Swiss Chocolate junk mail

Normally, all the junk mail we get goes straight to the trash. Not these things we got in our mailbox yesterday though.

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These are two full-size bars of Cailler (Nestlé) milk chocolate. No messing about with tiny sample sizes here.

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Last year, Nestlé messed up things royally by changing the packaging of their Cailler chocolate bars. The re-purposed packaging was bulky, made of plastic, and design wise didn't do much for most people either, despite the fact that it was designed (with much fanfare) by a French architect who was a buddy of then-CEO Nelly Wenger.

In Switzerland, trash disposal is a big issue. For one thing, people have to pay for official trash bags (which are tiny by U.S. standards) to put their garbage out in, otherwise it's not collected. Plus, even in the big cities like Zürich trash is only collected at the most twice per week - in most places it's just once a week. Rules and regulations for disposing of different kinds of trash are quite complicated too. That means that everyone tries to squeeze and compact their trash down as much as possible, and also tries not to produce much. In light of that, putting a simple chocolate bar in a bulky clear plastic casing instead very compactable paper just rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.

The result of the repacking was a disaster. They lost a huge percentage of the domestic Swiss chocolate market to rivals like Lindt and Frey. Then, they had to backtrack on everything and re-re-design their packaging. Nelly Wenger has since retired, ostensibly for health reasons (she had cancer), but people still speculate that the packaging fiasco pushed her towards the exit door.

But anyway, I guess now they are trying to woo back the consumers. I'm all for free chocolate, so woo me away. The soft-sell worded letter accompanying the chocolate wanted to just let us know that the 'recipe for this Cailler Milk Chocolate has not changed since 1904'. Good to know. And the new packaging is nicely understated, and more importantly, made of plain, scrunchable paper.

I have to say though the Cailler Milchschokolade is a bit too heavy on the vanilla for me. There are so many varieties of just plain milk chocolate bars in Switzerland that one is just spoiled for choice.

(I think we were only supposed to get one bar, but somehow ended up with two. Hooray for postal mistakes!)

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