The Lewis Road/Whittakers chocolate milk excitement is all the news at the moment.
This brand is based upon two New Zealand icons - milk and Whittakers chocolate.
Yes, but there's some clever beat-up going on behind the scenes here.
The source of the milk is a large independent and organic dairy operation.
The source of the chocolate is obviously Whittakers a large and very successful provider.
The packaging is superb and has been heavily invested in. The 'creamery' wording is extremely evocative and sensuous. It flies in the face of the 'low fat', 'non fat' and 'fat reduced' messages that we are being bombarded with.
The viral advertising campaign that we are being seduced with - only available at small and specialised retailers (Farro Fresh eg), limited production, shortages, one delivery being made by an 81 year old man, queues, security firms needing to be present to prevent riots etc. - all smack of a clever campaign.
This takes me back to 1977 when Baileys Irish Cream was introduced to New Zealand.
At this time there was great excitement at the brand because it was groundbreaking. The product was of no known category being a liqueur that was self-mixed being spirit, additives and a mixer (milk and cream) all in the bottle. We were drawn in. I remember when we tried it at the wholesalers - in the afternoon - we opened the first bottle and each had a sip and then we openedtwo more bottles and all had a drink. I bought two bottles that day which was about a third of my weeks wages.
The whole country went mad. The product was sold out so it never had to be discounted.
People then thought about why it was so expensive. Milk, cream, Irish whiskey, coconut and chocolate - how hard would it be. All over the country (including my Mum) people started brewing up this concoction.
Before there were any serious 'P-lab' type explosions though the commercial business took over and many 'Baileys-type' altenatives came out.
On TV3 tonight there was a story on this with a reporter concocting a Lewis Creamery and Whittakers type product.
The 'original' he said cost abour $9 a litre. His copy cost about $2 a litre.
The taste test was in favour of the original by about 5 to 1.
Why else would people queue up for Play Stations, iPhone, iPads etc.