Awake's website makes it clear that the target market is the average Canadian student. A video overview on the product shows students in the library sleeping, students going on a road trip and students just doing those fun things that students like to do (ahhh...I miss those days). Basically, 'Awake' is promoted as a caffeinated product that will help you wake up during the 3:00 p.m. lull, study alertly, party for longer and basically have fun for as much time as possible.
Since being showcased on Dragon's Den (yes, that's right, that hit Canadian business idea show that paved the way for the American show Shark's Tank....that show) the Awake chocolate bar has quickly moved into retail stores across Canada, including Loblaws, Shopper's Drug Mart, Shell, PetroCanada, BulkBarn and more. I purchased a bar at Valu-Mart on Manitoulin Island, in Northern Ontario, which clearly shows the reach of their distribution network.
With 230 calories per bar, this chocolate is very comparable nutritionally to the average chocolate candy bar sold in major retail chains. The difference? The price is higher. I believe I paid over $2 for mine. But I suppose that is about the average price for a standard cup of coffee these days. So if you prefer chocolate to coffee, I suppose that is a good deal. Personally, I prefer to eat my chocolate while drinking a hot, dark roast coffee. So I think that "Awake" would just be an over-buzz for me. But looking back at my university days, I think I probably would have purchased a handful of Awake bars to bring to my study mates during those crazy 'weekend special' projects that tested our ability to stay awake for 48 hours.
The taste? Well, to me it was very sweet. In my younger days, before I discovered bitter chocolate and high percentage milk chocolate, I might have liked this flavour. It compared to the flavour of those inexpensive foil-wrapped milk chocolate Easter eggs or perhaps a Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar (I haven't had one in many years, but Awake tasted the way that I remember Hershey's taste). In fact, the nutritional information is fairly comparable to a Hershey's bar of about the same size.
|Source: Wikimedia Commons|
Since coming back in 2005, I've often thought of Pocket Coffee and wondered why we do not have such a thing here in North America. But then, we are not ostracized when we carry a coffee onto the subway or a bus in North America. We are free to buy a coffee and eat a chocolate bar on the run!
So I wondered why on earth we would need a chocolate bar with caffeine in it....but with no actual coffee? I suppose, unlike me, there are many people out there who do not like the flavour of coffee and who do not drink it. But they like chocolate. So the makers of Awake wanted a chocolate to taste like chocolate, but have the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee. Okay, so I get it. I may not be a repeat customer, but I get it.
So if you are one of those non-coffee drinking students, age 18 to twenty-something who needs a caffeine boost every now and then (Awake recommends eating one every 3-to-4 hours, up to 2 bars daily), check out the Awake chocolate bar currently at a Canadian retailer near you. And non-Canadians need not worry, I suspect the whole world will soon be 'Awake' with this chocolate brand.