Government grant helps the Polly Waffle return

Menz has announced the return of the much-loved Polly Waffle, thanks in part to a grant from the Federal Government.

While the Polly Waffle is making a comeback, it won’t be the same as people remember. It will no longer be a bar, but bite-sized pieces of vanilla marshmallow covered in milk chocolate, with crunchy pieces of wafer throughout, called Polly Waffle Bites.

In 2019, Menz acquired the rights to produce Polly Waffle from Nestlé and spent the past several years researching and developing how to manufacture the product locally in South Australia. 

Progress slowed due to COVID border closures restricting the development team from travelling to source and test critical manufacturing equipment, and a new recipe needed to be created.

The original machinery used to create Polly Waffle was also decommissioned by the previous manufacturer, meaning development was starting from scratch.

Phil Sims, CEO of Menz, said Polly Waffle had not been produced in more than ten years when we acquired it, so we essentially had to start from scratch to find out how we could produce it at our South Australian factory.

“What we couldn’t anticipate was the number of variables out of our control, from COVID border closures restricting access to equipment, and updated retailer expectations. To recreate the traditional bar would require even more time and funding, without the guarantee that it would have the same quality that consumers remember.

In 2020, an Australian Federal Government’s Manufacturing Modernisation Fund grant was made available to support Menz’s ambitions to produce the Polly Waffle bar, and $1million was originally granted to Menz. While the project is not yet complete, given the changes and scope, the final amount will be less than $350,000. 

“It was so important to us that we didn’t put a subpar product in the market, especially one as much loved as Polly Waffle. Creating a Polly Waffle Bite was the most responsible way to make bringing back the iconic brand a reality, and we thank our customers and Polly Waffle fans for their ongoing support and patience,” said Sims.

Poll Waffle Bites are due to be released in April 2024.

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