16 Oct
Whatever Happened to Drifter Chocolate Bar?

Drifter was a British chocolate bar that was originally made by Rowntree's. After its launch in 1980, It soon became one of the most popular chocolate bars in the UK.

Drifter consisted of a wafer layered with caramel, enveloped in a coating of milk chocolate. Two long and narrow rectangular bars were included in each pack.

In its heyday, around 90 million Drifter chocolate bars were produced each year. So the big question is, whatever happened to the beloved chocolate bar?

Nestlé ceased production of Drifter in October 2018, and the reason was "low consumer demand". It was produced at the Nestlé Fawdon factory in Newcastle Upon Tyne. Sadly, it seems that Nestlé won't be reintroducing the chocolate bar anytime soon, although there have been many chocolate bar revivals over the years, so fans of the bar should keep their fingers crossed.

A nice alternative to Drifter is Kit Kat Chunky Caramel

Drifter chocolate bars 3 pack from 2017, with blue wrapper and red and yellow logo text

The photo above shows a 3 pack of Drifter from 2017.

Nestlé temporarily stopped production of Drifter in 2007, but reintroduced it again in 2008. There is currently a petition on Change.org to "Bring Back Drifter".

In the early 1980s, Drifter originally came with a brown wrapper and red and yellow logo text, which was changed to red and white text in the 1990s after Nestlé took over production. The wrapper colour was eventually changed to blue, with a red and yellow text logo in its final years.

TV Adverts

The first UK TV advert for Drifter aired in 1981 and features American country music. It shows stressful situations such as being stuck as a huge traffic jam, and a man answering multiple telephone calls while working in a busy office. The imagery turns to a more relaxing theme as various people enjoy biting into a Drifter. The narrator announces the tag line" Big chewy, satisfying... you couldn't rush it if you wanted to". The advert portrays the chocolate bar as being perfect for those moments when you need a sweet escape from the daily grind. 

In 1990, a completely different and funny TV advert featured a cool black guy wearing 1970s style pimp clothing. He struts into a sweet shop and starts talking in American street slang to the confused old lady behind the counter. Amusingly, an English translation is provided in the form of subtitles. When the guy says, "You catch my Drift?", the lady finally understands him and gives him a Drifter. The narrator provides the tag line "Drifter, it's a real mouthful!".

Original Rowntree's Drifter chocolate bar with brown wrapper and red and yellow text font (1981)

The original Rowntree's Drifter (1981)


The standard sized Drifter consisted of a crispy wafer dipped in chewy caramel (30%) and covered in milk chocolate (23%). 

Sugar, Glucose-Fructose Syrup, Wheat Flour, Vegetable Fat, Invert Sugar Syrup, Dried Whole Milk, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Sweetened Condensed Skimmed Milk, Lactose and Proteins from Whey, Whey Powder, Emulsifier (Sunflower and Soya Lecithin), Salt, Butterfat, Skimmed Milk Powder, Raising Agent (Sodium Bicarbonate), Flavourings, Yeast.

Nestle Drifter logo from the 1990s. Red text with white surround and yellow highlights.

Nestlé Drifter logo from the 1990s

We hope you enjoyed reading about Drifter chocolate bar. You may also like Whatever Happened to Texan Chocolate Bar?

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