Aero (chocolate bar)
Nestlé produces Aero, an aerated chocolate bar. Aero bars were first introduced to the North of England in 1935 as the "new chocolate" by Rowntree's. By the end of that year, it had become so popular with customers that sales were expanded throughout the United Kingdom.
By 1936, sales of the chocolate had reached New York City, and it had since spread to Canada, Mexico, Australia, South Africa, and Japan. Nestlé has been producing Aero since 1988, following a takeover of Rowntree's. It is known for its unique "bubbly" texture that collapses as the bar melts, and it comes in various flavors and forms, including Aero Bubbles and Aero Biscuits.
Rowntree's in York, England, patented the manufacturing process in 1935. According to the patent, the chocolate is heated and then aerated to create tiny bubbles. It is poured into solid outer chocolate shell molds As the chocolate cools, the reduced air pressure expands the bubbles inside the bar's filling.
Rowntree's introduced Aero in the United Kingdom in 1935, followed by the Peppermint Aero in 1959. The brown wrapping (green in the mint version) featured the "Rowntree's" script logo and the significant word "AERO," as well as the slogan "Hold on tight, or I'll fly away!" beneath the "AERO" name. Rowntree's historians put the historic 1935 Aero packaging online in 2014 to help trigger nostalgic memories in people with dementia.
The vintage packaging from the Nestlé UK & Ireland Archive was later released as a "reminiscence pack" in response to the UK Alzheimer's Society's recommendation. It included a retro Aero label from the 1950s to transform modern products. The Queen's coronation was commemorated on the 1953 Aero packaging.
The heatwave in the United Kingdom in July 1983 caused the bubbles in Aero bars to collapse due to the chocolate melting.
A factory worker at Nestlé UK's York factory was injured by machinery that produced mint-flavored Aero bars in August 1993. He had leaned into the chocolate mixer to clean excess chocolate from the sides, but then he fell and became caught in the paddles, causing severe injuries. Nestlé was later fined for failing to ensure worker safety by disconnecting the Aero mixer's power.
Unilever sued Nestlé in 1997, claiming that Nestlé infringed on its patent for aerated chocolate ice cream products.
Three workers at the York factory were fired in 2004 for purposefully misprinting rude messages on the packaging of 20 pallets of Aero bars.
The old Nestlé York factory on Haxby Road was closed in 2008, and a new £15 million Aero factory next door with a capacity of 183 million chocolate bars per year was opened. Aero's packaging was updated the same year with a metalized laminate film to improve freshness. In 2015, the factory produced over one billion Kit Kats and 200 million Aero bars annually. Nestlé invested more than £1 million in new factory equipment to manufacture the new Aero Mousse bars in 2015.
York's Chocolate Story museum commemorated the 80th anniversary of the Aero bar's introduction in February 2015 with demonstrations and activities. Matthew Williamson, a fashion designer, collaborated with Nestlé in September 2015 to release a limited edition wrapper design for Aero Milk Chocolate and Aero Peppermint bars. Williamson's butterfly motif was featured on the packaging, which was soft pink and mint in colour with metallic highlights.
Aero-flavored McFlurry frozen desserts were available until 2015 and were reintroduced in the UK in May 2019. Aero Chocolate and Aero Mint Chocolate flavors, with chocolate pieces and sauce, are available.
Distribution by Aero Mint
The bar is sold as Aero in Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bulgaria (as LZ, though Aero is sold in some shops in Bulgaria), Canada, Colombia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hong Kong, Nicaragua, Ireland, Kuwait, Malta, Mauritius, Portugal, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, New Zealand, Japan, South Africa, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates, in addition to the United Kingdom, where it was invented.
The bar is known as Suflair in Brazil. It is known as Bros Aero (meaning "brittle") in the Netherlands. Nestlé launched Aero in the Brazilian market in 2014 through its subsidiary Garoto; Aero is known as Boci Aero in Hungary. Aero, Aero Mint, and, more recently, White Aero and Cappuccino Aero have a large market following in South Africa.
Nestlé made the Aero bar available in the United States briefly during the 1980s, but it does not appear to have been a commercial success. However, they are still available at certain specialty vendors or supermarkets that import the bars, such as Big Y, Wegmans, and Publix. Previously, from 1937 to 1939, The Hershey Company sold Aero bars in the United States under license from Rowntree Chocolate Company. Hershey's recently marketed a similar bar called Hershey's Air Delight, which was later discontinued.
Aero bars were manufactured in Australia from the early 1970s until 1996. The Aero bar was manufactured in the United Kingdom beginning in 1996. Nestlé resumed production of Aero bars in Australia in 2011, at their Campbellfield factory in Victoria, with a capacity of up to 1000 tonnes per year. The bars had a different formula for Australian tastes with a smoother, creamier taste. The older recipe would be used in the Aero bars sold in the United Kingdom.
Nestlé Canada announced in April 2001 that Aero and other bars manufactured at their Toronto plant would now be produced alongside bars containing nuts. Nestlé no longer guaranteed that the bars were free of nut proteins. Due to consumer outrage, the decision was reversed in May 2001, and the company retained its nut-free guarantee for Canadian bars.
Ukraine began producing Aero bars in 2004.
Aero is owned by the German chocolate company Trumpf in Germany. Trumpf Aero bars, unlike Nestlé Aero bars, are solid white or milk chocolate that has been foamed with carbon dioxide and has no filling; the inside also has a different texture.
In other areas
Derek Willis of Space-Quest ate an Aero bar in 1998 when the bubbles inspired him to create Aprop, a low-cost fuel.
An observational study published in the British Medical Journal in 2007 investigated using the texture of Aero and Crunchie bars to explain the bone structure to patients. They concluded that it was an overly simplistic method.
Carsten Stake, a Ford engineer, was inspired by the texture of Aero bars in 2011 to reduce the weight of plastic engine covers in their Focus vehicles. During the molding process, gas bubbles are injected into the MuCell plastic, creating a microscopic honeycomb-like structure that is 20% lighter and thus reduces fuel consumption.
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