Choco’Lite – with crispy chips, not just bubbles.

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.

Industry news clipping for Choco'lite - December 1971

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.]

Choco'lite in-store signage - 1971-1972

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.

Choco'Lite wrapper - early 1970's

UK Aero bar wrappers - 1950's and modern era

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 wrapper - late 70's to early 80's

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.

Nestle trade ad from 1977

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.

Hershey's Air Delight wrapper - 2011

If the Air Delight proves successful, perhaps Nestle will dust off the Choco’Lite and bring it back for a nostalgic release…

 

 

About Jason Liebig

A New York City based writer, editor and sometimes actor. After spending much of the 1990′s in the comic book business helping tell the stories of Marvel Comics’ X-Men as series editor, he has since split his time between developing his own entertainment properties while still consulting and working on others. Having been described as “the Indiana Jones of lost and forgotten candy”, Jason is one of the country’s premier candy collectors and historians with his discoveries appearing in countless blogs, magazines, newspaper articles, and books. Always happy to share his knowledge and unique perspectives on this colorful part of our popular culture, Jason has consulted with New York’s Museum of Food and Drink and has also been a featured guest on Food Network’s Heavyweights, France’s M6 Capital, and New York’s TheActionRoom.com. My Google Profile+
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24 Responses to Choco’Lite – with crispy chips, not just bubbles.

  1. Dennis says:

    The Aero Bar is NOTHING like the Choco’ Lite. I just happened to have my first Aero Bar last week. As soon as I tried it I realized something was not right. It had to be the “crisps”. It was nothing like a Krackle or a Nestle Crunch, perhaps it was due to the air bubbles to go along with those crisps.

    The last time I remember buying a Choco’ Lite was in the mid 80’s. Roughly 1985; give or take a year. Walking out of the store (Super X Drugstore), I saw the Choco’Lite which by that time seemed harder to find. I stopped and bought a few. It was the last ones I ever saw.

    By far the best tasting candy bar ever…..but then again I was a kid, and everything as far as sweets go tasted better.

  2. veg-o-matic says:

    Totally agree with Dennis: the Aero bar is NOTHING like Choco’Lite. Where the Choco’Lite was firm and crispy, the Aero bar is like eating a chocolate sponge. There’s something unsettling about the texture.
    Choco’Lite is one of only two candy bars I truly miss, the other one being Milkshake.

    • Bob says:

      The Choco lite was strictly aerated chocolate. It had no other ingredients to make it “crispy”

      • raindog469 says:

        All you have to do is compare the wrappers pictured above to see that Choco-lite had sugar, honey and corn syrup, listed separate from the milk chocolate ingredients (which also include sugar), while Aero and Hershey’s Air Delight are only milk chocolate. If you have a picture of a different Choco-lite wrapper whose ingredients include only milk chocolate, please post it.

        • Jason Liebig says:

          Thanks, Raindog!

          I believe Bob is thinking that crispy means “rice crisps” like a Nestle Crunch. That is clearly not the case here. But clearly there were crispy chips of some sort, and as you point out, they were likely bits of sugar/honey/corn syrup or the inclusion of those ingredients coated the air bubbles, giving them a chip-like quality.

  3. Pingback: Choco’lite Candy Bars | The Retroist

  4. Peach K. says:

    Thanks for confirming the crispiness! For years, I’ve tried to figure out why I was so disappointed by the Aero bar, and then Air Delight. They were missing this. Choco-Lite is my most missed candy bar, even more than Marathon because Curly Wurly kind of fills the void.

  5. Pingback: The Brief American Release of Nestle’s Aero Bar – Revealed! | CollectingCandy.com

  6. Jan D. says:

    I’ve been going crazy trying to remember the name of that whipped, crispy candy bar I loved so much as a kid.. It was the Choco Lite. Thank you for refreshing my memory. I was excited when the Air Delight came out, but was disappointed when it didn’t have that bit of crunch. I so miss the Choco Lite.

  7. LP says:

    I just saw the Hershey’s Air Delights commercial and it reminded me of the candy bar that I ate as a kid. I couldn’t remember the name either. I bought one, was very disappointed and came home to look for the name of the original. What a poor knockoff. Thanks for having this discussion about the Choco Lite. I loved this bar. It was my favorite too! Maybe we should all contact Nestle to bring it back.

  8. Cindy says:

    When the Air Delights came out, I got one. I had remembered eating something with air bubbles when I was a kid but, like everyone else, I forgot the name. I was disappointed by the product. It wasn’t as tasty like the candy I had fondly remembered. I thought it was an Aerobar that I ate as a child, but the design was wrong. Then I saw the picture of Chocolite and had my “Aha!” moment. This was quickly followed by sadness to see that this bar no longer exists. Too sad, as it was one of the best chocolate bars out there! I haven’t actually tried an Aerobar, so I can’t comment on it’s taste or texture. But I’m sure I’ll agree with the others about the lack of crispy bits. Farewell Chocolite, you are sorely missed.

