The Cherry Ripe bar was introduced in 1924 by MacRobertson Chocolates (later to be taken over by Cadbury in 1967) and is uniquely Australian. It’s a combination of cherries, coconut and dark chocolate and is Australia’s oldest chocolate bar. In 2013 Roy Morgan Research found it to be our most popular chocolate bar.
The research found that Cherry Ripe was the most popular choice, with 10% of Aussies indulging in one (up from 9% in the year to March 2009); ahead of Cadbury Dairy Milk 50g blocks (9%, up from 8%).
In the 12 months to March 2013, 49% of Australians aged 14+ consumed chocolate bars in an average four-week period (down from 53% in the year to March 2009). While the Cherry Ripe bar was the most popular over all, chocolate eaters under the age of 25 tended to prefer Cadbury Boost bars (14%), and those aged between 25 and 34 preferred Mars Bars (11%).
Roy Morgan’s Industry Communications Director Norman Morris, said:
“Over the last five years there has been a small decrease in the proportion of Australians consuming chocolate bars in any given four-week period. During this time, Cherry Ripe and Cadbury Dairy Milk 50g bars gained popularity while Mars and Kit Kat declined. It’s interesting to note how taste varies by age, with those aged over 35 showing a clear preference for Cherry Ripe, and those under 35 more likely to consume other chocolate bar brands.”
The chocolate bar continued to carry the MacRobertson brand until 2002, when the packaging was changed to carry the Cadbury logo.
The name for the chocolate bar was probably suggested by the title of a traditional song. The song, with words that date back to the 17th century, was a recurring theme in John Buchan’s World War I spy novel Mr Standfast (1919). A British silent romance film called Cherry Ripe was released in 1921. It was based on an 1878 novel of the same title, written by Helen Mathers. An Australian food writer has also seen fit to adopt the name Cherry Ripe – whether after the chocolate bar or the song is unclear.