The origin of the name
The Kit Kat name originates from the late 17th century in London, when a literary club met at a pie shop owned by pastry chef Christoppher Catling. The group was called the Kit Kat club and took its name from an abbreviated version of the owner's name.
- The history of Kit Kat
- August 29th 1935: First manufacture of the four-finger wafer in York. This is then sold in London and the South East of England as Rowntree’s Chocolate Crisp.
1937: George Harris, Marketing Director for Rowntree, re-branded the product as Kit Kat Chocolate Crisp. This year also heralds the first use of the word ‘Break’ in Kit Kat advertising.
1942: During the Second World War due to a shortage of ingredients including milk, Rowntree altered the recipe of Kit Kat Chocolate Crisp. The wrapper was changed to blue and the oval logo was removed along with the Chocolate Crisp. Kit Kat was written in bold.
1949: Kit Kat returned to its original milk recipe and the glory of its red wrapper.
1950s: Global International expansion in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada
1958: Donald Gilles, executive at advertising agency JWT London, creates the classic advertising line: ‘Have a Break, Have a Kit Kat’
1960s: Two-finger multi-pack was born. This new packaging format drives sales in the new supermarkets with increased home stocking by consumers.
1970s: Expansion of Kit Kat in Europe with manufacturing commencing in Hamburg, Germany.
Kit Kat brand was boosted by an agreement with Hershey Corp. to sell the brand under licence in the USA.
An agreement is struck to sell Kit Kat in Japan with confectionery company Fujiya.
1988: Nestlé acquires Rowntree
1989: Kit Kat production begins in a new Nestlé facility in Kasumigaura, Japan.
1990s: Manufacturing operations set up in Malaysia, India, China.
1996: Kit Kat Orange, the first flavour variant, is launched in the UK.
1999: Kit Kat Chunky launched in the UK, is an instant hit and quickly rolled into other developed markets.
2000: Nestlé buys Fujiya’s share in Japan.
2000s: Manufacturing operations set up in Bulgaria, Russia, Turkey and Venezuela.
2002: Kit Kat Chunky expanded to Central and Eastern Europe.
2005: Kit Kat Pop Choc launched.
2006: Kit Kat to become one of the first companies in the UK and Ireland to introduce Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs) on the front of Kit Kat packs. Today over 90% of the packs, including the catering sized packs carry GDA information.
2007: Kit Kat Singles launched in Canada (later rolled into Malaysia and Western Europe).
2008: Kit Kat Senses launched in Europe and Canada
2010: 75 years of Kit Kat.
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