Wife's nostalgic crusade takes the biscuit

Last updated 05:00 09/07/2012
Karl and Amber Johnson
ROSS GIBLIN/Fairfax NZ

GOOD TASTE: Karl and Amber Johnson with a Choco-ade biscuit last made in the 1980s. Griffin's has been persuaded to make them again.

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It all started when Karl Johnson had a nostalgic pang for his favourite childhood biscuit.

Wife Amber set up a Facebook page "sort of just to see if anyone else remembered" the 1980s favourite Choco-ade.

But the page got more than 1500 "likes" – so many that maker Griffin's decided to start an official vote.

Now the people have spoken – 14,500 of them – and the orange-filled chocolate-topped biscuits will be back on the shelves from today, more than 20 years after they were removed.

Mrs Johnson, 35, a stay-at-home mum from Upper Hutt, was on hand through the taste-testing process to ensure the new biscuits perfectly replicated the handmade originals.

"I just remember eating them at my nana's," she said. "I would nibble around the edges of the biscuit, eat the biscuit then lick the jam. I think most kids did that."

Griffin's marketing director Josette Prince said Mrs Johnson, who has a two-year-old son, Lucas, deserved recognition for mobilising the masses and having the biscuit relaunched.

"We noticed Amber's Facebook page soon after she started it, and we were blown away by the amount of support there was.

"With so much support and passion we couldn't help but listen and so Choco-ade biscuits are back and New Zealanders have Amber Johnson to thank."

Mrs Johnson said she never expected her campaign to be so successful. "I thought, best case scenario, they would just quietly put them back on the shelf.

"I think it was for Karl that I wanted to bring them back, because he really, really loved them."

And what does he think now? He was so pleased he just about cried, she said.

"When he ate [the sample] he had the same look on his face as when we got married."

But she won't be lining up to be the first to buy them today. No, she said, "Tuesday is grocery day."

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- The Dominion Post

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