Kit Kat | Success Story Of The Famous Chocolate Brand
Kit Kat is a world-famous chocolate-covered wafer that Rowntree of York, United Kingdom, created. The chocolate is now produced globally by Nestle except in the United States, where it is produced under license by the H. B. Reese Candy Company, a division of the Hershey Company. Kit Kat has many flavors like milk, dark chocolate, and white. The chocolate is now produced in many countries of the world.
The brand Kit Kat’s origin goes way back to 1911 when a York-based confectionery, Rowntree, trademarked the terms Kit Kat and Kit Cat. The names were not used immediately when the chocolate came into the market. It was known as Kit Cat back then.
This continued until the 1930s when Rowntree started focusing on their other products. This lead to a decrease in the Kit Cat brand and eventually a halt in its production. Due to suggestions from a worker in the Rowntree factory, the chocolate was launched again on 29 August 1935. Kit Cat was sold in London and all of South England.
Participation of Nestle and Hershey
Kit Cat was a mass success in the United Kingdom. In the 1940s, it was exported to Canada, South Africa, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. Donald Gilles, the executive at JWT London, created the iconic advertising line “Have a Break, Have a Kit Kat,” in 1957.
In 1988, Nestle, a Swiss company, acquired Kit Kat by purchasing Rowntree. This gave Nestle the global right over the production of chocolate worldwide except in the United States.
The Hershey Company has a license to produce Kit Kat bars in the United States which dates from 1970 when Hershey executed a licensing agreement with Rowntree, which allowed Hershey to retain the Kit Kat license so long as Hershey did not sell. Nestlé, which has a substantial presence in the US, had to honor the licensing agreement when it bought Rowntree in 1988.
Struggle in the 2000s
2003 was a turning point in Kit Kat’s history and the whole confectionery industry. The popularity of low carbs diet was increasing daily, and the push for healthy eating stifled sales growth in many parts of the world.
In addition to this, the intense competition with Cadbury’s Dairy Milk led to a decrease in sales. There was a considerable decrease in Kit Kat’s home country, the United Kingdom.
The solution adopted by Nestlé and others was to increase the number of new and unique variations of their confections dramatically. They started marketing them as limited or special editions, which were only available for a few months at a time. It helped them to not lose sales of their standard products.
The strategy initially reversed the decline of the Kit Kat and has been adopted worldwide by Nestlé, Hershey, Mars, and others with similar success. This has resulted in many new flavors and varieties of the Kit Kat and other confections appearing globally.
When first introduced in the United Kingdom in 1935, the original Rowntree’s Chocolate Crisp bar had a red wrapper. It became blue between 1945 and 1947. The Kit Kat logo came into being in 1937. As a result of milk shortages after the end of World War II – a period of rationing in the UK – dark chocolate was used instead of milk chocolate during that period.
In 2002, Hershey Kit Kats adopted the slanted ellipse logo used worldwide by Nestlé, though the ellipse was red and the text white. The US version of “Kit Kat Chunky” is “Big Kat.”
The product was traditionally wrapped in silver foil and an outer paper band in the United Kingdom. In 2001 this was changed to flow wrap plastic. Foil and paper wrapping for Kit Kats are selling as part of a multipack. In 2020, Kit Kat won the Lausanne Index Prize – Best of Packaging.
Also Read: Cadbury | Success Story of World’s Leading Chocolate Brand
Has Kit Kat changed its recipe?
In an effort to reduce sugar in its products by 10 percent before 2018, the company will now make Kit Kats with less sugar, but higher amounts of milk and cocoa. It’s the first time the original recipe has changed since the chocolate bar was launched in 1936.
What is the net worth of Kit Kat?
The estimated net worth of Kit Kat is $45.7 million, as of 2022.