The Chocolate Bar Industry Is In Desperate Need Of A Shakeup

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If you approached a vending machine in 2005, chances are you walked away dejected. Right there, in the middle of the racks, below the chips but above the gum, between the well-known sugar stalwarts Snickers and Starburst, sat a mid-sized slot with a bare aluminium spiral. Empty. The Take 5's were gone.

It's tough to explain the hysteria surrounding the Take 5 bar in the candy community back then. The streets were buzzing. Simmering, even. I imagine it was a lot like when The Chronic came out in 1992.

GUY WITHOUT A TAKE 5: Whoa is that a Take 5?
ME: Sure is. You ever had one of these joints?
GUY WITHOUT A TAKE 5: No ... what's it like?
ME: Unlike anything your taste buds have ever experienced.
GUY WITHOUT A TAKE 5: Can I have a piece?
ME: Absolutely not.

Lol did you think I was about to share my Take 5 with that idiot? My candy bar had a goddamn pretzel in it. I wasn't running a charity.

Since those halcyon days, the chocolate bar industry has grown increasingly stale. No new bars have sparked a similar frenzy. Innovation hides in the shadowy corners of Willy Wonka's cobwebbed apartment. For sugar enthusiasts (diabetics?) like myself, there is no hope on the horizon.

Think about your favorite chocolate bar. Was it invented before your grandparents were born? Is it boring as hell? Probably. Look at this tired old shit:

Butterfinger

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Hey is it too much to ask for the bar to stay in one piece until after I remove the wrapper? God knows how many hours of my life I've spent digging through boxes in the checkout lines at grocery stores searching for a finger that isn't broken and/or crumbled. And yes, I know I'm just going to break it myself once it's open, but it's the principle, you know? Have some respect for the customer.

Lindt

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Listen I'm not Jay Gatsby, okay? I don't need my chocolate bar wrapper to look like a first class ticket on the Titanic. Relax with the decadence.

Toblerone

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The worst consequence of Brexit, as far as this American can tell, is that Toblerone uses way less chocolate now. Seems like they could have just cut down on the extravagant packaging to save money (it's a candy bar, not a wedding invitation), but what do I know about the business side of confections? (Almost nothing.)

Twix

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Hey Twix, you know what would be way better than packets of "right" or "left" Twix? Thrix — with three bars — so I could give you the middle finger. This joke was much more coherent in my head. 

Snickers

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Known mostly for a commercial featuring Gheorghe Muresan, Snickers boasts chocolate, nougat, caramel and peanuts. "Not going anywhere for a while? Grab a Snickers" never really made sense as a slogan because they take like 45 seconds to eat.

Milky Way

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A Snickers bar without the peanuts.

3 Musketeers

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A Milky Way without the caramel.

... and on and on. Most "new" chocolate bars are simply variations on the boring ones you see above. Candy enthusiasts know laziness when we see it. Adding a little more caramel to your existing bar doesn't get the people going. And you can't just combine two candies, slap some millennial-speak on an ad and call it a day. We demand more. 

The person who thought to put a pretzel in the Take 5 bar sent a bolt of excitement through the candy world. The next rule-breaking chocolate revolutionary can't emerge soon enough. |ES|