Tag Archives: Nestlé

They get you coming and going

Nestle, the mega-international conglomerate and owners of a variety of chocolate and candy brands, has just purchased weight loss company Jenny Craig. Now you can pay Nestle as you gain weight, and as you lose it.

(thanks skip!)

tags technorati : Food Weigt Loss Nestle Jenny Craig

Coffee and Beer!

Those of you who fall into the “Gen X” generation will remember the old Reese’s Peanut Cup Commercial. Two people (one carrying chocolate, the other carrying peanut butter) would collide, person A would then say “You got peanut butter in my chocolate!” Person B would then say “You got chocolate in my peanut butter!”. They would then taste their new treat and wonder at the marvel they had created.

I can’t help but think of this commercial in reading the posts that are covering the internet about Nestlé trying to patent a new coffee/beer brewing process. From a press report:

A drink somewhere between coffee and beer could soon be on the menu. Nestec, part of the Nestlé empire in Switzerland, has filed patents in every major market round the world on a “fermented coffee beverage” that pours and foams like beer, but smells of strong coffee and packs a concentrated caffeine kick.

The beverage is made in a similar way to beer, but fine-tuned temperature control stops the formation of ethyl alcohol. So the new drink could go down well with people who want a long tall pick-me-up while driving.

So it’s not an alcoholic beverage.

Which is nice, because that particular kind of beverage had already been sold on the market here in Seattle.

Thanks for the heads up Jack!

Technorati Tags: Food and Drink, Coffee, Beer, Nestle

Kit Kat vs. Kit Kat

Living within a 2 hour drive of the Canadian border, I am aware of the differences in candy found in our fair country versus the ones found in the Maple Leaf country to the north. I particularly noticed in with KitKat bars, with the ones found in the states being rather uninspiring (until last year, they were only in one flavor…chocolate). Those I found in Canada were amazing in their variety of flavors. Upon the shelves were Chocolate KitKats, as well as strawberry, orange, mint, vanilla.

“What the hell?” I asked myself.”Why does Canada get a diverse option of KitKats while we’re stuck with the Joe Average of candy bars?”

The reason, I have found out, is that KitKats are actually owned by two different companies. Here in the States, KitKat is owned by Hershey’s, while everyone else in the world has their KitKat bars made by the other mega-candy behemoth Nestlé’s.

Candy Blog has the reason for this discrepancy:

KitKat was first introduced in 1935 by London candymaker Rowntree under the name Rowntree’s Chocolate Crisp. A couple of years later they settled on the name KitKat Chocolate Crisp. The bar has always been the familiar four finger design and was an immediate big-seller for the company. It was briefly produced as a dark chocolate bar during the war because of dairy shortages, but returned to its familiar sweet milk chocolate recipe in 1947. In 1969 the American owned Hershey Corp bought the rights to manufacture and sell KitKat bars in the United States. I don’t think you will find American KitKats sold anywhere else in the world, probably part of the agreement. Rowntree was later purchased by Nestle in 1988 but the KitKat remains the same.

Nestlé has done a really good job in providing new and unique flavors of Kit Kats throughout the world, while Hershey’s has been less than satisfactory. They did recently release a white chocolate KitKat. Color me underwhelmed.

However, Hershey’s has recently released a Coffee Flavor Kit Kat bar which is not bad. Sadly, it’s for a limited time only. Oh, and it seems Nestlé already has a “coffee” flavor. Available for more than a limited time.

UPDATE: As always, the internet has the answer. If you want the other flavors of KitKats not available in the States, you can always head over to ebay.

The Problem with Candy

candy bar I’ve been reading “CandyFreak” (By Steve Almond) of late, and aside from finding it both a nostalgic look at candy…I too, remember the long hauls carried around Halloween, and then separating the goods into piles based on quality. Anything deemed less than an A could be traded to anyone else. Raisins were feed to my sister’s pet gerbil…aside from that, it has an undercurrent on the sorry state of the candy industry.

It boils down to this: There are three major candy companies in the world.

  • Hersheys: Maker of Hershey bars, but also of Reese’s Peanut butter cups, York Peppermint Patties as well as others. They have no problem in purchasing smaller candy companies in order to corner an aspect of the candy market. This is best evidenced by their pursuit of the chocolate covered toffee bar. First they created their own version of the Toffee bar, then when that didn’t overtake the Heath Bar, they bought the company who made the Heath Bar.
  • Mars: Maker of Snickers, M&M’s, Milky Way and Three Muskateers. Not above petty marketing to increase their bottom line. As evidence: Retired the Mars bar, and then soon afterwards, introduced the Almond Snickers bar, which bears a striking resemblence to, you guessed it, the Mars bar.
  • Nestle: Used to make the Nestle Crunch bar, but later bought out the maker of Butterfingers, Baby Ruth and others.

These three make up the bulk of candy sellers found on the shelfs of most supermarkets, Wal-Marts and convenience stores. Is it because they are of better quality? Well, you’d have a hard time convincing me that a butterfinger is better than a Clark Bar (not made by one of the top three by the way), so it’s not likely that. In reality, it’s most likely because the big three can afford slotting fees charged by the supermarkets, Wal-Marts and convenience stores.

What’s a slotting fee? It’s a fee that the supermarkets, Wal-Marts and convenience stores charge companies in order to stock their shelves. The more money a compnay spends, the more pull they have over where they are placed on the shelves (eye level, or more specifically childs eye level being the most coveted) or even which competitors can be put on the shelves next to their product (“I’ve spent $45,000 on your slotting fees, so you can damn well remove the local chocolate bar below me who paid little or no fee at all”).

It was very disheartening to learn this activity was going on, and I found myself torn. The free market capitalist i me hates this arrangement as it pushes out the little guy and prevents innovation and choices based on quality. But then again, I just discovered teh joys of a double chocolate Almond Joy and have aquired a taste for Violet Crumbles. I am quite torn.

I’ll probably end up shopping at locations that allow room for the little company on their candy shelves. Bartell Drug Stores here in the PacNW do a good job in their candy selections. And if I find myself buying something from teh big three, I’ll make it a point to buy soemthing from the smaller companies as well. It’s nto a perfect solution, but it’s a good start.

Plus, it means that I’ll get to eat more candy. And there’s nothing wrong with that.