Like a page from Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, an inspired teenager gave sweet makers in Switzerland cause to add a new experimental to one of the most recognisable brands on the market.
Emma O’Keeffe, 14, from Carrigaline, Co Cork, wrote to the Nestlé headquarters last year to suggest that her favourite chocolate bar, the Kit Kat, would be even better if it came in a butterscotch flavour.
Nestlé liked the idea so much it had 20 butterscotch Kit Kat Chunkys crafted by Chris Pearson, a senior confectioner at its product technology centre in York, England.
These bespoke bars were delivered to Emma’s home before Christmas.
Emma is not sure if they will take her suggestion on board with a limited edition run but said she was happy to get her individual treat.
Emma said she decided to write to Nestlé when she had free time during the summer and had learned to pen business letters during her first year at Carrigaline Community School.
“I had just finished school and had learned how to write business letters in business so I was free for the summer holidays and wrote to Nestlé. Basically I said they should make a butterscotch Kit Kat,” she said.
In her letter, posted in June, Emma said she would like to draw the food-giant’s attention to the fact the Kit Kat Chunky had not explored the butterscotch combination.
Emma said as she would not be visiting Nestlé’s headquar-ters in Vevey, Switzerland, any time soon, she would appreciate if it considered taking her idea on board.
Nestlé said it got its international product development unit on board and made the bars to allow Emma share them with her family and friends.
According to the Nestlé website, very few ideas that come in from the public or are generated from within its own ranks get to the testing stage and fewer still make it to the shelves.
The company has 18 research centres around the world which test products across its range, but even to trial a suggestion is costly.
“For every new product that reaches the market place, 50 or more will have failed to meet expectations somewhere during development,” Nestlé said.
“New products have to be carefully researched to ensure they have mass appeal, and the decision to introduce a new product is always based on the results of extensive market research.”
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