In the US, we have our beloved Hershey bars, but in the UK, Cadbury is king. The storied chocolate brand is the creator of fervently beloved, sometimes over-the-top treats, like its Double Decker (much like a Three Musketeers bar, but with an added layer of crunchy cereal) and the lumpy, lovable Picnic, a hodgepodge of peanuts, nougat, caramel, cookies and puffed rice, all dipped in creamy milk chocolate.
All told, Cadbury’s portfolio of chocolates, candies, desserts and drinks numbers in the hundreds, but the brand will soon add a new chocolate bar to its roster—and this time, the confectionary is letting its customers choose the flavor, for better or for worse.
Earlier this week, the chocolatier announced its “Cadbury Inventor” contest, open to all UK residents aged 16 and over. Aspiring Willy Wonkas will head to the Inventor website, where they’ll pick up to three ingredients to feature in a take on Cadbury’s classic milk chocolate Dairy Bar. The variety of add-ins is, frankly, astounding: categorized into “Nutty,” “Fruity,” “Crunchy” and more, they range from cashews to cranberries to cookie dough to coconut. According to the Inventor website, there are over 90,000 possible flavor combinations.
But would this really be a British contest without some weird thrown in for good measure? No, it would not. That’s why Cadbury has included more than a few potentially disgusting wildcard ingredients, like tarragon, Pop Rocks, bubblegum, tomatoes and Dijon mustard. Is Cadbury trying to bring out the trolls? Maybe so.
I’m all for the power of the people—in fact, I vividly remember using my parents’ landline to repeatedly vote for blue in 1995, when M&Ms crowdsourced its new color—but let’s face it: Sometimes “the people” are insane. What if some mad non-genius creates a rose-black licorice-mustard bar? Or a grapefruit-coffee-tomato concoction? I haven’t been to the UK in a while, and if the winning bar is as terrifying as that, I’m sure as fuck not returning anytime soon.
Granted, to allow such a bar through all stages of the contest, the chocolate’s testers and tasters would have to possess a pretty crazy set of tastebuds. Every single entry will be reviewed by an independent judge, then narrowed down to three finalists by a “separate panel of experts.” Those three bars, judged on taste as well as creativity—uh oh—will each be sold throughout the UK in 2019, when chocolate lovers will be able to vote for the winner.
In the meantime, I’ll cross my fingers that banana doesn’t get anywhere close to the winning bar.