The story goes that the creation of Chocolate Crisp at the York factory in 1935 was prompted by an entry in the Rowntree’s suggestion box; one of the firm’s employees felt that Rowntree’s ought to be making 'a chocolate bar that a man could take to work in his pack up’. Rowntree’s tried to make a chocolate bar that would be more affordable for a working man, and they used wafer to fill the product and keep the price below that of a solid chocolate bar. In so doing they created a very sophisticated product; wafer is a palette cleanser and it changes the sensory experience of eating chocolate. Demand for the new bar quickly began to outstrip supply. The KitKat® brand name and logo was introduced on pack in 1937. In 1941 Rowntree’s had to drastically alter the recipe of Chocolate Crisp due to shortages of ingredients. In order not to effect customer loyalty (they were worried that the wartime KitKat® would put consumers off the product altogether) the firm produced a Chocolate Crisp in a distinctive blue wrapper, and called it KIT-KAT®. The explanation on their advertisements read “No More Chocolate Crisp Till After The War”.
When war ended Chocolate Crisp returned with its old name and old wrapper. The words ‘ChocolateCrisp’ were not dropped until 1949. It was then that Rowntree’s were really able to focus their attention on brand investment. KitKat® first appeared on television in 1955, and started using the slogan “Have a break - have a KitKat®” in 1957. The campaign proved so popular sales increased by a quarter. Sales increased dramatically in the early seventies following huge investment in new plant and equipment by Rowntree’s. In 1973 the cream and red wrapper was replaced by a new bright red and white wrapper. Since then the brand has gained new flavour variants (KitKat® Orange was the first and KitKat® Mocha is the latest) and new shapes (the KitKat® Chunky of 1999 has been a runaway success). In 2010 Guinness World Records certified KitKat® the world’s most global brand, sold in more countries than any other that year. Today, the iconic brand is present in more than 80 countries. KitKat is the first global confectionery brand to be sourced from 100% sustainable cocoa.