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TypePrivate limited liability company
FoundedChristchurch, 1896
FounderJ.H. Whittaker
OwnerWhittaker family

J.H. Whittaker & Sons, Ltd (Whittaker's) is a confectionery manufacturer specialising in palm oil-free[1] chocolate and based in Porirua, New Zealand. Whittaker's is the largest chocolate brand in New Zealand,[2] Approximately 30% of their production is now exported.[3] The company controls its entire manufacturing process in its facility in Porirua, calling itself a "bean-to-bar" manufacturer.[2] James Henry Whittaker started the business in Christchurch in 1896 [2] and it was later moved to Wellington.


Whittaker's Chocolates & Confectionery Company's Fargo Truck

James Henry Whittaker worked in the British confectionery industry at the age of 14 and moved to Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1890. Six years later he started manufacturing chocolate confectionery, selling it directly to customers using horse and van.[4] In 1913, he established a partnership with his two sons, Ronald and James, based in Wellington. The business became a limited liability company in 1937, with third-generation Whittakers still the sole shareholders in the company. In 1992 the company formed J.H. Whittaker New Zealand Ltd.[4]

The company has provided commercial sponsorship for motor sports in New Zealand as well as for the All Blacks.[5][6]

The company's marketing phrases include "A passion for chocolate since 1896" and "Good honest chocolate"and also "from bean to bar". In 2011 it was listed as New Zealand's third most trusted brand by Bradley Colman survey.[7] They improved their standing to 1st in the 2012 edition.

In May 2014 celebrity chef Nigella Lawson filmed an advert for Whittaker's in the 1930s Wellington railway station.[8][9]

In June 2014, Whittaker's expanded its market to Malaysia.[10]

In 2019 Whittaker's admitted that while some bars have ethically sources cocoa beans, the sugar is primarily sourced from Thailand.[11] Thailand is known to have child labour in the sugar cane industry.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dr Siouxsie Wiles. "Greta's mates: The responsible generation".
  2. ^ a b c Adams, Christopher (6 November 2010). "Tough task wooing the tastebuds". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 7 November 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "The bitter aftertaste to Cadbury's closing". Otago Daily Times Online News. 23 February 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  4. ^ a b "History". J.H. Whittaker & Sons, Ltd.
  5. ^ "MG Classic". www.mgcarclub.org.nz. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  6. ^ "Whittaker's serves up scrumptious support for the All Blacks". stoppress.co.nz. 25 May 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  7. ^ Hannan, Hayley (25 July 2011). "Cadbury falls from grace in most-trusted survey". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 25 October 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "Lawson filming at Wellington station". Stuff/Fairfax. 6 May 2014.
  9. ^ "Nigella Lawson causes a stir in Wellington". New Zealand Herald. 6 May 2014.
  10. ^ "Whittaker's Chocolate expands into Malaysia". Whittakers. Scoop. 19 June 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ Nadkarni, Anuja (7 June 2019). "Whittakers and Mondelez cannot confirm their chocolate is free of child labour". Stuff NZ. Retrieved 13 April 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ "Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports". US Department of Labour. 2019. Retrieved 20 January 2021.

External links[edit]