Fantastic Kit Kat facts and figures. How do you break yours?

Kit kat facts and figures

Kit Kats are huge. Well, not in absolute size terms as they were made to fit a lunch box, but in terms of being a globally recognised brand.

Billions of them are made each year, with one being consumed every 500 seconds. They are owned and produced by Nestle (who took over Rowntree) and produced by Hershey’s in the US. They have their own website, and are in a different league to some of the other biscuits I’ve looked at, like the custard cream, bourbon or Jammie Dodger.

Kit Kat History

The Kit Kat was born in York UK, back in 1935. It was made in response to a worker’s suggestion at the Rowntree factory who asked for a snack that a ‘man could have in his lunchtime’.

Kit Kat history - was chocolate crisp before being renamed Kit Kat

Originally called the Rowntree Chocolate Crisp, it was renamed the Kit Kat Chocolate Crisp in 1937 and it was only after the World War 2 it went trendy, calling itself simply “Kit Kat”. That said, it was still some time before the marketing message ‘Have a break, have Kit Kat’ came into being (1957).

It’s uncertain exactly where the name “Kit Kat” comes from, but was recorded as a term for a snack in the 1700s. The one I like best is that it came from a London meeting place called the Kit Cat Club. I have been to a Kitty Cat Club in Brighton, but there were no chocolate biscuits on show there. Certainly not.

Normally provided in red packaging, in World War 2, when the chocolate had to be changed to plain, the packaging turned blue. Things were back on track by 1949.

Kit Kat turned blue during world war 2
The blue Kit Kat

Exactly what is a Kit Kat?

The standard bars consist of two or four pieces composed of three layers of wafer, separated and covered by an outer layer of chocolate. Wafer was used to keep the costs down, so it could remain affordable to that worker who wanted it in his lunchbox.

American Kit Kats are made by the Hershey Company, while British Kit Kats are made by Nestlé. The American-made chocolate bar contains more sugar, while the British-made chocolate bar is higher in fat and cocoa, resulting in a richer, smoother flavour. American’s always have to be different.

In keeping with this lunch box idea, Rowntree’s marketed Kit Kat bars as “the biggest little meal.” However to appeal to those who preferred it as a snack, Rowntree’s also came up with the slogan “the best companion to a cup of tea.”

You can never have too many tea breaks. That concept of taking a tea break would help inspire the even more effective slogan in later years.

Going above and beyond: The many flavours of Kit Kat

Kit Kat flavours from Japan
Japan has a bizarre set of Kit Kat flavours

There are many different flavours of Kit Kat, including milk, white, and dark chocolate. Over 200 in fact, and many of them are available in Japan where Kit Kats are huge and have also become a pizza topping. Flavours tried in Japan include wasabi, sake, matcha tea, miso soup, soy sauce and Tokyo banana. Weird.

Want a big one? You can make a Kit Kat cake using Moldyfun’s exclusive cake mold…

Giant cakes can make a statement at any party. If you want it to look like the authentic bar have exclusive rights to the Kit Kat giant silicone cake mold.

Kit Kat silicone cake mold from
Giant silicone cake mold from Moldyfun

Dimensions: 1.1 cm x 25.9 cm x 9.4 cm

Other Kit Kat facts you might not know….

  1. 17.6 billion fingers are eaten across the world every year.
  2. The largest single retail outlet for is Dubai Duty Free, which sells over 1 tonne per day.
  3. Over the years, TV advertising campaigns have featured stars such as Roy Kinnear, Sue Pollard, Roy Keane, Kelly Brook and Girls Aloud.
  4. The 1989 Panda advertisement featured in Channel 4’s “100 Greatest Adverts” poll in 2000.
  5. The Chinese version is sold in a plastic bag due to the humid weather in the region.
  6. Every five minutes enough are manufactured worldwide to overshadow the Eiffel Tower, while a year’s GLOBAL production would stretch around the London Underground more than 350 times.

So there you go. Next time you put one in your lunchbox, just think of how many other people are doing the same… have a break:

1989 Kit Kat Panda commercial

Writing exciting erotic stories a surefire way to get followers. Just don’t tell your other half.

Erotic stories

I’ve read lots on how to drive views onto blog posts. None mention erotic stories, but I believe they could show the way to increase visitor numbers.

