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How Much Would You Pay for Chocolate? Not This Much

How do you generate buzz for a new product in the middle of a recession?

Wispa Gold
Source: Cadbury Wispa
Wispa Gold

You create a great, big shiny diversion!

That’s what Cadbury did: To promote the limited-edition relaunch of their Wispa Gold chocolate bar, which goes on sale Sept. 14 for 55 pence (90 cents), they created the World’s Most Expensive Chocolate Bar, a version of the Wispa Gold with a price tag of 961.48 pounds (US$1,600).

I know what you’re thinking: At $1,600, it’d better be covered in gold!

Actually, it is. How did you know?

The bar is covered in gold leaf and the wrapper, which may at first glance look like your run-of-the-mill Twix wrapper, is actually a GOLD-LEAFED Twix-like wrapper. The price tag represents the precise value of its weight in gold .

The World’s Most Expensive Chocolate Bar was on display in London’s Selfridges department store for a week in early August and was to be sold to the highest bidder.

But, um, with that pesky recession and all, no one stepped forward to buy the vanity chocolate bar. So, Cadbury “bought it back” and will put it on display in Cadbury World. (Think Willy Wonka with a British accent.)

The whole thing actually has the makings of a movie: The reason they’re bringing back the Wispa Gold is because of a couple of Facebook groups, including **Bring back Cadbury's Wispa Gold**, recruited more than 20,000 members — the equivalent of getting that many names on a petition.

Wispa Gold
Source: Cadbury Wispa
Wispa Gold

The Facebook campaign was a grassroots effort just like the one used to get President Obama elected, said Joan Steuer, president of Chocolate Marketing LLC.

Then, the 961.48-pound bar — the Hope Diamond of the chocolate world — was brought to Selfridges luxurious Wonder Room by Spandau Balletlead singer Tony Hadley on a velvet pillow, escorted by a security detail — for the candy bar!

Steuer said it was a classic case of using escapism to lure consumers suffering in a recession: “Just get into that wonderful chocolate bar, close your eyes … and you’re transported!”

And, just to ensure it all wrapped up with a happy ending, they donated the 961.48 pounds to one of Hadley’s favorite charities, the UK Lowe Syndrome Trust, which funds research for the rare disease that affects children.

Aw, isn’t that sweet.

Pony Treats:

Gold-Plate My Ride. I don't know if it's the price of gold that's got everyone giddy or what, but candy bars aren't the only thing people are swathing in gold. Check out the world's most expensive bicycle: It's a gold-plated, Swarovski-studded 10-speed with a chocolate-leather seat and a price tag of 80,000 euros ($114,300).

It's Not the Saffron. Those crazy Brits just can't stop: They've also come up with the world's most expensive curry: A mix of caviar, sea snails, a whole lobster and — wait for it — edible gold. Available for 2,000 pounds ($3,316) a portion at London's Bombay Brasserie.

More on CNBC.com:

Questions? Comments? Write to ponyblog@cnbc.com.

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