28 Jan 2020

Whittakers expands factory to keep up with chocolate demand

From Checkpoint, 5:54 pm on 28 January 2020

New Zealand chocolate makers Whittakers are expanding their Porirua factory, and for good reason - on average New Zealanders eat about 5kg of chocolate each year.

The expansion is to keep up with demand, and to keep quality control with facilities to roast cocoa beans and nuts onsite, the company's co-chief operating office Matt Whittaker told Checkpoint.

"We're growing really strongly in New Zealand, Australia and export markets, so it's everywhere we sell our products which is a very positive thing for us."

Whittaker, who eats about one Peanut Slab each day, said the expansion will mean more jobs at the Porirua factory.

He said it will also help the company move towards better sustainability and ethical standards.

"Under the World Cocoa Foundation Cocoa and Forest initiative we're committed to moving to 100 percent certified cocoa supply chain by 2021… and traceable by 2025.

"We'll know down to the farm level where our cocoa comes from."

Quick facts:

  • Most popular Whittakers chocolate: Creamy Milk
  • Matt Whittaker's favourite: Hazelnut, and Peanut Slabs
  • A Whittaker's recipe that did not work: Brazil nut chocolate

Dealing with packaging waste is another aim for the company, Whittaker said.

"We started early last year a review of all our packaging. At the moment we're about 76 percent recyclable. We need to move to 100 percent… We're aiming to get there by 2025."