Grandpa Webb's blog

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Whatever happened to dessert nougat?

Find out more about Grandpa WebbWe are looking for a small gift for two elderly friends. We know they like Callard and Bowser’s dessert nougat, but cannot find it on the confectionery shelves of any of the local supermarkets.

I consult the internet. It seems that Callard and Bowser went to Chicago some years ago where it was firstly part of Kraft Foods, then Wrigley’s the chewing gum maker. Wrigley’s chose to promote a C & B favourite, Altoids strong mints, but much of the rest of C & B’s brands, including dessert nougat, are no longer made. Why? I and lots of complainers online would like to know.

Salt in chocolate? Not for meC&B’s dessert nougat came in individual pieces in a cardboard tray, each double wrapped in silver paper over rice paper (you ate the rice paper with the nougat inside), and was much loved by my late mother-law and people of similar vintage. Recent subjective research by myself indicates that the modern equivalents don’t taste anything like as good.

Was it dropped because the Americans were worried it would damage the chewing gear of its mainly elderly followers? Or perhaps they thought the oldie market could not generate sufficient sales?

Mint thins: nice, but not the sameEach year, as I move further into the oldie zone, I can testify that, thanks to improvements in medical science, there are increasing numbers of us. There are certainly enough of us to make politicians very careful about what they do with state pensions.

We like things our parents, grandparents or mother-in-laws gave us. We are big on nostalgia. If you take away all the old stuff, what’s left? Well, here’s one example I saw in the local store: Sea Salt Caramel Truffles. Milk chocolate truffles with a caramel and sea salt centre lightly dusted in icing sugar, it says on the box. What’s that all about? Salt in chocolates?

And what about the younger generation? Why deny my grandchildren the opportunity one day of saying: "My grandpa used to give me these," as they wave a double-wrapped piece of dessert nougat at their children. With that sort of perpetual promotion, they must be passing up millions of sales.

In the absence of C & B's dessert nougat, I have had to resort to something else. I've settled on Mint Thins. A safe choice, I think, for people of advanced years, but nowhere near so interesting as a good mouth-watering chew on a small brick of C & B's dessert nougat.

Got a question for Grandpa Webb? Send him an email.

Go back