On The Shelf

Polly Waffle returns

Fourth generation family-owned confectionery manufacturer, Menz, is announcing the next evolution of the beloved Polly Waffle.

Fourth generation family-owned confectionery manufacturer, Menz, is announcing the next evolution of the beloved Polly Waffle.

Reminiscent of the original Polly Waffle, which was first created in 1947 and sold up until 2009, the new Polly Waffle Bites are delicious bite sized pieces of soft vanilla marshmallow covered in milk chocolate with crunchy pieces of wafer. The new Polly Waffle Bites will hit retailer shelves across Australia from late April 2024.

Due to manufacturing complexities, expenses, and additional time required, Bites will replace the original bar permanently.

Menz acquired the rights to produce Polly Waffle in 2019 from Nestlé, and spent the past several years researching and developing how to manufacture the product locally in South Australia.

Progress slowed due to COVID border closures restricting the development team from travelling to source and test critical manufacturing equipment.

The original machinery used to create Polly Waffle was also decommissioned by the previous manufacturer, which  meant development started from scratch.

In 2020, an Australian Government’s Manufacturing Modernisation Fund grant was made available to support Menz’s ambitions to produce the Polly Waffle bar, and $1,000,000 dollars was granted to Menz. While the project is not yet complete, given the changes and scope, the final amount will be less than $350,000.

Menz CEO Phil Sims said, “We have a long history of saving and supporting nostalgic Aussie brands like Violet Crumble and FruChocs, so we have been excited by the opportunity to bring Polly Waffle back.”

“Polly Waffle had not been produced in more than ten years when we acquired it, so we essentially had to start from scratch to find out how we could produce it at our South Australian factory.

“What we couldn’t anticipate was the number of variables out of our control, from COVID border closures restricting access to equipment, and updated retailer expectations. To recreate the traditional bar would require even more time and funding, without the guarantee that it would have the same quality that consumers remember.

“It was so important to us that we didn’t put a subpar product in the market, especially one as much loved as Polly Waffle. Creating a Polly Waffle Bite was the most responsible way to make bringing back the iconic brand a reality, and we thank our customers and Polly Waffle fans for their ongoing support and patience.

Sims stated, “We know it’s been a journey and we can’t wait for you to enjoy this delicious nostalgic treat, with a modern take in April!”

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