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Ice-cream vans hit by Cadbury flake shortage

·2-min read
99 Flake
99 Flake

Ice-cream vans are at risk of running out of Cadbury’s famous 99 Flakes as supply problems lead to a shortage of the chocolate sticks.

Despite a cold and wet start to the summer, demand for the crumbly treat used to top soft scoop ice-cream cones has increased in recent weeks with supply struggling to keep up. The 99 Flakes are half the size of Flakes sold in newsagents and supermarkets.

Only the UK and Ireland are thought to have been affected by dwindling supplies. It is unclear if supply issues are related to either Brexit or coronavirus, or how long the shortage might last.

According to the Irish Times, workers in the ice-cream industry warned they have never seen a shortage of this scale and warned supplies may be exhausted by the middle of June.

Cadbury parent Mondelez, the New York-listed multinational food group, said in a statement: “We are seeing a recent increase in demand for our Cadbury 99 Flake.

“The product is still available to order and we’re continuing to work closely with our customers”.

Mondelez, which also makes Oreo cookies and Ritz crackers, told the BBC they had not expected the level of current demand in the UK and Ireland.

The news has prompted some Twitter users to suggest alternative toppings that could be used as a substitute for the 99 Flakes. Some said it would be a good opportunity to instead use fellow Cadbury produce Freddos or Kinder Buenos, made by Italy’s Ferrero.

While many think the chocolate gets its name from the former price of the ice-cream it often complements, the real reason has been lost in time, according to Cadbury’s website.

It does, however, offer one explanation that it is named after the 99 guards who protected Italian monarchs after a company sales manager came across Italian soft ice-cream makers working in Durham.

“In the days of the monarchy in Italy the King [had] a specially chosen guard consisting of 99 men, and subsequently anything really special or first class was known as ‘99’ - and that [is] how ‘99’ Flake came by its name,” it says.

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