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Come October, most love to say that these last three months of the year are the best. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are some of the best times for celebrating. What better way to celebrate the upcoming holidays than with chocolate and who doesn’t love chocolate? Starting with Halloween, the sweet celebrations begin. As soon as October approaches, stores begin to not only sell Halloween candy but also Christmas decorations and a few sweets. You may say it’s too early but if you live in the UK and are a fan of chocolate, then it is tradition. This is because chocolate boxes and tins go on sale, and they are some of the most anticipated sweets of the holidays.

teatssc1000015120_-00_nestle-quality-street-tin-820-grams-2016Now these are no ordinary chocolates. These beautiful sweets are colorfully wrapped and in random shapes and sizes. Much like a box of standard chocolates, each package will tell you what to expect in each chocolate, except you can pick whichever ones you like!

Quality Street is made by Nestle, identifiable by the purple box or tub. Quality Street was created after a man named Harold Mackintosh inherited his father John’s toffee factory after his death in 1936 and Harold revolutionized Christmas chocolates. In the early days, only the wealthy could originally afford Christmas chocolates since they were made with imported ingredients but with Mackintosh’s plan to use local ingredients, it lowered the prices of his chocolate and made Chhxm_08_c133_-00_cadbury-roses-tub-2016ristmas chocolate affordable to everyone. His invention, Quality Street, is made in the original factory from 1936. In 1988, Nestle purchased the brand and has owned it ever since. In previous holiday seasons, Nestle has released entire single serve chocolate bars devoted to favorite flavors of Quality Street (like honeycomb crunch and even chocolate green triangle). There has even been a giant strawberry! Quality Street was named after a play written by Scottish playwright J.M. Barrie, who was mostly known for writing Peter Pan.

Cadbury Roses are the Cadbury equivalent of Quality Street, launched in 1938 to compete with the main brand of Christmas chocolate. The Roses name apparently comes from “Rose Brothers”. Cadbury Roses have only 10 varieties of chocolates.

teatssc1000020922_-00_cadbury-heroes-11-39oz-323g_1Finally, another hit among chocolate lovers is the Cadbury Heroes. This is a mixture of Cadbury favorites like Dairy Milk, Fudge, Wispa, Dairy Milk Caramel, Twirl, Eclair, and Creme Egg Twisted. The best part of this is that they are all miniatures! These “fun sized” treats come in a range of sizes from small bags, to boxes, to large tubs.

All of these wonderful sweets are delicious and are enjoyed throughout generations. Their popularity is growing throughout the world so it’s no wonder it’s gaining attention here in the States. The tradition of Christmas chocolates have been well-established with British families and now American families can create new traditions with them. Try some today. You will wonder how your holidays ever did without!

-CD

 

What are the holidays without chocolate? As horrid and wretched as any other day without chocolate, of course. But there are lots of special chocolates that come on the market this time of year. Time to stock up and hoard… uh, I mean, store safely so they last all year long. Here are a couple of great chocolate treats to start with.

Beech’s Milk Chocolate Brazils

Beech’s Milk Chocolate Brazils (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Beech’s Milk Chocolate Brazils (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Go nuts with these chocolate covered Brazil nuts. Imported from the UK for the holiday season, Beech’s Milk Chocolate Brazils are made with the finest whole Brazil nuts, covered with Beech’s milk chocolate. Some think these nuts would make a great gift for that nut-lover on your list. I say “Be greedy! Buy plenty for yourself!” Then, you can invite me over and share them with me!

Beech’s has a venerable history. Founded in 1920 in Preston, UK, by Edward Collinson, this business was in addition to his family’s tea and grocery shops and was a logical extension of them. Their reputation for quality grew and was established as a quality brand by the end of World War II. The company was bought by Yorkshire wool merchants in 1966 and acquired by Supercook brand in 1984. Renshaw Scott Group bought Beech’s in 2000, and in 2004 Beech’s became semi-private again and dedicated to returning to that high standard of quality. Chairman Andrew Whiting and Managing Director Robert White decreed that only natural color and flavorings would be used and that they would adhere to the original recipes perfected for almost a century.

Cadbury Selection Stocking

Cadbury Selection Stocking (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Cadbury Selection Stocking (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Christmas stockings are a true tradition, so why not one filled with chocolates! This one includes a full-size assortment of Cadbury favorites. Buy some as gifts for the kids and adults on your list and a bunch for your private stash. Each stocking includes one each of Magical Elves, Fudge, Crunchie, Dairy Milk Caramel, Dairy Milk, Flake, and Dairy Milk Buttons. Don’t hesitate, though, since only limited quantities are imported from England for the holiday season.

Cadbury’s is a brand that has been around even longer than Beech’s. Founded in 1824 by John Cadbury, a Quaker, in Birmingham, UK, the shop also sold tea and coffee, quite fitting since both beverages are great paired with chocolates. The shop also sold drinking chocolate. Thirty years later they were the official supplier of chocolates to Queen Victoria, a high honor and sign of their quality. The company went through a number of changes, including a merger with the beverage company Schweppes in 1969, and today is the largest manufacturer of confections in the world.

Don’t forget to serve up some teas with those chocolates. And hoard… uh, store some away for when these seasonal treats are not available anymore.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

By Ashley Horne

We’ve all heard of the Cadbury bunny – an adorable little rabbit that delivers decadent sweets – but what’s the story behind our furry little friend and the company that created him?

Cabdury Dairy Milk Bars

The Cadbury Candy Company was founded in 1824 in Birmingham, England, by John Cadbury, a Quaker. Surprisingly, the company did not originally sell candy. In fact, Mr. Cadbury sold coffee and tea based products. Over the years, his sales began to include other products such as hops, mustard, cocoa and drinking chocolate.

By 1842, the company was selling nearly 30 cocoa and chocolate based drinks. Despite this, it was not until the 1860’s that the company began to manufacture cocoa essence in a manner in which eating chocolate could be more easily made. In 1899, the company produced its first milk chocolate.

With great success, the company expanded operations to other countries including Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and South Africa between 1900 and 1940. In addition, the company acquired JS Fry & Sons of Bristol in 1919. This acquisition brought with it a wide range of chocolate products. Chocolate products were considered essential for soldiers and civilians and were rationed through the war years and until 1952. Even during these difficult times Cadbury continued its growth and even opened a facility in India in 1949.

The same success has continued for Cadbury. Growth has been seen over the past several decades. The company has continued to acquire smaller confectioners and has also merged with others. The company has been publicly exchanged on the London Stock Exchange since 1969 and the Melbourne Stock Exchange in Australia since 1989.

Today, the company is in pursuit of the title of biggest and best confectionery in the world. To help earn that reputation, Cadbury is going to be the official treat provider for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games which will be held in London.

And what about our furry friend? The first  ad campaign was launched in 1982 in North America. These ads used the slogan, “No bunny knows Easter better than him,” and featured mainly Flemish Giant rabbits. In Crème Egg ads viewers were shown a small white rabbit who clucks like a chicken. Caramel egg ads used a larger, gold-colored rabbit which also clucked. Finally, a large brown rabbit was used for chocolate egg ads. This rabbit clucks, but in a deep a voice. These ever popular ads worked wonders for brand recognition!

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© Online Stores, LLC, and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, LLC., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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