Nestlé is the UK's (and also the world's) #3 confectionery company (after Mondelez and Mars). Indeed, the core of the company's diversified global confectionery business was formed from the acquisition of UK-based Rowntree Mackintosh in 1988. Although Nestlé already owned a small selection of mainly continental European chocolate brands, Rowntree Mackintosh added products such as Kit Kat - Nestle's biggest confectionery product globally by a considerable margin - as well as Smarties and Aero. The merged business was known in the UK as Nestlé Rowntree until 2008. The group still manages a sizeable portfolio of well-known brands, but the biggest by far is Kit Kat, still one of the top selling confectionery products in the UK as well as several other global markets. The brand received a sizeable additional boost in 1999 from the launch of Kit Kat Chunky. During the early 2000s, though, the UK's group's performance stalled. Senior UK management was overhauled in late 2003 in order to refocus the business, and then again in 2005 when that revamp failed to deliver results. More recently, the company's two main rivals have also expanded dramatically as a result of acquisition, further widening their lead over Nestlé both globally and in the UK. Kit Kat is the company's clear top-seller in the UK, sold both as a chocolate bar (with four "fingers") and a biscuit (the two-finger version). Combined UK sales were approx £164m in 2018 (Nielsen in The Grocer). Rowntree's sugar confectionery came next at £75m, followed by Quality Street boxed selection (£74m), Milkybar (£61m) and Aero (£47m). Alexander von Maillot is head of global confectionery at Nestlé. Richard Watson is managing director, UK confectionery.
Capsule checked 17th December 2018
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Historical profile information for Nestlé Confectionery
Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Oct 2015: Nestle relaunched its Cailler brand as a super-premium bar and boxed chocolate range in direct competition with Lindt and its US subsidiary Ghiradelli. Cailler traces its heritage to the original invention of milk chocolate. Before it was acquired by Nestle in the 1920s, Cailler had itself merged with the company founded by Daniel Peter, who 50 years earlier was the first person to successfully blend milk and bitter chocolate for commercial sale. In a completely modern twist, however, the main global sales channel for the relaunched Cailler chocolate will not be bricks and mortar retail but Amazon, which has already begun marketing the products in the US and Europe. It will also be available through travel retail outlets.
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