Milk Tray is a brand of boxed chocolates currently manufactured by Cadbury. Introduced by Cadbury UK in 1915, it is one of the longest running brands in the confectioner's portfolio. Milk Tray is sold in Australia, parts of Canada (such as Newfoundland), Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
The name 'Tray' derived from the way in which the original assortment was delivered to the shops. Originally Milk Tray was packed in five and a half pound boxes, arranged on trays from which it was sold loose to customers.
In 1916 a half pound deep-lidded box was introduced with a purple background and gold script, which has undergone minor changes in the ninety years since it was introduced. In 1924 a one-pound box was introduced, and by the mid-1930s the Cadbury's Milk Tray assortment was outselling all its competitors.
The pack design has been regularly updated and the assortment itself has changed in line with consumer preferences, and today it is still one of the most popular boxes of chocolates in the UK selling over 8 million boxes per annum.
The traditionally named Turkish delight has now been renamed "Exotic Delight".
Production of Milk Tray is made under licence to Cadbury UK in the European Union.
Milk Tray Man
From 1968 to 2003, the chocolate was advertised by the Milk Tray Man a rough, tough James Bond–style action man who goes through hell and high water to surreptitiously deliver a box of Milk Tray chocolates to a woman. The original tagline was All because the lady loves Milk Tray.
There were 19 adverts in the series.
Six actors played the Milk Tray Man. Actor Gary Myers, who is most recognizable as the action figure, starred in 11 of them between 1968 and 1984. James Coombes assumed the role in 1987. Kidderminster born actor Alan Riley was officially the last Milk Tray man. A memorable scene of the man jumping from a cliff top into the sea was performed by veteran stuntman Alf Joint.
The music, The Night Rider, was written by Cliff Adams, who also wrote the music for Fry's Turkish Delight advertisements. The music was recorded commercially by Alan Hawkshaw on the album "27 Top TV Themes" (Studio 2 Stereo, 1972). This album has been rereleased on CD (EMI 7234 4 98171 2 8). Alan Hawkshaw was the pianist on the original sessions with Cliff Adams, for the advertisements. A medley of three separate arrangements of the theme, based on the authentic scores as used in the commercials from 1968 to 2010, is commercially available, performed by London Music Works, on the album "Great British TV Themes" (SILCD 1357).