  9. Daryl says:

    I came across your site after finding an old Aero bar wrapper as I was tearing out lockers in a school here in Winnipeg (Manitoba, Canada). These lockers were installed at least in the 1960’s. The wrapper still show it being made by Rowntree (before Nestle) and have a price label of 10¢. I’ve attached a couple of images of the wrapper. It’s in pretty decent shape, considering the amount of filth behind the lockers.
    Front Picture
    Back Picture

  10. raindog469 says:

    Found this site when I picked up another Aero bar on vacation and was reminded that it’s just a bit lacking. My theory is that the non-chocolate ingredients (mostly sugar, corn syrup and honey) were forced through the chocolate along with the air, and when the chocolate solidified the “chips” were formed on the inner surface of the bubbles. I’ve had a “honey crisp” bar from the UK that was crispy without the rice, and when I saw the ingredients on the labels here it all made sense.

    But without some kind of industrial chocolate-making equipment, I suppose we’ll never know.

  11. Aruna says:

    Hey. :) I remembered Choco’lite, too. All these new bubbly candy bars knock offs reminded me of it. I Googled Choco’lite, saw your blog and then linked it on Nestle Crunch’s Facebook. I hope you don’t mind. ;)

    • jasonliebig says:

      Aruna,

      Glad you found the site, and that your recollections of Choco’lite are still strong. I noticed that you’re in Naperville. Big bubble-gum town – the former home of Amurol – the birthplace of many great pieces of confectionery. Also where the original Big League Chew was produced. Woo-hoo! -Jason

  12. Aruna says:

    I didn’t know all that history. :) The only confection I’m really into are the milky, buttery kind…like chocolate, caramel, toffee, etc.

    There is a chocolate bar at Naperville Riverwalk called Le Chocolat Du Bouchard. Have you tried it? I haven’t yet.

  13. Lisa Dell'Angelo says:

    Are you ever going to bring back the choco’Lite bar back?

  14. Aruna says:

    I asked Nestle on Facebook, and they said no.

  15. s says:

    I’m in my mid 40’s and used to love Choco Lite bars. The closest thing I have found to them is a candy bar from Norway ( I work for Disney World and bought one at the World Showcase pavillion in Epcot but you can buy them online too) called Stratos bars. I don’t care for the Aerobars or Hershey’s version either but the Stratos bar really took me back.

    http://www.scanspecialties.com/search.php

    • Katherine says:

      All, trippied across this website as I was trying to discover a US candy bar similar to Stratos. Aero is similar but sweeter, bit too gooey when melting. Stratos is bubbly like Aero but has more “crispness”. Bite in and chew and it’s mainly like choclate chips / flakes. Leave it on your tongue and it melts like an aero.
      S, thanks for the link! Norwegian chocolate (Freia and Nidar) is the best chocolate in the world! More milk and coacoa, less sugar and fat. Melkesjokolade (milk chocolate) is apparently one of the most bought items in the Duty Free. Can’t believe the US doesn’t have a Stratos or Daim equivalent (I seem to remember US having Dime bars when I was a kid). Highly recommend Lohengrin, Mandelstang and Troika for a good and new chocolate experience.

  16. Kelly says:

    I’ve been on a hunt for something like Chocolite. It was my favorite candy bar. When my husband and I went to Disney a couple of years ago we must have spent quite a few dollars looking for a candy bar that might be close to my favorite bar while in Epcot. I had heard that there was a bar in Europe that was just like it. Unfortunately we could not find one although the chocolate was great I was disappointed not to find anything close to the delightful crunch and air that I remember.

  17. Carol says:

    I, too, have wondered whatever happened to Choco-lite. They were my favorite candy bar, hands down. Aerobars and Hersey’s Air Delights don’t have the nice little crispy factor made the Choco-lite so unique. I just stumbled on a candy bar, today, that for me, is the closest thing to Choco-lites that I’ve come across. Hammond’s “Malted Milkshake” Candy Bar (www.hammondscandys.com). I found it in Cracker Barrel and thought I’d try it, not thinking it would be like Choco-lite, it’s not aerated but the flavor of the chocolate and the little bit of crispiness from the malted milk really took me back. I just closed my eyes and savored the flavor and texture and could swear I was eating my beloved Choco-lite! Go try it and see what you think!

  18. Nancy Webb says:

    I thried the aero bar and it was not like the chocolite at all!! For years I have been searching for chocolite and am wondering where can I find it? You at this site have revealed to me the who made it Nestles so I will contact them but can you tell me where I can find the chocolite bar I live in lancaster PA

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