7th
Aug
2013

Posted in Kafevend Blog

It's time once again to continue with our biscuit themed blogs, and following our recent delve into the history behind the esteemed 'Tunnock's Caramel Wafer', we turn now to another wafer biscuit for inspiration. These days the ubiquitous 'Kit Kat' is produced by Nestlé and sold in a variety of permutations around the world, but it was first launched by the York confectionery company Rowntree's way back on August 29th 1935.

Originally conceived as a handy addition to a working man's packed lunch and trialled in London and the South East, the 'Rowntree's Chocolate Crisp', as it was first known, soon achieved popularity and was marketed across the nation. It was re branded as the 'Kit Kat Chocolate Crisp' in 1937, but during the war years when fresh milk became scarce, the recipe had to be altered. Rowntree's, feeling that their established customer base would be disappointed with the change, moved from the familiar red wrapper with its oval logo, to a blue wrapper without the oval. Its name changed once more, this time from 'Kit Kat Chocolate Crisp' to merely 'Kit Kat'; there was even an explanation printed on the front to absolve them of blame:
“Because no milk can be obtained for chocolate manufacture, the Chocolate Crisp you knew in peace-time can no longer be made. Kit Kat is the nearest possible product at the present time.”

It wasn't until 1949 that milk became sufficiently available for Rowntree's to revert to their former recipe and the red packaging. They decided though, not to reinstate the 'Chocolate Crisp' part of the name and thus was born the iconic red packaged 'Kit Kat' that remains a popular tea break accompaniment to this day.

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