I’ve always struggled with followers. I’m no Jesus. My kids have more followers than me on every form of social media and all they do is post photos of pouting and feet. I’ve tried hard to gather friends, followers or stalkers, but have been left languishing in the grey nether regions of the web.

It was nether regions that got me thinking. I always remember when I worked for BT most network traffic came from porn sites. We pretended it didn’t for the good of the company image, but supporting and supplying IT to porn sites was lucrative.

Porn, or erotic stories, whatever people may think, generate a following that far outstrips any business site . I remember at work how excited I got when my first corporate video got past 1,000 hits. The porn-site equivalent would have generate a hundred times that without drawing breath. Or an erotic gasp. Admittedly, not with me in it. No one would want to see that.

In the interests of science, and researching blogs and site visitors, I decided to investigate further.

Obviously this wasn’t about videos or pictures. That would just be smutty. I ruled those out after a cursory glance (or two) What interested me however was erotic fiction. Look at ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and the interest that generated. There was no great plot apparently, but it fed an audience hungry for sex; as long as it was done in a less seedy way than your average porn site. You have to wonder, had E.L. James written a book on any other topic, would she have got the same level of interest or publicity? And also, if people around the country rejoiced in reading an erotic story without being worried about work checking up their search history.

Erotic stories with tens of thousands of views

Literotica gets more than 50m hits each month for erotic stories
Literotica – more than 50m hits each month

Erotic literature it turns out is also big business. Averagely good stories on many websites frequently get tens of thousands of views. Just visit Literotica if you don’t believe me (or want a break from this). Apparently 53m other people are doing just that each month!

Imagine that. For this post I’d be pleased with ten. Maybe if I introduced some sex or innuendo there may be more interest. That could be a big one for me (ooo-er). Possibly if I wrote this the same post from a different perspective, but managed to get it posted on a porn site I’d actually have some social media influence.

I could do that. A blog about being redundant midlife, with interview stories and midlife issues brimming with sex scenes. My tale of role playing would genuinely involve uniforms, whips and well-toned recruiters. Would I get more visitors? Yes, without a doubt. Would it be frowned upon? Of course. I’m sure I’d be castigated for peddling porn under the guise of a serious blog. A bit like this post in fact. I’ll be interested to see if I get more visitors due to the words sex, porn and erotic literature featuring heavily.

Happy household or hundreds of followers?

So if you want tens of thousands of hits, erotic stories are the way to go. Just don’t tell your other half you’re writing them. You’ll either be accused of exposing your intimate bedroom secrets, or more likely voicing a unspoken fantasy with your neighbour. Neither are conducive to a happy household. Maybe I’ll just stay happy, and hopeful that the ten or so people who read this will be of a better quality than the tens of thousands I good have got writing porn.

Amazing new skills you can develop midlife, including dishwasher stacking

Apparently I need to learn some new skills.

Since I was made redundant I spend more time at home. Now that I have completed the “projects” list I compiled, I am into the day to day running of the house. In the mornings when my wife and kids head out the door, I am left tidying up their mess. I’m not sure who did it before I was home alone, but now it seems to fall into my remit.

I used to have other skills. Socialising, technical guru, handyman and sex god (well, you can but dream). These skills however have fallen into disuse, and apparently I have to learn new ones (or at least improve on the things I have spent the past twenty years developing).

New skills for an old dog

How sharp knives should be stacked in the dishwasher. A new skill.
Which way does a knife go…

First up is dishwashers and loading (or unloading). As I am at home, to be fair, I do it more often than I did. It turns out though that I don’t do it right. Over twenty years of practise and I’m getting it wrong. Plates not pre-rinsed (despite reading somewhere they shouldn’t be), bowls stacked too closely together, and knives point downwards, are among my faults.

I had thought I was saving lives with the knife thing, as I’d read of someone impaling their hand on a knife pointy side up. In our house though it seems as if cleanliness wins out over health and safety. A perfect contradiction to a work environment. I hadn’t realised there are places you can learn these skills – – see point 5 for the knife answer if you’re interested…but my other half knows best.

Another lesson I am being taught is to not use the tumble dryer to dry clothes. This is a cardinal sin. It goes against the environment, our electricity bill and clothes in general. Far better to spend ages putting it onto a strange folding device where it can languish for days as a mess. Obviously it begs the question why we have a tumble dryer if we’re not allowed to use it, but just like the spirits in my drinks cupboard we’re saving it for a special occasion.

