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Bertie Beetle chocolate: History of famous sweet treat explained

The creators of the iconic Bertie Beetle chocolate have finally revealed the hidden secrets behind Australia’s favourite sweet treat. 

The chance to snatch up a showbag with the famous chocolate and honeycomb treat at Sydney’s Royal Easter for only two dollars is considered a right of passage for adults and children alike. 

First launched in 1963 and sold nationwide in milk bars and corner shops in the 1970’s – the beloved chocolate beetle is now exclusively sold at exhibitions and agricultural shows nationwide. 

First launched in 1963 and sold nationwide the beloved Bertie Beetle is now exclusively sold at agricultural shows and 50 'retro' confectionary stores nationwide

First launched in 1963 and sold nationwide the beloved Bertie Beetle is now exclusively sold at agricultural shows and 50 'retro' confectionary stores nationwide

First launched in 1963 and sold nationwide the beloved Bertie Beetle is now exclusively sold at agricultural shows and 50 ‘retro’ confectionary stores nationwide 

The famous honey comb beetle is 'more successful in a showbag' (pictured) than it was sold in stores

The famous honey comb beetle is 'more successful in a showbag' (pictured) than it was sold in stores

The famous honey comb beetle is ‘more successful in a showbag’ (pictured) than it was sold in stores 

Nestle Oceania head of corporate affairs Margaret Stuart said the famous choccy beetle is ‘much more successful in a showbag than it ever was in store’.  

‘Bertie has always been such a standout showbag. When people buy Bertie they’re not just buying the chocolate honeycomb, it’s also a really iconic part of going to an agricultural show,’ she told news.com.au.  

There are only about 50 independent ‘retro’ confectionary stores that sell the honeycomb beetle, according to Chicane Marketing.    

Bertie's iconic branding - a white beetle dressed in a green leotard branded with a yellow 'B' and glasses - has also had a shake up in packaging and chocolate shape (pictured)

Bertie's iconic branding - a white beetle dressed in a green leotard branded with a yellow 'B' and glasses - has also had a shake up in packaging and chocolate shape (pictured)

Bertie’s iconic branding – a white beetle dressed in a green leotard branded with a yellow ‘B’ and glasses – has also had a shake up in packaging and chocolate shape (pictured) 

Chicane Marketing director Emily Williams said the famous chocolate performed incredibly well at shows due to generations of nostalgia.

‘It’s got such a long history and it’s synonymous with the royal shows,’ she said.

‘For people it’s memory. When they think royal show they think Bertie Beetle because that’s what they grew up with, and then they pass that on to their children and their children’s children.’

The honeycomb beetle has undergone many changes since the 1960’s when it was first made to rival Cadbury’s popular Freddo Frog. 

The original manufacturer Hoadley’s Chocolates used the trimmings from Violet Crumble to create the sweet treat before switching to freshly made honeycomb pieces in 2011. 

Bertie Beetle chocolate (pictured) previously used trimmings from Violet Crumble for the iconic honey comb crunch

Bertie Beetle chocolate (pictured) previously used trimmings from Violet Crumble for the iconic honey comb crunch

Bertie Beetle chocolate (pictured) previously used trimmings from Violet Crumble for the iconic honey comb crunch 

Bertie’s iconic branding  – a white beetle dressed in a green leotard branded with a yellow ‘B’ and glasses – has also had a shake up in packaging and chocolate shape. 

The treat was a ‘little beetle-shaped chocolate wrapped in foil’ before it became the recognisable dairy product that children flock to every year at the Royal Easter Show.  

The Bertie Beetle showbags at the 2021 Easter show include the triple deal, bonanza, gold and retro bags that range in price between $2 and $18.  

Chicane Marketing director Emily Williams said Bertie Beetle chocolates (pictured) performed incredibly well at shows due to generations of nostalgia.

Chicane Marketing director Emily Williams said Bertie Beetle chocolates (pictured) performed incredibly well at shows due to generations of nostalgia.

Chicane Marketing director Emily Williams said Bertie Beetle chocolates (pictured) performed incredibly well at shows due to generations of nostalgia.

BERTIE BEETLE HISTORY

  • Created in 1963 and sold across Australia in milk bars and corner shops to rival Cadbury’s now popular Freddo Frog
  •  The original manufacturer Hoadley’s Chocolates used the trimmings from Violet Crumble to create the iconic honey comb crunch  
  • Rowntree’s took over Hoadley’s in 1970 and withdrew Bertie Beetles from sale in shops 
  • Hoadley-Rowntree was bought by Nestlé in 1988 
  • Switched to freshly made honeycomb pieces in 2011
  • Bertie’s iconic branding – a white beetle dressed in a green leotard branded with a yellow ‘B’ and glasses –  changed from a little beetle-shaped chocolate wrapped in foil
  • Iconic chocolate now only sold exclusively in agricultural showbags and in 50 independent ‘retro’ confectionary stores across Australia 
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