joy magnetism: Gimme a break! Gimme a break!

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Gimme a break! Gimme a break!

Magnet #319 - Kit Kat

The whole time I was in London, I noticed a plethora of Kit Kats wherever I went. But, I hadn't a clue that it is the number one selling candy bar and cookie in the UK? Seriously.

Who knew? Now I'm sad I didn't bother to pick one up while I was there. Stupid me packed a bag of Snickers for my trip.

Kit Kats are fascinating! Bear with me.

Apparently, it was originally produced by Rowntrees in York, who then were bought by Nestle. But Hershey's already had a licensing agreement to sell it here in the States. So everywhere else in the world, Kit Kats are from Nestle, except for here. Kind of how Cadbury is also made by Hershey's here. Chocolate production is complicated, man.

I'm directing you to the (most likely corporate-run) Wiki from here, but only because it's seriously an interesting set of facts of what Kit Kats are like and/or mean around the world.

They were originally developed in the mid-30s because some Rowntree employee dropped a suggestion in a suggestion box about how guys needed to have some sort of manly man chocolate treat for their lunchboxes. (Yes, I'm paraphrasing Wiki, but my manly man chocolate treat version is SO much better, no?)

They shortened the name after World War II, which means my vintage packaging magnet that I got at the superneat Museum of Brands in London is pre-WWII. Neat. It's really funny how my knowledge of chocolate in the World Wars is all of Hershey, and how it was sent along to our boys, brought round the world, smuggled into certain places and traded here and there. I never stopped to consider that there was any other option during WWII (or any other war, for that matter), but good ole Hershey's.

Anyway. Museum of Brands. If you've a spare hour or two, definitely pop in. It's a bit out of the way. So out of the way, you can't find it. I love me a good mews, but the museum is at Colville Mews (not Colville Terrace, not Colville Square or Colville Lane, or Colville Place - POOR signage. Seriously.), just off of Portobello Road.

Once you find your way there, you get to wander around a chronological fantasia of packaging through the decades. Which I loved. Except that it was way too dense. (The picture on their home page? Think that...but in glass-enclosed cases floor to ceiling and just as wide. Chock full of stuff to look at. And then think from the 1800s, decade by decade through to the present.) It's practically a visual assault. Superpretty, but ultimately dizzying.

My fave thing was (of course) the accordion cards they had for the Great Exhibition of 1851. But, then at the end of all the decades, the corporate sponsored section (Cadbury, Unilever, Kellogg, and a couple of ad agencies) has certain products where they show it from the very first packaging back in the 1800s, etc. all the way through to the current packaging. It's quite neat. And, if I hadn't wasted so much time looking for it, I probably would have spent at least another hour there.

Finally (yes, this post got away from me, I know - sorry), the reason why I even picked Kit Kats this week. It's because Toxel did a special post on creative bench advertising last month. That's right, park benches. Check it out. But, here's the Kit Kat bench. Fun stuff!

Anyway, gonna go now, to break me off a piece of that Kit Kat Bar!

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Anonymous said...

I brought back a bunch of the orange flavored Kit Kats, along with a suitcase full of Aero bars and Milky Whites and they were a big hit with the office. Kit Kats rock.

joy said...

Nice! I really do love that you had a whole suitcase stocked with Brit goodies and snacks.

G said...

That song now running through my head would be less annoying if I knew more words than just "Gimme a break! Gimme a break! Break me off a piece of that kit-kat bar!"

Over and over and over.

joy said...

Heh. Welcome to my last 24 hours. Hahaha. But, ask, and ye shall receive:

Gimme a break, gimme a break
Break me off of that piece of Kit Kat Bar
Chocolately taste is gonna make my day
Everywhere we go we hear the people say
Gimme a break, Gimme a break,
Break me off of that piece of, gotta have a piece of, break me off of that piece of

Anonymous said...

Kit Kats are my favorite candy bar!
Thanks for the info.

joy said...

You're very welcome, Ida! I've been eating US Kit Kats here at work nonstop for the last two days. No, I probably didn't need to confess. :-)

Thanks for posting!