When I think of Brazilian food, the dishes that spring to mind are feijoada, moqueca, pão de queijo, picanha, farofa and I’d better stop before I start drooling on the keyboard. But if you asked someone else they might provide an alternative list: doce de leite, beijinhos de coco, pudim, kindim, pão de mel, creme de papaia com cassis and (of course) brigadeiro.
Brazilian cuisine provides plenty of satisfaction for savoury food people like me, but it also has a lot for you glucophiles. Today’s Brazilian brand falls squarely into the latter category – something this sweet was sure to be successful in Brazil wasn’t it?
Toddy & Toddynho
Name: Toddy / Toddynho (sounds like Todgey and Todge-EEN-yo respectively).
Product: Chocolate powder / chocolate milk.
Background: In 1916 Pedro Erasmo Santiago, a Spanish immigrant in Puerto Rico, lost his entire Cacau plantation in a hurricane. He moved to the USA where he worked his way up from toilet cleaner to prosperous businessman in the food industry.
In 1928 he bought the rights to the brand name “Toddy” for all of South America. Prior to this, “Toddy” was the name of a Scottish drink made of blended whisky, sugar/honey and spices, served hot. However, Pedro’s product, a sweetened cocoa powder to be made into a chocolate drink, was just as often served cold.
In 1933 Pedro Santiago was granted permission to market Toddy in Brazil. He set up a factory in Lapa and set about marketting his product with innovative publicity stunts, such as using planes to write the name of his product in smoke in the skies over Rio.
In the following decades, Toddy became a hugely popular drink across Brazil. Although Toddy was the first chocolate powder in Brazil, other brands soon followed, notably Nescau made by evil Swiss company Nestlé.
Verdict: Toddy comes in various forms – chocolate powder, chocolate drink, biscuits, breakfast cereals, etc. I always thought of Toddy as a chocolate powder and Toddynho as a ready-made drink in a carton. But when I went to buy a Toddynho this morning, do you know what I found? I found Toddy made up as a drink in a carton too! Near-identical products masquerading as competitors but actually made by the same company? Hardly unprecedented I guess. Just. Ask. Ambev…
Anyway, I tried both drinks alongside each other and to me (no connoisseur) they were both very sweet and chocolatey. I actually preferred Toddy which was a lot more chocolatey and less creamy than Toddynho.
Regarding the rivalry with Nescau, I definitely lean towards Toddy and it seems I’m not alone – one commenter on YouTube put it this way: Eu adoro Toddy! Acho o Nescau muito sem graça, puro açucar e nada de chocolate! [I love Toddy! I reckon that Nescau is really awful - all sugar and no chocolate!]
As I said, I’m no chocolate milk expert, but I can say in terms of brand identity, Toddy wins hands down! Nescau has no brand character other than a rather dull lightning flash – compare that to Toddynho which has a happy chocolate cube man and Toddy which has a couple of crazy cows with attitude! You want proof of their crazy cow attitude? How about this?
I know some of you are going to hate me for this, but for those that don’t know, the above picture refers to this little baile funk gem. Could this be even worse than Tchu Tcha Tcha? Enjoy…