Last week, we reported on Arnott’s decision to replace BBQ Shapes biscuits with a “new and improved” version that many consumers have slammed as inferior on social media. We urged you all to rush out and grab the originals while stocks lasted. Well, it turns out we can hold off on our supermarket pilgrimages — at least for the time being.
Arnott’s just contacted Lifehacker to assure us that the new BBQ Shapes will not replace the existing recipe. Instead, they’re going to be sold alongside the originals “as long as people are still buying ” Hmmm…
We’re not sure whether Arnott’s mucked up its original announcement (where it was heavily implied the old flavours were being replaced) or is now engaging in frenzied damage control. In any event, some original Shapes flavours aren’t being discounted after all.
Apparently, BBQ, Chicken Crimpy and Savoury Shapes will all remain on supermarket shelves in both their traditional and “new & improved” guises. However, Pizza, Cheddar and Nachos Cheese are being replaced permanently. There are also two new flavours hitting the market — Hot Dog and Roast Chicken. (Let us know if you’re keen to see a taste test on Lifheacker!)
“Original BBQ Shapes, Chicken Crimpy and Savoury will remain — as long as people are still buying them, they’ll stay on the shelves,” an Arnott’s representative explained to Lifehacker today. “The old boxes will stay the same, the new ones are going to have ‘New & Improved’ tag on the box.”
Arnott’s admitted its been a hard message to sell to consumers, with many (ourselves included) assuming the old flavours were gone for good. According to Arnott’s, the new flavours aren’t the soft and visibly bland abominations that many have reported on social media:
“We all genuinely can’t understand how people could NOT prefer the new ones. Everyone who I have sat with who has done a true test genuinely prefers the new,” an Arnott’s rep explained to us earlier today.
“Across some of the range, we’ve made the flavour particles smaller which helps them stick to the biscuit better but be assured, we’ve added more [flavour] than ever.”
The new range also boasts an improved Health Star Rating. (We totally predicted this was a chief reason for the switch last week.)
Despite Arnott’s assurances, we remain skeptical as to whether old school Shapes will stick around for much longer. The range already takes up a hell of a lot of real estate on supermarket shelves; especially when you add sub-brands like Shapes Extreme and Shapes Light & Crispy. We can’t imagine too many managers will want to stock two versions of each flavour.
Still, it’s good to know that original BBQ, Chicken Crimpy and Savoury Shapes won’t be disappearing overnight. We’ve yet to try the new recipe ourselves, but have an extensive taste test lined up for Wednesday. If you’ve managed to snag a bag of the new BBQ flavour, let us know what you think in the comments section below.