A murmer of disquiet began in our office the other day.
The low hum of annoyance soon bubbled up into straight out frustration. It erupted when one of my colleagues shouted, "Why the HELL are Chupa Chups so hard to open?"
This outburst was met with a chorus of agreement. It seems it's a commonly known fact that Chupa Chups are harder to get into than a childcare centre.
Someone wondered - have they actually made Chupa Chups harder to open? And why on earth have they made it so challenging? Do they not want us to enjoy that ball of straight sugar?
One person mused that perhaps they deliberately made them hard to get into so kids couldn't get into them easily and then wreak havoc on a sugar high. Someone else thought maybe it was a tamper-proof measure.
A quick Google shows this issue extends well beyond our newsroom.
A Reddit thread with the title "what is the best way to open a Chupa Chup" returns the helpful suggestions "throw it at an old lady" and "[open it] with a set of hydraulic cutters ... I chipped a tooth trying to get one of those f***ers open for my daughter."
So we decided to contact the good people at Chupa Chups and ask what on earth was going on - are they sealing the wrappers with flames from the burning depths of hell itself?
We got a super cheerful email response from Sam Hansen, the country manager for the company that makes Chupa Chups. She assured us that their method of sealing the lollipops hasn't changed.
"Yep we know that Chupa Chups are super hard to open. We've designed them like that," she writes.
"There are actually two layers of wrapper that are twisted together and sealed at the bottom with heat. That way we know they will get to you in the condition they left the factory.
"You can try twisting your Chupa Chups at the bottom of the wrapping to open it - makes it a little easier!
"Embrace the anticipation of getting into your favourite Chupa Chups because you know when you eventually get in, it'll be worth it! Don't give up on moments of fun!"
With those breathless words of encouragement ringing in our ears, let's look into this twisting technique she references.
This chap on YouTube demonstrates. Let's all take a moment to tip our hat to the individual who went to the effort of doing this. The internet is a marvellous place.
A QUICK HISTORY OF CHUPA CHUPS
In the early 1950s, Spaniard Enric Bernat worked for an apple jam factory called "Granja Asturias". After he broached the idea of making lollipops, the investors left.
Bernat took over the company in 1958 and renamed it Chupa Chups. He built the production machines and sold a striped bonbon on a wooden stick for one peseta each.
Bernat got the idea of his lollipops from his getting sticky hands from melting sweets.
Bernat felt that at that time, sweets were not designed for children. Shopkeepers were instructed to place Chupa Chups near the cash register within reach of children's hands, instead of the usual placement behind the counter.
The Chupa Chups company was a success. Within five years Bernat's sweets were being sold at 300,000 outlets.
The Chupa Chups logo was designed in 1969 by iconic artist Salvador Dalí.