Due to newly enacted food labeling laws, chocolate Santas in Chile are both faceless and disturbing.
Amongst threats like global warming, rising sea levels, and possible nuclear war, global obesity is a growing problem (pun intended). What used to be limited to just the most advanced of nations, now every country is starting to feel the battle of the bulge, and most of them are losing.
And Chile is losing particularly badly. Nearly three-quarters of the South American country is either overweight or obese, with half of children falling into the same category.
In order to combat their growing waistlines, Chile enacted strict food labeling laws in 2016 that required all food packages with unhealthy amounts of salt, sugar, and saturated fats to have prominent black warning signs.
The law also made it illegal to advertise directly to minors. This meant removing toys from such food items as Kinder Eggs, but also meant removing beloved mascots from the fronts of cereal boxes. Tony the Tiger, Toucan Sam, The Captain, and others were all removed as part of the new regulation.
Another casualty of the new food labeling law was religious icons such as the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. While Santa could be used to advertise your store, you could no longer use his jolly visage to make chocolate seem more appealing.
So instead, some Chilean chocolate manufactures went in the complete opposite direction and made their vaguely Santa-shaped chocolate creepy as all get out.
You can see in the picture above the outline of what is possibly a big winter coat and a pointy hat, but the entire facial region of Santa is a blank slate, making the chocolates appear more like faceless Santa ghosts here to steal a child’s soul rather than give then Christmas presents.
You gotta admit, making candy terrifying is certainly one way of combating childhood obesity.
It’s a strange switch for Chile to go from having a malnourished population a few decades ago to one that’s battling obesity tooth and nail, but that’s what overthrowing a military dictatorship will get you. Democracy and food for all, and eventually creepy Santa chocolates.