CONTENT WARNING: The following post contains information that may ruin your life.
Are you standing?
I’m going to need you to sit down.
Set aside any hot liquids. Swallow any large morsels of food. Make sure there are no sharp objects nearby.
Are you ready?
Are you sure?
I have some terrible news.
The K in K Bar stands for… Kwench.
Please calm down.
I get it: your world will never be the same.
Those sepia-toned childhood days, obliterated.
Those summer hours spent chewing on toffee treats, indelibly stained.
You thought you were sucking on sweet K.
Breaking your teeth on Kool, Krazy, or Klown, candy.
All along you were slurping on sticky Kwench.
Whittaker’s confirmed the bad news this afternoon.
The company had just announced it was bringing out a line of K Bar chocolate, in a post inadvertently referencing the Ku Klux Klan.
Most people were excited.
But for some of us, the news resurrected an age-old unease; a question that bubbled away under the background noise of everyday work:
What does the K in K Bar even mean?
Stuff deleted its excellent tweet.
But I had to find an answer to its central question.
I wrote to every single Whittaker’s social media account. Emailed its web feedback form.
Hot on the heels of another scoop pic.twitter.com/KU0fqNg9NM
— Hayden Donnell (@HaydenDonnell) August 18, 2016
I was quickly directed to a tweet by Seven Sharp reporter Kristin Hall, who claimed the “K” stood for “kwench”.
It seemed too horrible to be true.
But the evidence began to mount.
A blog written by what seemed to be an elderly person spoke of a youth spent subsisting on “Kwench Bars”, “boots” and “shoes”.
A tweet to Whittaker’s from 2011 contained only the word “kwench”.
And then the message from Whittaker’s itself.
I immediately regurgitated every last morsel of Kwench I’d ever consumed
A few seconds later, I staggered to my keyboard and wrote: “Do you have any info on why it was named Kwench?”
Whittaker’s’ reply raised a lot of questions.
Why would anyone use a “K” to write “Quench”?
Why are they called “K Bars” and not “Q Bars”?
Most importantly, this is the dictionary definition of quench:
- to drink liquid so that you stop being thirsty:
- to use water to put out a fire
Kwenching is an activity exclusively reserved for liquid.
K Bars are not liquid; they are the hardest substance on Earth.
Who came up with this unholy abomination of a name?
Whittaker’s will not answer any of those questions.
Shortly after confirming my worst fears, its social media went dark.
But this company is consistently named New Zealand’s most trusted brand.
If it wants to keep its place in our hearts, it must rename its K Bars.
The name Kwench is a logical impossibility.
Saliva cannot dissolve a Kwench.
You cannot lick, gnaw, or chew on a Kwench.
It is impossible to infuse Lime, Raspberry, or Pineapple into a Kwench.
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Whittaker’s, you have the power to make this right
To fix a million childhood memories in one fell swoop.
Please, reconsider the meaning of K.
This story is a sequel of sorts to the author’s previous important investigation: the unbelievable truth about that time Thingee’s eye fell out
The Spinoff’s food content is brought to you by Freedom Farms. They believe talking about food is nearly as much fun as eating it, and they’re excited to facilitate some good conversations around food provenance in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.