Whittaker's Choc Cross Bun chocolate released in Australia ahead of NZ launch date, prompting anger from Kiwi fans

Photos of Whittaker's Hot Cross Bun chocolate side-by-side including screengrab of influencer's video, overlaid with comments on Facebook calling out Whittaker's
NZers are a little cross that Whittaker's Choc Cross Bun chocolate has already been launched in Aus. Photo credit: Photo composite - Facebook / Megan Bowyer, TikTok / @michaeljaimie / Screengrabs

Whittaker's may have a "bean to bar" approach, but Kiwis aren't having a bar of the chocolatier as its latest flavour circulates in Australia - weeks ahead of the official New Zealand launch date.

On January 17, the Porirua-based chocolatier announced it would be launching 'Choc Cross Bun' - a limited-edition flavour inspired by the signature Easter treat - across Aotearoa on Monday, February 5.

But as eagled-eyed shoppers have pointed out online, the new flavour has already been available in Australia for about two weeks - and many Kiwis are more than a little cross about it.

After announcing its latest addition on social media, Whittaker's received several questions from peeved fans as to why the new flavour was already on supermarket shelves across the Tasman. Sharing a photo of the brand-new bar on a shelf alongside other Whittaker's products, one woman asked: "But why was this launched in Australia before we get it here?"

"My family over there are always bragging about how they get your new products in their supermarkets before they are even released here in NZ," another weighed in, while a third added: "How come the Aussies already have this? So not fair, if they can buy it now then we should be able to as well!"  

"Why so late, Australia already has it out - how come NZ gets it last?" a fourth complained, with a fifth lamenting: "Made in NZ and Australia gets it first. Gutted."  

"Bit annoying that you launched in Australia first - where's your loyalty?" another snapped.  

a photo of Choc Cross Bun on a shelf alongside other Whittaker's products
The new flavour was spotted in Australian supermarkets the same day it was first announced on January 17 - almost three weeks ahead of the NZ launch date. Photo credit: Megan Bowyer / Facebook

Responding to the controversy, a Whittaker's spokesperson explained that Choc Cross Bun was planned to be launched in New Zealand and Australia simultaneously, but the product was sent across the ditch earlier due to the country's lengthier distribution times.

"We planned to launch our new Limited Edition Choc Cross Bun 250g Block at the same time in both New Zealand and Australia. As a much bigger market, distribution and rollout in Australia can take longer than in New Zealand so our newest product was sent over there earlier," the spokesperson said in a comment.

"Unfortunately, the news of Choc Cross Bun Block leaked in Australia ahead of our planned announcement."

According to several customers on social media, the new flavour has been available at the Australian supermarket chain Coles for almost two weeks.  

As for how the flavour has been received thus far, reviews from Australian foodies have been mixed. In a video shared to TikTok, Michael Jaimie said the bar had "a lot going on", adding: "There are chunky raisins, and the chocolate is quite spicy - but not heat-wise. This is indulgent - you'd only need a few squares and you'll be all right.

"If you like fruit and nut chocolate and traditional hot cross buns, you'll love this."

However, another has hailed the chocolate as "delicious".

The Choc Cross Bun Block features the chocolatier's famous 33 percent Five Roll Refined Creamy Milk Chocolate with ingredients inspired by the humble HCB, including mixed spice, raisins and orange oil. 

Newshub has contacted Whittaker's for comment on the leak.