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History Blog

Welcome to the Nestlé UK History Blog. We will tweet each new post from our @nestleuknews Twitter handle.

Blog posts
July 06, 2018
The Cocoa Works at 180
By Lilia Kozakul

To celebrate the 180th anniversary of the York Cocoa Works I’ve looked out a few little gems from our archive that tell its story.

December 14, 2017
Black Magic
By Lilia Kozakul

When Black Magic was launched in 1933, Rowntree’s were fighting their way back from one of the worst financial declines in the history of the firm.

October 31, 2017
Haloween2017
By Alex Hutchinson
Have you been following our archivist’s spooktastic blog over the last few days? If not, fear not, here are all the questions and all the answers.
December 01, 2016
150thAnniversaryFilms
By Alex Hutchinson
I'm excited to be able to announce that, in honour of our 150th anniversary this year, we digitized absolutely every last one of our archive films.
October 20, 2016
KitKatNoHyphen
By Alex Hutchinson
My colleagues tell me that there is a rumour going around that there used to be a hyphen on KitKat’s wrappers, and that it has mysteriously disappeared in recent years. I'm happy to debunk another myth.
June 23, 2016
Long lost photos of the fallen
By Alex Hutchinson
This is a copy of a photo album that was found at one of our factories. The photographs are of Nestlé UK employees who had gone away to serve their country during the First World War. We're making them available to the public for the first time.
May 23, 2016
ShakespeareTin
By Alex Hutchinson
While we're all enjoying the BBC's Shakespeare Festival our archivist thought that now would be a good time to talk about her Shakespeare tin.
April 09, 2016
A Royal Gift
By Alex Hutchinson
It is the 90th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The celebrations happening all over the world have got us thinking about this story from 2014 about the first bar of Yorkshire chocolate which we gave to Her Majesty when she was the Princess Elizabeth.
March 18, 2016
Yorkieth Birthday
By Alex Hutchinson
Do you ever wonder to yourself whose idea it was to launch the Yorkie? And what were the other ideas that were in the running at the same time?
August 28, 2015
KitKatTurns80
By Alex Hutchinson
It's the KitKat® chocolate bar's 80th anniversary on Saturday, and we're celebrating by publishing an image, for the first time in nearly 100 years, of the chocolate box that gave the bar its name. Ever wondered why KitKat® is called KitKat®? Well read on...
January 20, 2015
Cocoa for Michael
By Alex Hutchinson
I have a confession to make: I love a good cup of really bitter cocoa, the plain dark kind with no marshmallows. So you can imagine how pleased I was when I heard that Michael Portillo wanted me to show him how to make authentic Rowntree’s cocoa.
August 08, 2014
Henri Nestle200
By Alex Hutchinson
Have you ever looked at the image of a nest on the back of your favourite jar of coffee, or a yummy break-time treat and asked yourself: where does Nestlé come from?
August 05, 2014
Tutbury war poem
By Alex Hutchinson
As we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War we’re looking back on some of the ways that the conflict touched our UK factories. Today’s memory comes from the Tutbury factory, where a recent donation to the archive...
August 01, 2014
How Sustainable is Yorkshire Cocoa?
By Alex Hutchinson
What it would be like if we could grow cocoa in Yorkshire? Read on to find out who did it and when.
July 10, 2014
Fruit Pastilles
By Alex Hutchinson
After seeing Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles appear in the excellent Sunday Times column The God Of Small Things, we decided it was time to tell the story of how the Rowntree’s brand came into being.
June 23, 2014
Le Tour Comes To York
By Alex Hutchinson
We’re used to Grand Departs here at the York Nestlé factory. One statistic that we’ve turned up suggests that during the mid-20th century we had to find room in our cycle sheds for 8,000 employees bicycles at a time.
June 20, 2014
LongLostFilm
By Alex Hutchinson
I found a massive stash of long-lost films in a wall cavity in 2009 and I’m still rummaging through them. Read more...
June 15, 2014
Finding Your Family In Our Company Records
By Alex Hutchinson
We’ve had a flurry of communication from family historians this year in the archive. It seems that 5.2 million of you tuned in to watch the ever-lovely Una Stubbs on the BBC history show Who Do You Think You Are?
September 12, 2013
Mr After Eight
By Alex Hutchinson
Nestlé UK & Ireland would like to pay tribute to Brian Sollit, who died aged 74, he was one of the foremost confectioners of his generation. Brian was a leading figure in the development of the After Eight mint, among many other successes in a long and fun-filled career.
July 03, 2012
BLOG150 years of Rowntrees
By Alex Hutchinson
July 2012 marks 150 years since the Rowntree family started their cocoa business in York. The Rowntrees were a Quaker family with strong Quaker beliefs. They built a chocolate empire from a small drinking cocoa business.