Rowntree A-Z

Rowntree Mackintosh Ltd.

Rowntree’s merged with Mackintosh’s, a company originating in Halifax, Yorkshire, in 1969 to become Rowntree Mackintosh. John Mackintosh and Co. brought with them Rolo, Munchies, Caramac and Quality Street. The company went public in 1987, and was the subject of a takeover battle between Nestlé and Jacobs Suchard in 1988. Nestlé eventually won control with an offer valuing Rowntree Mackintosh at $4.5billion.

History timeline of John Mackintosh and Sons Ltd

(taken from a pamphlet given to Rowntree Mackintosh employees)

1890: John Mackintosh and wife Violet opened a pastry-cook shop in King Cross Lane, Halifax. Seeking a speciality they blended together,  for the first time, brittle English toffee and soft American caramel. THey named it “Mackintosh’s Celebrated Toffee’ and it formed the origin of modern toffee.

1894: The Shop was old, and manufacturing business began in the warehouse in Bond Street, Halifax.

1895: The business moved to larger premises in Hope Street, Halifax

1899: Company of John Mackintosh Ltd is formed and a new factory is built at Queen’s Road, Halifax.

1902: They ran the first consumer competition as sales promotion with first prize of model village cottage or £250. Another competition offered a £30 per year scholarship

1903: Toffee exported to Italy, Spain and China

1904: Factory opened in USA

1908: John Mackintosh’s son, Harold, joined the company

1911: A fire destroyed the Queen’s Road factory. The business was transferred to the site of Albion Mills

1912: Chocolate was first made

1917: Introduction of Toffee De Luxe in various flavours, including chocolate coated

1920: John Mackintosh died at age of 52, his son Harold Mackintosh became chairman

1921: John Mackintosh and Sons Ltd formed with 1,000 employees. The company made one range of products- Mackintosh’s Toffee De Luxe.

1922: “The Bulletin” first printed (a house magazine for salesmen), a Chemist appointed and the first laboratory installed.

1923: The first lady welfare worker appointed

1924: Memorial homes for pensioners built

1925: Mackintosh chocolate introduced

1929: Anglo-Amerian Chewing Gum Ltd formed (later named Anglo Confectionery Ltd)

1932: A.J. Caley and Son Ltd. Norwich was acquired and a wide variety of chocolates introduced.

1936: Quality Street introduced

1937: Rolo introduced

1939: Trading operations of Mackintosh and Caley companies merged

1942: The Norwich Factory was destroyed by bombs

1946: Rebuilding of Norwich factory begins

1949: First issue of M.C. house magazine

1950 First shipment of Quality Street to USA

1953 Employees at 4,000 plus

1956 The Duchess of Kent opened the Norwich Factory

1957 Week-End and Munchies introduced

1959: Caramac introduced

1960 Good News assortment introduced

1963 Toffee Crisp and Tooty Frooties introduced

1964 The new factory at Halifax was completed. Joseph Bellamy and Sons Ltd joined the company

1965: Death of Harold Mackintosh, 1st Viscount Mackintosh of Halifax. Mr Eric D. Mackintosh succeeded his brother as Chairman. John Hill and Son acquired

1966: Company sales exceeded £20m per year. Gainsborough Craftsmen Ltd acquired

1967: IBM 360computer installed

1968: Harold Mackintosh memorial flats and homes for pensioners opened at Norwich.

1969: Fox’s Glacier Mints Ltd acquired

Rowntree Mackintosh Ltd

1969: Merger of Rowntree and Co Ltd with John Mackintosh and Sons Ltd. Name was changed to Rowntree Mackintosh Ltd. Long-term agreement for Hershey Foods Corporation to market and eventually manufacture some of the group’s products in the USA, starting with KitKat.

Also in 1969, the Girsl Continuation School closes, employees reach 28,800. Issued capital £11,684,349. Group turnover £112,912,000

1970: Castleford Factory opened by Duchess of Kent. New factory completed at Leicester for Fox products. New Office block, with computer centre, completed at Haxby Road. York. Group Turnover £120,375,000

1971: Chocolate confectionery business of Chocolate-Menier SA, Paris, joined the group. Group newspaper “Rowntree Mackintosh News” replaced CWM at York and MC at Norwich.- circulation 26,000

1972: Group received Queen’s Award to Industry for Export Achievement. Announcement of Knighthood in Queen’s birthday honours list for chairman, Mr Donald Barron

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