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