After years of endless promises, the beloved Polly Waffle is finally making its big comeback – but not as you may have hoped.
The chocolate bar, which featured wafer, marshmallow and chocolate, hasn’t been in production since it was discontinued by Nestlé 2009.
But in 2019, South Australian confectioner Robern Menz shared plans of its return after signing a deal to buy the brand for an undisclosed sum.
Plans were thwarted due to Covid, as the pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns meant Menz was hit with delays – including a delay to a $1 million cash injection from the federal government’s $50 million Manufacturing Modernisation Fund, designed to support small to medium manufacturing businesses.
A date has finally been set for the long-awaited return of Aussie favourite, but with it came news of a major change to the chocolate bar, and many aren’t happy.
Menz announced it is launching a new bite-sized variety – Polly Waffle Bites – in April in a bid to get the product on shelves while overcoming “manufacturing complexities”.
“Polly Waffle had not been produced in more than 10 years when we acquired it, so we essentially had to start from scratch to find out how we could produce it at our South Australian factory,” Phil Sims, the fourth-generation chief executive of family-owned Menz, told the Adelaide Advertiser.
This resulted in a range of issues, including “manufacturing complexities, expenses and additional time required”, Mr Sims explained, adding the Bites version would be a permanent replacement for the original bar.
“What we couldn’t anticipate was the number of variables out of our control, from Covid border closures restricting access to equipment, and updated retailer expectations,” he said.
“To recreate the traditional bar would require even more time and funding, without the guarantee that it would have the same quality that consumers remember.
“It was so important to us that we didn’t put a sub-par product in the market, especially one as much loved as Polly Waffle.
“Creating a Polly Waffle Bite was the most responsible way to make bringing back the iconic brand a reality.”
After years of research, Mr Sims is confident Menz have “nailed” the “taste and texture” of the iconic Polly Waffle”.
“We hope it brings back the memories that people have around wafer, marshmallow and chocolate, and the iconic and nostalgic mix of flavours that it is,” he said.
News of the new Polly Waffle Bites however has delighted many, though some have declared the alternative product was “not what we were promised”.
“I’m worried they won’t taste the same but I will be happy to be proven wrong,” one concerned Aussie shared on Facebook.
“These will do me!!!! Can’t wait! Been hanging way too long!!!” another wrote.
As one declared: “Bring on April.”
“Yay finally, I’ve been waiting for this so long. Its my favourite,” someone else mused.
“OMG, my childhood favourite chocolate is back,” another added.