Violet Crumble’s new makeover as Polly Waffle suffers setback
Exclusive: Australia's iconic chocolate bar, Violet Crumble, has undergone a makeover with a new caramel flavour.
The new creamy caramel flavoured white chocolate version was in planning before COVID-19 hit, but not even a pandemic could delay its release.
Robern Menz CEO Phil Sims told News Corp the new flavour came after their internal research revealed more than a quarter of Australians (28 per cent) said caramelised white chocolate was an iconic flavour combination.
"Caramel had been on our radar for a while and there was lots of taste testing to get the flavour combination right," he said.
The new flavour, which only comes in share bags featuring bite-sized chunks at Woolworths, may be developed into other products depending on how sales perform.
"Our 24/7 production at our factory in Adelaide is still continuing … we were very busy before COVID-19 but the pandemic took things to the next level," he said.
"We have 110 staff members and brought on a dozen more staff to help since March ... we are aspiring for long term success of this flavour and we are hopeful it stays in Australia."
Mr Sims said he felt the success of the Violet Crumble brand was down to its "nostalgic" feel with consumers.
"We have a nostalgic heritage brand people have grown up with and they have a lot of positive memories with us.
"In tough times, they do tend to gravitate back to that."
Robern Menz brought the Violet Crumble brand back to Australian production and ownership in 2018.
Since then, the company has turned it into a gluten free product and released the Violet Crumble Dark bar and the Violet Crumble Dark bag.
It has also been released as nuggets, an Easter egg and a Gaytime ice cream.
While Violet Crumble continues its expansion, Mr Sims confirmed COVID-19 had put the brakes on the rollout of the popular Polly Waffle until late 2021, or even 2022.
He said the company's production of the chocolate bar was still delayed due flight restrictions which have prevented the delivery of vital machinery.
"The production line has over 80 pieces of equipment, it's a very complex design and when we decided to bring back the Polly Waffle all the original parts had been disposed of so we have had to start from scratch," he said.
"The majority of the machinery is from Australia and some parts are coming from overseas.
"We want to do it in a highly efficient way and be able to produce enough to satisfy customer demand."
The Federal Government gave Robert Menz a $1 million grant towards a $5 million factory refit to make the Polly Waffle.
He also confirmed they would be looking at a number of options to help expand the Polly Waffle from being more than just a single chocolate bar.
"The bar is what everyone knows, but we are looking at all options.
"Like the Violet Crumble, we are looking at doing some gifting options, share bags and other seasonal products."
Originally published as Violet Crumble's new makeover as Polly Waffle suffers setback