The Rise of the Great British Chocolate Manufacturer

Nov 10


Lisa Jeeves

Lisa Jeeves

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Long dominated by giant chocolate suppliers such as Cadbury, the world of British chocolate manufacturing has expanded and diversified in recent years.


In sweet shops across Britain,The Rise of the Great British Chocolate Manufacturer Articles Cadbury’s distinctive purple wrapper reigns supreme on the shelves of retailers and chocolate suppliers from north to south. Founded nearly 200 years ago in Birmingham, the chocolate giant chalked up sales of £491 million in 2014. Today, Cadbury is quintessentially British - as integral a part of culinary life in the United Kingdom as afternoon tea or fish and chips.

However, in recent years several smaller, independent chocolate companies have sprung up in Britain. These companies are committed to bringing high quality, small-batch, socially and environmentally responsible chocolates to the UK, and Britons are (literally) eating them up. Chocolate suppliers are racing to stock and re-stock these domestically produced treats, many of which are getting an added boost from trends toward fair-trade, organic, or bean-to-bar chocolates. Here’s a selection of homegrown British chocolatiers who are currently offering their wares across the UK.

Willie’s Cacao

A glance at the whimsical logo of Willie’s Cacao might remind you of another British chocolatier – Willy Wonka, the famously eccentric fictional character created by Roald Dahl in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This Willie, however, is the real deal. Founder Willie Harcourt-Cooze specialises in single-estate chocolate bars – that is, all the beans used in the bar come from one cacao estate. Willie’s Cacao sources its beans from Ecuador, Guatemala, Madagascar, and other countries, but roasts and processes those beans in its own factory in Devon. Willie’s offers an extensive range of bean-to-bar and single-estate chocolate bars, each with its own distinct flavour and character.

Monty Bojangles

With its wacky packaging and quirky product names, Monty Bojangles’ chocolates are a tip of the hat to British comedy group Monty Python. With offerings such as Flutter Scotch, Scrumple Nutty, and Choccy Scoffy, Monty Bojangles presents its wares with quintessentially whimsical, ironic British humour. These delightful confections can be found online, at select grocery retailers such as Waitrose, or from a number of good British chocolate suppliers.


Founded in 1999, Divine Chocolate is the only fair-trade chocolate company with a stake as large as 44% owned by cacao farmers. This London-based company sources its cacao from Ghana, and offers chocolate bars that range from simple and elegant 70% cacao to more unconventional flavours like milk chocolate with spiced apple toffee. Divine bars are instantly recognisable by their ornately designed wrappers, which feature west African Adinkra symbols with meanings that relate to the Divine mission - such as interdependence, peace, and solidarity.


Like Divine Chocolate, Booja Booja has a socially minded mission. Every year this Norfolk-based company chooses two charities to share 5% of its profits. Its products are made only with organic ingredients, and all of them are dairy, gluten, and soya free. Booja-Booja’s popular award-winning ice cream alternatives are made with cashews and sweetened with agave syrup, while their chocolate truffles are endlessly imaginative, with flavours such as banoffee and rhubarb-vanilla fool.

On the shelves of retailers and chocolate suppliers across Britain, small British chocolate manufacturers are gaining an edge. With high-quality, unique products designed to resonate with the British public, these manufacturers are building a bigger, better, more diversified chocolate market for the UK.