We all love a traditional 99 ice cream when we hear 'Greensleeves' chiming out from the big white van at the end of the street. Or we might be looking forward to a pleasant summer by the sea or on the beach, with a flake ice cream in hand. Well, think again, as your thoughts and plans may have been dealt a devastating blow - there is a shortage of Cadbury 99 Flakes.

Supplies of the ice cream topper, which is half the size of the usual Flakes sold in your local store, are in high demand and this is affecting deliveries in the UK and in Ireland. Mondelez, who own Cadbury, is unsure how long this shortage will last, as they try to meet orders from their customers. However, fans of the 99, are already suggesting alternatives such as Kinder Buenos and Cadbury Freddos, but I'm not convinced there can be any replacement in the short term for the soft and crumbly chocolate log.

Many people believe the treat got its name because it used to cost 99p – but this is not the case. It did cost 99p for a time, but when it was first introduced it cost closer to 1p, and these days you would be lucky to spend less than £1.50 on one. Cadbury says the definitive origin of the name has been “lost in the mists of time”. However, there are plenty of theories around how it came about. 

One theory is that it was named by Italian immigrant ice cream sellers, in honour of the final wave of Italian First World War conscripts, who were born in 1899 and referred to as “i Ragazzi del 99” (“the Boys of ’99”). The chocolate flakes somewhat resemble the long feathers that adorned the conscripts’ hats.

Another Italian theory is that the name is a reference to the elite guard of the King of Italy, which was made up of 99 men. Anything really special would sometimes be nicknamed 99 in its honour. 

One claim dates back to Portobello, Scotland in 1922, when a man named Stefano Arcari opened an ice cream shop at 99 Portobello High Street. He would apparently break a Flake in half and put it in an ice cream to serve to customers, with the treat taking its name from the shop’s address. His granddaughter, Tanya Arcari, has said, “It has been a family legend for as long as I can remember that my grandad invented the 99, but the problem is we have no proof.”

The Dunkerleys in Gorton, Manchester, who operated a sweet shop at 99 Wellington Street, have also laid claim to the idea


Popular Posts