Tis the season for divisive change in the miniature chocolate sharing tub space.
Hot on the heels of news that Quality Street is ditching its plastic wrappers in favour of more environmentally sustainable paper-based alternatives (a welcome move in the face of increasing ecological damage), Mars Wrigley has announced it is removing Bounty bars from its Celebrations chocolate after 39% of consumers said the coconut-flavoured snacks should be phased out permanently.
If you’re a fan of the divisive desiccated delicacy, the news of Bounty’s removal may already have you anxious to face a coconut-less Christmas. But fear not, Mars Wrigley have said they are only removing Bounty bars as part of a pre-Christmas trial.
The bars will still be available in tubs as standard in the run up to the holidays, but customers at certain Tesco Christmas Market locations will be able to exchange tubs purchased that day for a new "No Bounty" version until 18 December.
The trial will take place across 40 Tesco Christmas Market locations, commencing on Tuesday 8 November at Baguley Extra in Manchester, and ending on Sunday 18 December at Gallions Reach Extra in London.
The move follows last year’s “Bounty Return Scheme”, in which Bounty-haters could return their undesired chocolates and exchange them for Maltesers after the holiday period.
Celebrations senior brand manager Emily Owen said: “Last year, we gave customers the opportunity to return their unwanted Bounty chocolates. Now, off the back of public demand, we’re trialling taking them out of the tub altogether.
“You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. And to those loyal – and secret – Bounty lovers out there, there’s still a chance they’ll make a return after the trial.”
What will replace Bounty bars?
As the move is only being trialled, there’s no word on what chocolate alternative could replace Bounty bars if they were to be removed for good in the future.
For now, to compensate for the missing Bounty bars, limited edition tubs will include more Mars, Snickers, Milky Way, Galaxy, and Maltesers sweets.
Do people actually like Bounty bars?
According to Mars Wrigley’s own research of 2,000 Britons aged 18 to 65, 18% of people are irritated when they find only Bounty bars left in the tub, while 58% went further, saying they believed such a situation could cause a family fight.
While 39% wanted the bars removed permanently, 22% thought Bounty was the least appealing of the tub’s options, and 28% of respondents said coconut had no place in a chocolate bar at all.
However, Mars Wrigley stated that it was not yet ready to make a definitive judgement on the matter, after 18% of respondents chose the Bounty as their favourite.
According to the polling, Bounty bars are popular with a more mature palate, with 38% of those over the age of 55 choosing it as their preferred bar.
If you are one of the people who prefer a Bounty, and are worried your festive season will be worse off for not having to pick coconut flakes out of your teeth for days, you could always make a controversial tub switch.
Quality Street has announced the return of a fan-favourite flavour that was discontinued in 2018.
The Honeycomb Crunch has been reinstated after being removed from tubs and selection boxes four years ago. The popular flavour comprises shards of honeycomb pieces encased in a milk chocolate shell, but it will only be available in certain stores.
Chocolate fans will be able to get their hands on it in 18 John Lewis pick ‘n’ mix stations nationwide, where shoppers can create their own Quality Street tins made up of flavours of their choice.