Carlos V – Building a history for the King of Chocolate Bars.

I first became aware of Nestle’s Carlos V bar a year or two ago, when I saw the oddly-smallish bar at a Walgreens.  At the time I wondered if it was an import or a new Nestle product, but I soon learned that it had a much richer history in Mexico.

Here’s the modern wrapper that was my first encounter with this brand:

Nestle - Carlos V - chocolate candy bar wrapper - 2012

Though I’d run into a few earlier wrappers from the late 1990’s and earlier 2000’s, I’d never seen any truly vintage wrappers for this brand, until I discovered the examples in the L.M. Kallok Collection.

The background on this brand is not documented at all, at least not in English, and not that I could find.  While I can’t add much to the hard data on the history of the brand, I can put forth a number of these vintage wrappers, which can’t be found anywhere else online.  My hope is that these vintage wrapper images can serve as a foundation for piecing together the evolution of the brand.

These wrappers are undated, but based on my sense of them, I’m placing them in the order I think they belong.  Starting with this one:

Mexico - La Azteca - Carlos V - chocolate candy bar wrapper - 1970's - Aztec band graphic

La Azteca is the company name that is listed on all of the Carlos V wrappers, up until the time when Nestle bought them out.  And that wrapper certainly had the oldest style look to it.

Mexico - La Azteca - Carlos V - chocolate candy bar wrapper - 1970's

This next style would seem to have been marketed for English-language markets:

Mexico - English - La Azteca - Carlos V - chocolate candy bar wrapper - 1970's

Mexico - La Azteca - Carlos V - chocolate candy bar wrapper - 1970's

Changing it up on this next wrapper is a cellophane version, this time another all-Spanish language wrapper.  It’s safe to say that this wrapper falls into the 1980’s, maybe even into the 1990’s:

Mexico - La Azteca - Carlos V - cellophane chocolate candy bar wrapper - 1980's

The next of the La Azteca Carlos V wrappers I have sports a tie-in with the film Toy Story, which tells us La Azteca was still the brand’s sole owner as late as 1995:

Mexico - La Azteca - Carlos V - Toy Story - chocolate candy bar wrapper - mid-1990's

The next Carlos V wrapper, and final one including the La Azteca name, is an interesting example, as it also shows Quaker as a parent company or distribution partner.

Quaker - La Azteca - Carlos V - chocolate candy bar wrapper - Late 1990's

Last but not least is the earliest Nestle-branded Carlos V wrapper I have.  It features a design nearly identical to the latest La Azteca version I have:

Mexico - Nestle - Carlos V candy wrapper with Disney Soccer Tattoo - late 1990's or early 2000's

So that rounds out the variety of Carlos V wrappers presented today.  If anyone out there knows specifics on the pre-1990 history of the Mexican “King of Chocolate Bars”, please share.

I’ll close with a visual timeline-of-sorts.  No dates, but a nice way to showcase the major styles of wrappers show here, collected into one visual:

CollectingCandy timeline for Carlos V

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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4 Responses to Carlos V – Building a history for the King of Chocolate Bars.

  1. L M Kallok says:

    Jason, the first wrapper was direct from Mexico in 1978. The remainder of the bars were purchased here in the L.A. area. The cello wrapper that says “cajetoso” contained a caramel center bar (“cajetoso”refers to the traditional goat milk caramel that originaly came in small boxes or “cajetas”) . I will see if I can dig up any history on La Azteca.
    LMK

  2. Excellent graphic investigation on what was once La Azteca’s best seller, which introduced in the 80s a new line of Carlos V variants which where aimed specifically at teenagers. These included: Carlos V Galletoso (chocolate covered cookie), Carlos V Cajetoso (caramel spread filled chocolate), and Carlos V cacahuatoso (peanut filled chocolate). They were a bit bigger than the regular Carlos V chocolate bar, and quite succesful since they had no Milky Way, Snickers or Kit Kat to compete with (foreign food brands were very seldom sold legally in mexican supermarkets during that era).

  3. Here’s a related TV ad:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VHsnrL8QM0

    Also, I rewrote my previous comment:

    Excellent graphic investigation on what was once La Azteca’s best seller! This brand (nowadays part of Nestle) introduced in the 80s a new line of Carlos V variants which where aimed specifically at teenagers. These included: Carlos V Galletoso (chocolate covered cookie), Carlos V Cajetoso (caramel spread filled chocolate), and Carlos V Cacahuatoso (peanut filled chocolate). They were a bit bigger than the regular Carlos V chocolate bar, and quite succesful since they had no Milky Way, Snickers or Kit Kat to compete with (foreign food products were very seldom sold legally in mexican supermarkets during that era).

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