily smooth fashion.
I’ve eaten a Hershey’s Air Delight though, and many an Aero too which both use the same aerated texture. And they don’t nearly match up to the Wispa. The difference between those two and the Cadbury’s bar is the flavour- they might be able to match Cadbury’s methods with the aeration, but they don’t get close to the lovely milky flavour of the Wispa. The Aero is overly synthetic and the Hershey’s attempt tastes like ash. With the Wispa though, the middle is like a gooey chocolate milkshake after a few seconds in both flavour and texture. Niiiiice.
The Wispa from Cadbury is a light bar, both literally and figuratively. It’s so light that it is gone in an instant…but it’s good whilst it’s there!
Cadbury’s Wispa brand is strong and sells very well I think. After reviewing first the Wispa Gold and now the plain Wispa, it is so easy to see why. The concept behind these bars is very simple- it is decent tasking milk chocolate with a super texture. But simplicity is underrated…part of the bar’s success is because people know exactly what they are getting with one of these.
Criticisms? Well, it won’t satisfy the hungrier snacker for sure. At 39g and with such a quick melt, this isn’t an appetite suppressant. But for enjoyment, this is pretty damn nice. I enjoyed my Wispa tremendously and whilst I’d still buy a Wispa Gold ahead of it, I’d eat another Wispa again in a heart-beat if offered.
Eat it for enjoyment, not for sustenance, and the Wispa is a winner.