When discussing discontinued chocolate bars or candy, especially ones that are fondly remembered or missed, the talk soon moves to the question: “Is there anything like this that I can still buy?”
Such is the case with Nestle’s Choco’Lite bar.
First marketed and sold in the United States by Nestle in late 1971, Choco’Lite soon became one of the best-selling brands in the country. [Note: That clipping mentions a similar aerated bar that Nestle test-marketed in the same time frame as the Choco'Lite - called the Choco' Puff. I have yet to find a wrapper for the test-marketed Choco' Puff, though it remains on the list of pieces I hunt for.]
Described as “Big, thick bites of light and creamy chocolate with crispy chips”, the Choco’Lite was a bar unlike any other on the market at the time. It was an aerated bar, but had a crispy crunch, similar to Nestle’s Crunch bar. A Nestle Crunch or Hershey Krackel achieves that crunch through the inclusion of puffed rice in the chocolate. But how the Choco’Lite achieved its crunch, or exactly what those “crispy chips” were, remains in dispute, among those who remember it.
Many people will point out that the modern Aero bar is “the same thing” as the Choco’ Lite. I suspect this perception is due to that fact that an Aero is also a thicker, aerated bar. But an Aero, while a lovely chocolate bar, lacks the feature that I loved most about the Choco’Lite – those crispy chips. The Aero is a light creamy experience, but the Choco’Lite had a texture and a crunch you do not find in the Aero.
Choco’Lite was a popular bar in the 1970’s and into the 1980’s, with its striking gold foil inner wrapper and wonderfully stylized main wrapper and groovy logo. Sadly, it’s not around anymore, and hasn’t been for quite some time.
I’ve not been able to determine exactly when, but at some point in the 80’s, Nestle discontinued the Choco’Lite, leaving its fans to wonder where they might recapture that confectionery experience.
So is there anything quite like the Choco’Lite?
I don’t think there is another bar exactly like it currently on the market. But if the search for the Choco’Lite experience leads someone to the Aero, that’s a pretty tasty place to end up.
[Note: Currently distributed in Canada and the UK - Nestle's Aero is regularly offered as a mint version and occasionally other wonderful flavors, too. I've collected a number of Aero wrappers over the years, and I will cover those in a separate article, down the road.]
An epilogue to this tale:
In 2011, Hershey introduced the Air Delight – the first aerated bar produced for sale in the United States in a generation.
If the Air Delight proves successful, perhaps Nestle will dust off the Choco’Lite and bring it back for a nostalgic release…