Hurrah, the Orange Twirl is coming back, so at least there is some good news in 2020! At least this time I've got a chance of tasting it thanks to Cadbury's first ever chocolate pre-sale event.
Last time the nation searched high and low for the ultra-rare Orange Twirls. I didn't find any in my local supermarkets, nor even at Cadbury World in Bournville, Birmingham. If even the flagship store can't get hold of enough stock, it must be rare.
There was so much hype on social media last time around, so I decided to join thousands of eager fans on Twitter at 12 noon on Tuesday 18th August 2020.
5,000 lucky fans would secure an Orange Twirl Collectors Pack (a Twirl Orange, a commemorative pre-sale card and a badge) in exchange for 69p, paid by credit or debit card, or by PayPal. Cadbury offered to cover the costs of Royal Mail delivery, and donate the 69p to Music Venue Trust, a Mondelēz-approved charity, to support their 'Save Our Venues' appeal to help protect at-risk grass-roots music venues.
My Pre-Sale Experience
While the premise was simple enough - tweet @CadburyUK with the hashtag #OrangeTwirlPresale - the explanation given on how to enter was confusing. In fact, I was in the dark for the first few minutes, risking my chance at nabbing a place. I wasn't alone, as fellow Twitter users tweeted their confusion too.
A Twitter Broadcast streamed a rolling countdown of how many tickets remained in the presale, but lacked clear instructions on how to actually enter, quickly cycling between scrolling text and retweets of successful entrants.
It took a trio of Tweets for my place in the pre-sale queue to be confirmed. A lot of us were left in the dark for some time as places in the queue were allocated, adding to the confusion.
A code would be sent to me, I was assured. "Hang in there" they said. And so I did, for SIX hours. Eventually I received my code and placed my 69p order within minutes.
As this was the brand's first pre-sale, there are clearly lessons to be learned here. On the plus side, there was so much buzz online that the hashtag trended on Twitter. In the Twitter post announcing the pre-sale, over 45,000 people expressed interest of paying 69p for a bar of orange chocolate. On the downside, there was a lack of communication from the brand throughout the pre-sale window, and it led to a lot of confused and disgruntled followers.
Even when the queue places were allocated, nobody was quite sure when the codes would arrive. There was nothing to suggest we'd need to wait six hours or more. Again, this is just a breakdown in communication, and I hope is something Cadbury improves for its next pre-sale.
The one-time discount codes - required to reduce postage and packaging fees to zero - caused confusion too, with some users reporting their codes as not working. Even when it did work, it wasn't plainly obvious it was a success as there's no confirmation message on the checkout screen. This is a usability issue that can be easily rectified, and ought to be as soon as possible to avoid undue aggravation.
When Is The Next One?
So when is the next pre-sale? Well, Cadbury is running another pre-sale for the Orange Twirl at 12pm on Thursday 20th August on Twitter, with another batch of 5,000 bars available. The format will be exactly the same, so if you missed out the first time, you can be ready for the next one.
After that, who knows? Given the public thirst for this promotion, I can definitely see the pre-sale format being used again for another product line, and perhaps experimental releases to gauge public demand.
43g 2-finger packs of Cadbury Twirl Orange will be available for a limited time in selected shops nationwide from 7th September 2020, with an RRP of 69p. A Cadbury statement assures me "more bars have been produced this year so there are more to go around."
Have you tried the Orange Twirl and does it live up to all the hype? Let me know in the comments below.