Whittaker’s sweet time in Porirua

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By DANIEL WHIT­FIELD

When Cad­bury changed its recipe sev­eral years ago, com­peti­tor Whittaker’s Choco­late be­came an overnight sen­sa­tion.

As me­dia at­ten­tion turned to its com­peti­tor, Whittaker’s sim­ply held on to its fam­ily-owned com­pany sta­tus and con­tin­ued to pro­duce good choco­late at its Els­don fac­tory.

Holly Whittaker – a fourth gen­er­a­tion Whittaker – said con­sumers had a rea­son to try the prod­uct and that when they did they stuck with it.

‘‘Our sales shot up overnight. We ac­tu­ally had one mould­ing line that was sit­ting at 20 per cent ca­pac­ity and within a cou­ple of weeks it was at 100 per cent,’’ Whittaker said.

She also said that its mar­ket share went up 30 per cent and that the com­pany had main­tained that level since.

Cad­bury re­duced the size of its blocks and moved its man­u­fac­tur­ing base to Australia.

Whittaker said those de­ci­sions helped Whittaker’s.

‘‘We’ve con­tin­ued to grow and you can count on us not to change.’’

The choco­late com­pany was es­tab­lished by James Henry Whittaker in 1896 and to­day re­mains as Kiwi as pineap­ple lumps.

It re­cently launched a range fea­tur­ing in­gre­di­ents sourced from pro­duc­ers around New Zealand and the Pa­cific.

The ar­ti­san col­lec­tion was re­leased on May 18 and in­cludes flavours such as Kaitaia Fire Chili Pep­per, Marl­bor­ough Sea Salt and Caramel Brittle, Hawke’s Bay Brae­burn Ap­ple with Heilala Vanilla and Sin­gle Ori­gin Samoan Co­coa.

Whittaker said with so many fan­tas­tic ar­ti­san pro­duc­ers on its doorstep, it seemed a nat­u­ral step.

‘‘We also have a lot in com­mon with the pro­duc­ers – many are fam­ily-owned and op­er­ated, and all are ded­i­cated to cre­at­ing the finest qual­ity pro­duce.’’

The ar­ti­san col­lec­tion project took about 10 years to per­fect and she said sev­eral crazy flavours were tri­alled, but only the good com­bi­na­tions per­se­vered with.

Whittaker said there was a pride in pro­duc­ing new prod­ucts and an­other limited edi­tion block will be launched in July.

Fol­low­ing the New Zealand theme and fol­low­ing on from the L&P and Hun­dreds and Thou­sands blocks, it is ru­moured the next Whittaker’s cre­ation will be a jelly tip block.

Whittaker’s started in Christchurch in 1896 and moved to Welling­ton in about 1913. Pro­duc­tion was moved to Porirua in 1969. The fac­tory at Els­don has ex­panded greatly over the past 46 years.

When Whittaker’s moved to Els­don, it had only a small range that in­cluded tof­fee milk, k-bar, peanut slab, and the sante bar. To­day that range has ex­panded markedly.

The com­pany has more than 100 em­ploy­ees, many from Porirua.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.