Tumble dryer and clothes airer -new skills to be learnt

Folding washing in a way that doesn’t crease it follows on from the drying. How do you crease socks? Anyway ignore the fact I am at least depositing clothes into the correct bedrooms, let’s focus on the re-folding, ironing or in extreme re-washing that goes on. Oh, and if you are doing the washing, woe betide you if you miss the tissue in the pocket. That’s a complete re-wash and twenty minutes in the corner.

Finally (well for a few examples, there are others) I’m left with table wiping. You could argue that people should use their plates to catch the crumbs, but that doesn’t happen in my house. That leaves me with the job of clearing the mess. Crumbs left on the table scores -10 marks, those falling onto the chairs – 5, and the not sweeping the floor effectively is -3.

What’s the reward?

I don’t mind particularly. Actually that’s a lie. I do mind. I mind the fact that once my slapdash approach was endearing not endangering, my poor household skills were compensated elsewhere and I was forgiven for everything (that last bit isn’t strictly true). What is strange is that how being off work means I should now wipe better, fold better, stack better and dry clothes in the optimum way despite many years of practise. Yes I did do these things before, I wasn’t a complete numpty.

So the question is, how to respond when you see the dishwasher restacked, clothes refolded or table re-wiped? I tend to sigh loudly and retreat to somewhere quiet. It’s not great communication I know, but over the years that skill has probably gone the same way as the others.

Perhaps that’s the one that would be worth re-learning…

Camping or canal boat holiday?

canal boat holiday

Decisions you need to make in middle-age: Is a canal boat holiday a more comfortable alternative to camping ?

I used to camp. In the end I stopped as my bladder gave out. I couldn’t face the lonely night trek to the toilet block with damp shoes, the cold, and the sonorous snoring coming from other tents. Also, I couldn’t face the unzipping: sleeping bag, compartment (it was a posh tent), outside door. My family weren’t best pleased as they liked the great outdoors, as long as there was a wifi signal. They could also go for hours without unscheduled toilet visits. Bloody camels.

In the end they persuaded me a canal boat was a good compromise. Outside and adventurous, and yet warm and with home comforts such as a toilet, shower and bed, plus no zips.

I duly signed up to one canal boat company. I wasn’t wholly convinced, but part of me thought I should for the kids sake. Much as I wanted a nice hotel bedroom, I also needed to pretend I was still young and energetic, especially as I was unemployed.

The boat was booked, a 12 berth to be shared between two families of four. Two bathrooms, a kitchen and radiators. A cruise on the canals of Birmingham. What could be better? I was convinced it had to be better than being in a tent.

Sleeping together

Actually, what they don’t tell you is that a canal boat is a bit like a floating tent. The walls are no thicker than canvas, it’s still chilly at night and there’s not much you don’t share with your travelling companions. Snoring can be heard from one end to the other. As I walked to the kitchen in the morning I could see the various sleep poses of the others on the boat. No need for dressing up here.

Despite sleeping 12, the beds had to me made up each night. The kitchen lounge area transformed into a double bed which meant if someone wanted to go to sleep, everyone else had to go to bed. The alternative was one person lying trying to sleep while others lounged across the bed chatting. In any other world it could have been a precursor to wife-swapping, but in the limited space there was no rocking of boats going on.

Driving the monster

In the morning first up wakes everyone else up. The engine needs to be on for heat, so you battle past the snorers to then wake them with the engine noise. And then there’s the driving. Several times I was stood alone outside on the back if the 70 foot monster while others lounged inside enjoying the warmth I was promised.

The kids at least enjoyed doing the locks. Well they did until someone told us we were draining the entire canal by not shutting the gates properly.

The final straw for me was running out of water. I inadvertently sailed past the water point. Of course when you do that there’s no going back. I couldn’t turn the 70 foot boat around in a 30 foot wide canal as my wife suggested. So for our last morning as we cruised to the next water point, the toilets weren’t flushed, the dirty crockery grew into a pile, and the kids could for the first time in their lives moan about not being able to clean their teeth.

And the canal boat answer is…

My advice is this. Look for pubs. Drink in the pub until closing and then crash out and hope someone else wakes you turning the engine on and driving. I won’t be camping again, but I’ll also be looking more closely at camp-a-like activities. Spa hotel anyone?