/ Doug's Chocolate Republic /
Review: Whittaker's Kiwi Fruit
Whittaker's Kiwi Fruit
Posted: 10 July 2014
Whittaker's has always been very generous with their fillings. The Kiwi Fruit is no exception. There is ample dried kiwi along with pureed apple, and the fruits balance very well with Whittaker's top notch 33% milk.
With this bar, Whittaker's comes up with something which firmly pins it to New Zealand, but also sets it apart from the competition.
Whittaker's doesn't need to win some meaningless trust distinction from Reader's Digest. Whittaker's should be trusted and sampled because they make superb chocolates for extremely reasonable prices.
price/gram: USD 0.02
Cocoa %: 33
It should be taken as a
foregone conclusion that a bean-to-bar chocolate
manufacturer based in New Zealand would have to offer a
chocolate product with the country's national fruit, the
kiwi, included. I am sure there's a law on the
books somewhere requiring it!
To me, Whittaker's is the
story of an underdog, but it's not your usual underdog
story. An underdog, by definition, is the long shot
who has little chance of winning the competition.
Imagine a few horses in a horse race. The oldest, most
ragged horse, walking with a limp, is the underdog.
Whittaker's may be old --
it's been around since 1896 -- but it's not ragged or
walking with a limp. Whittaker's is the second biggest
chocolate brand in New Zealand, right behind Cadbury.
In 2012 and 2013, it was considered one of New Zealand's most trusted brand in a Reader's Digest survey.
Because Cadbury's is not an
indigenous New Zealand company, but a multinational
operation, one could almost say Whittaker's isn't an
underdog in New Zealand. It's Top Dog.
do I come up with the underdog angle?
Whittaker's sets itself up to
be the underdog. I have seen commercials where Whittaker's
compares itself to Cadbury's. The commercials
are cut and dried. They'll show how much better value
Whittaker's is than an Australian Cadbury's and assume that
because it costs the same to buy each, the consumer will
always go for the bar offering more chocolate for the money.
$200 might get you an 80 square
meter suite at the one-star Flip Flop Hotel.
That same money might only score you a 25 square meter room
at the five-star Hilton or Hyatt. So do consumers
always flock to places like the Flip Flop because they
apparently offer better value (if value is measured in room
size) than the luxury hotels? You already know it
doesn't. Some consumers want to pay more for less if
it will buy them into a brand perceived to be exclusive,
I already know Cadbury carves
up Whittaker's like a Thanksgiving turkey within the
Australian market. But to hear Whittaker's is the
second best selling chocolate in its native New Zealand,
when, at the same time, it's supposedly one of New Zealand's most
trusted brands? If the brand is so trusted, and such
better value, why isn't it the number one selling chocolate in
its native land? The choco pieces here don't fit together so
neatly, do they?
Don't get me wrong.
Whittaker's is great chocolate. I have a lot of
experience with it. Only a few of the many Whittaker's
varieties I've tried have been losers. Their 33% milk
chocolate blend, the same which was used in this Kiwi Fruit
bar, is superb. And it is better value -- and quality
-- than Cadbury's. You'll get more chocolate, better
chocolate, and larger quantities of fillings with a
So, I posit, why ever compare yourself
to Cadbury's? Whittaker's bars, in the Chocolate
Republic's opinion, are better than many a Swiss brand
I've tried. Whittaker's cheapens the perception of its
quality by looking at mainstream Australian Cadbury's as its
key competition in its two main markets. Outside those markets, Whittaker's is but a
speck on the wall. In Bangkok, there was a very brief
period of time where small Whittaker's bars were available
on the very bottom shelf of the chocolate aisle of a gourmet
hidden from view. Crappy Romanian
Heidi's enjoys more
premium shelf space! Today, Heidi remains, and
Whittaker has been deported. In Malaysia back in 2010, I
spotted a few bars in a chocolate shop. As far as I
could tell, Whittaker's never got its due. Every other
brand, most inferior, was kicking its ass.
It was quite the surprise
when I was leaving Korea a couple of weeks ago that I
spotted three Whittaker's blocks on the shelves of a local
e-Mart store. Koreans now appreciated fine chocolate?
Since when did that ever happen in the land of
It's quite the coup to get placed in e-Mart, the largest
retailer in Korea of 140 scores scattered about
the country. I sincerely wish Whittaker's well, but
based on past performance, it seems like Whittaker's has
the charm to get its face shown, but thereafter not get any respect.
Consumers shun the fresh faced bars and they eventually get yanked.
At close to $10 for a 250 gram block, Whittaker's is twice
the cost it would be in its native markets -- without the
cachet value abroad with it.
Enough back story. Of
the three Whittaker's bars I spotted on e-Mart's shelves,
the Kiwi Fruit was the one I'd never tried. Aussie
Dave, my chocolate benefactor Down Under, had trouble
sourcing this bar in Sydney. My wife
put up no argument to us tossing one of the bars into the
grocery cart, and we packed it up, along with $300 of other
Korean groceries, to bring back to Thailand.
has always been very generous with their fillings. The
Kiwi Fruit is no exception. There is ample dried kiwi
along with pureed apple, and the fruits balance very well
with Whittaker's top notch 33% milk. Whittaker's isn't
always successful with dried fruits. Their
Rum & Raisin is
Dark Orange is slightly better than horrendous.
Whittaker's finally stops
putting itself in battles it can't win. With this bar,
Whittaker's comes up with something which firmly pins it to
New Zealand, but also sets it apart from the competition.
There aren't many competitors offering kiwi in a chocolate
bar. I tried searching for kiwi chocolates on
the internet and didn't come up with much. That 'not
much' consisted of Whittaker's.
Whittaker's doesn't need to
win some meaningless trust distinction from Reader's Digest.
Cadbury's made the final's list as well, in case you care.
Being a familiar brand New Zealand consumers trust
doesn't mean s--t! Colgate made the list for Christ's
sakes! Common additions to mainstream toothpastes include sodium lauryl sulfate, propylene glycol (an
ingredient in anti-freeze, which also makes it way into Corona beer), and diethanolamine. Consumers
can trust a brand, but it doesn't mean the brand is worth trusting.
Whittaker's should be trusted
and sampled because they make superb chocolates for
extremely reasonable prices. And the Chocolate
Republic should be at the top of your own list of trusted
brands. Do yourself a favor. Combine your trust
of the Chocolate Republic with a Whittaker's Kiwi Fruit bar.