The Quality Street Revolution – My Struggle With Britain’s Favourite Festive Treat


It’s January. And, if like me, you’ll likely visit friends’ houses moaning about your lack of money and whether or not it was a good thing you didn’t get into Rolf’s Cartoon Club (I’m still undecided). More often than not, after consuming all their bread and savoury snacks, I’ll ask if they have any chocolate – which is exactly what I did the other day; “There’s some Quality Street” was my friend’s lethargic reply. There was something about this response that sounded familiar. I felt a negative vibe. Like there was this ‘thing’ between me andQuality Street. But I couldn’t quite place it, so I shook off the feeling and excitedly made my way to the glowing purple tin that flirted with me from the corner. I then popped the lid and remembered what that feeling was. DAMN YOU QUALITY STREET!

No purples. No green triangle things. No Orange Crunch. No Caramel.
Even my secret back-up of orange creams were gone. All that greeted me was a sea of red, blue and gold. Like a who’s who of cunty freaks who just won’t leave you alone. Like an episode of The Raggy Dolls.

Despite knowing the good quality fare was gone, I still tried my darnest anyway. LikeBerlusconi rummaging around in a lesbian titty bar, it was futile and difficult to watch. I thought I spied purple, but it was just an empty wrapper some fucker had put back in the tin. This was normally my ‘joke’. It seemed the god of comedy karma had finally caught up with me.

So why, as a breed of people are we still buying Quality Street when there are better, more satisfying options out there like Celebrations or Miniature Heroes? Why, year after year do we persist on purchasing a plastic tin of chocolates that can only pleasure us for five minutes (average time it takes to eat the good ones)? We basically spend £5 on a tin that is only 28% satisfying. We waste £3.60 on Nestle‘s garbage. So why every year do I think things will be different? Maybe I’m an optimist. Maybe I’m plain stupid. Maybe it’s the exciting ‘eat me whilst listening to jazz’ design frontage that sings to us. Whatever it is. I fall for it. I always fall for the Quality Street hoodwink.

So why can’t they just get rid of the shit ones? Is that not just the logical and honourable thing for Nestle to do? Prove your humanity Nestle. I can help you; Get rid of the three varieties of toffees to start with. Three – yes, you heard me right, THREE – varieties of toffee. One variety is a throwback, but three is just excessive and plain lazy. And hey I don’t care if you ‘like’ toffee, it’s going. Chances are, if you like the QS toffee, you probably like Christmas cake as well, and quite honestly, you shouldn’t be trusted. It’s the 21st century. Why are you wasting your time with a wartime treats like a toffee pennies anyway? Buy your own toffee in your own time, and whilst you’re at it, stop using the word ‘oldy-worldy’.

Next; Strawberry Creams. Time to go right? Yes I’ll concede I’ve indulged in a SC over the years, but seriously, that was out of necessity. I also have a history of playing kiss-chase in a playground, but just because I did it then, wouldn’t make it right now (ahem). So, Strawberry Cream, fuck you freak. How about you get the message and get the fuck out of dodge. And take Coconut Boy and Fudgey Fuckerson with you!

You see people, already it’s looking like a proper tin of confectionary. Obviously we’ll replace the departed with more purple and greens. And yes, I understand this may well be on it’s way to becoming an elitist tin of treats, and some of you like the crap ones, so I suggest we release a tin alongside Quality Street and call it ‘Nestle Crap Ones’. And then those of you who wish, can go eat your unwholesome treats down the old air-raid shelter with your little tin hat and bowl of gruel. Don’t worry, we’ll come get you when all the scary flavours have gone away.

Surely this is the way forward? This way everyone will be happy. It means, as a race, we will no longer approach the Quality Street tin with false hope. It means when we pop open that lid, they’ll either be good ones, or none at all – which is acceptable. And if, you feel like senselessly mixing it with the freaks, then you can delve into your box of Nestle Crap Ones. Also this way, we won’t be paying for 72% of confectionary we don’t want. We’ll be paying £5 for a box of 100% we like. And that, my friend, is just plain groovy.

Okay, maybe my words will fall on deaf ears. Because let’s face it; perhaps we’re all just basically suckers for good marketing and nostalgia. Dickheads destined to live in a spiralling vortex of self-inflicted misery. Content to purchase things that are 72% shit, content to watch things that are 72% shit, content to read articles that are 72% shit.

Who knows?

I know one thing though – I know that I reluctantly settled on a blue crappy coconut. A wealth of self-loathing washed over me as I popped it in my gob. And all the while, that plastic purple tin smirked at me from the darkened corner, sparkling like a distorted sex fiend, safe in the knowledge that eventually, everyone will stick their fingers in.

You can also find Alfie at The Huffington Post

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