Read these facts about Chocolate in the City of York
- 6 million Kit Kats are produced in York every day – over 1 billion every year.
- Top chocolate brands such as Kit Kat, Aero, Smarties, After Eight, Yorkie, Chocolate Orange and Black Magic were all created in York
- The Rowntree factory once employed 14,000 staff, employing teachers and gardeners as well as the factory workers
- In 1856 the team of apprentices working in the Rowntree’s Grocers included a young Mr Cadbury and a young Mr Fry.
- Rowntree’s owned York’s first motor car, they created a giant can of Cocoa Elect to promote the brand. The public would come from miles around to see the spectacle. It once broke down in Sheffield city centre, the drivers were arrested for being a nuisance. The giant tin of cocoa would make it top heavy, it would often fall over.
- Terry’s first created the Chocolate Apple before the iconic Chocolate Orange.
- The competitive rivalry between Cadbury and Rowntree’s is thought to have inspired Roald Dahl to create Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Dahl went to school in Derbyshire, do you think it could have been a school trip to the Rowntree factory that shaped his imagination?
- At Christmas 1914 The Lord Mayor and Sheriff generously sent a bar of Rowntrees chocolate to every York man fighting in the Great War. One of these tins with the original chocolate bar inside can be seen at the Mansion House.
- A tin of Rowntree’s Elect Cocoa was taken by Shackleton to the Antarctic in 1908 in was discovered completely intact 50 years later and is now housed in the Nestle archives in York, its taste was pronounced to be in “excellent condition”.
- Rowntree’s had two cheeky children who were mascots for the company; “The Cocoa Nibs”
- Plain ‘Mr York’ was an iconic automated character introduced in the 1920s; Mr York of York, Yorks, was featured in the first animated advertisement with sound and promoted the Motoring Chocolate bar with a wide range of merchandise created to promote Mr York and Rowntree’s. He became world famous – a major celebrity of his era!
- A York bar of chocolate was once presented to the then Princess Elizabeth, it was made with Cocoa, Sugar and Vanilla all grown in the atrium at the Rowntree factory. The Queen was the first person to ever receive a bar of entirely English chocolate. Nestle in York also has some rare footage of the Queen’s father on a visit to the Rowntree’s works in 1920 and the factory has had the Royal Warrant since the days of Queen Victoria.