Product review

  • Quality Street has added new flavours, renamed classics, and culled others in their latest packs.
  • But the variety of chocolates is still anything but equal or unpredictable.
  • Just four of 11 chocolates now make up more than 50% of each bag.
  • And the old classics like The Green Triangle and The Purple One aren't them.
  • However, the divisive Strawberry Delight and Orange Creme are pretty hard to avoid.
  • Here's how many of each type of Quality Street you'll find in a bag.
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Quality Street in South Africa has seen a significant upgrade since Business Insider last checked the diversity between bags. 

As part of a repackaging and rebranding process, Nestlé has changed the names of all options and included several new chocolate types previously unavailable in South Africa. This move brings the bags in line with international equivalents, although there's still no sign of the nostalgic tins on local supermarket shelves.

The repackaging process has also culled variations like Duo Decadence, and the ubiquitous Dairy Fresh Toffee that made up the bulk of bags last year. Also gone are Dessert Coffee Cream, Enchanted Toffee, and Deluxe Toffee Cup. 

Some refreshing remakes of old favourites and some new alternatives are in their place - a R5 coin-sized Toffee Penny, an Orange Chocolate Crunch, and a pleasant but relatively unimaginative Milk Choc Block. 

The other classics are still there, albeit with different names to what they had last year - The Green Triangle, The Purple One, and Toffee Finger are perhaps the most traditional variations to have survived.

Diversity is as limited as ever

The new 450-gram plastic bags now cost around R100 and have around ten fewer chocolates than the 500-gram packs did last year. But each chocolate is slightly larger and feels higher quality than local Quality Street bags of old.

But that's essentially where the magic ends. As with international equivalents, and related product Passions, it's clear that manufacturer Nestlé has dialled down the make-up of each bag of Quality Streets. The company still carefully chooses how much of each type appear in their bags - and the selection is anything but random.

Although Nestlé seems to market Quality Streets as something of a lucky packet selection of diverse chocolates, the reality is that they've carefully picked how many of each chocolate appears in each bag - and there's less variation between packs than ever before.

Last year, Nestlé confirmed to Business Insider that there is little equality in the distribution of the sweets in each bag. Instead, according to public relations manager Zweli Mnisi, it's the result of "a balance of a few factors, including consumer preference."

Presumably, profits play a significant role in the process. The company will find the perfect balance that generates them the most money - which a genuinely equal and random selection won't do.

The new Quality Street breakdown

Business Insider evaluated five bags of Quality Streets and found that just four of the 11 chocolates make up more than 50% of each pack. The four chocolates outnumber others two to one - and they're not necessarily the crowd favourites, either.

There are, for example, an average of 6.2 of the divisive Strawberry Delights and Orange Cremes per pack, to just three of the popular The Green Triangle and The Purple One.

Somewhere in the middle are Toffee Finger, which has made a significant comeback since last year, and the new Toffee Penny, essentially a cuboidal Dairy Fresh Toffee that's encountered a hammer.

The two new variations for the local market are also in scarce supply - in all bags checked by Business Insider, there were just three each of Milk Choc Block and Orange Chocolate Crunch.

Quality Street Make-Up 2021
Quality Street Make-Up 2021

Only three chocolates varied in quantity between all the bags we checked, and in each case by just one item. The result is a remarkably consistent and predictable make-up between bags.

Comparing the make-up to last year's Quality Streets is difficult given the change in names and varieties. But the fate of The Green Triangle (Noisette Supreme) and The Purple One (Nut Toffee Royale) is cemented at the bottom of the count. The meteoric rise of the strawberry creme to the most common chocolate is also noteworthy, as is the increase in the coconut-filled one. But if there's one thing to celebrate, it's the demise of the ubiquitous square toffee, and the drastic improvement to the Toffee Finger, which has doubled in prevalence since last year.

Much like Nestlé’s Passions mixed-bag, though, if you’re looking for the surprise factor with each of your festive season mini chocolate purchases, you're out of luck with either of these options.

Here's how many of each Quality Street you can expect to find in a bag:

Quality Street Make-Up 2021
Quality Street Make-Up 2021

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