Quality Street Chocolates

Descriptions with Pictures and the History of Quality Street

Quality Street Chocolates

Created by Mackintosh Toffees in Halifax, northern England, in 1936, Quality Street changed the way boxed chocolates were manufactured and sold.  It is now the world’s number one selling boxed chocolate assortment and is exported to over 50 countries.

To shop for online, click here:  quality street

What’s Your Favorite?

 Toffee Penny
An original Mackintosh’s toffee the size of an old fashioned penny (hence the name).

 Toffee Finger
A long, thin sweet; like a little finger. It is solid toffee wrapped in a layer of milk chocolate.

 Toffee Deluxe
A delicious chocolate covered toffee. 

 Caramel Swirl
A circular milk chocolate with a liquid caramel centre.

 Milk Choc Block
This a block of tasty chocolate.

 Vanilla Fudge
Chocolate coated vanilla fudge.

 Coconut Eclair
If you like coconut then this is the one for you.

 Orange Chocolate Crunch
Little pieces of crystallized orange in chocolate.

 Strawberry Delight
Chocolate filled with strawberry cream.

 Orange Cream
Dark chocolate covering a white, orange flavored interior. 

 The Green Triangle
This is a hazelnut noisette, and it is distinctive as it is the only triangular one.

 The Purple One
This is a hazelnut in runny caramel wrapped in chocolate (originally it was a brazil nut, hence the shape).

Early History
In 1890 John Mackintosh and his wife opened a shop in Halifax, Northern England, where they created a new kind of sweet by mixing hard toffee with runny caramel.  These toffees were made from inexpensive local ingredients such as milk, sugar beet and eggs
They were so successful that in 1898 they expanded the operation to build the world’s first toffee factory.  It burned down in 1909 so John bought an old carpet factory and converts it into a new facility.  When John Mackintosh died his son Harold inherited the business and in 1936 he invented Quality Street, which is still manufactued in the same facility today.

A Revolutionary Product
In the early 1930s only the wealthy could afford boxed chocolates made from exotic ingredients from around the world with elaborate packaging that often cost as much as the chocolates themselves.  Harold Mackintosh set out to produce boxes of chocolates that could be sold at a reasonable price and would, therefore, be available to working families.  His idea was to cover the different toffees with chocolate and present them in low-cost yet attractive boxes.
Rather than having each piece separated in the box, which would require more costly packaging, Mackintosh decided to have each piece individually wrapped in colored paper and put into a decorative tin.  He also introduced new technology, the world’s first twist-wrapping machine, to wrap each chocolate in a distinctive wrapper.  By using a tin, instead of a cardboard box, Mackintosh ensured the chocolate aroma burst out out as soon as it was openend and the different textures, colours, shapes and sizes of the sweets made opening the tin and consuming its contents a noisy, vibrant experience that the whole family could enjoy.

Marketing Genius
In today’s terms, Harold Mackintosh could be considered a marketing genius.  Britain in the mid to late 1930s was still feeling the effects of the economic crash at the beginning of the decade and Mackintosh realized that in times of economic hardship and war, people crave nostalgia.  Quality Street chocolates were, therefore, packaged in brightly colored tins featuring two characters wearing old fashioned dress, known affectionately as Miss Sweetly and Major Quality. 

These characters remained on Quality Street tins throughout the years

until the branding design was changed in 2000.

Recent History and Fun Facts
Mackintosh merged with the Rowntree Confectionary Company in York, England in 1969.
Nestle purchased Rowntrees in 1988.
6,000 Quality Street sweets are produced per minute, a total of 67 million every week.
136,701 miles of foil are used per year to wrap the sweets; the equivalent distance of five times around the equator.
15 million tins of Quality Street were sold in 2010; enough sweets to stretch to the moon and back when placed end to end

In recent years, individual larger versions of the more popular chocolates have been manufactured and sold separately, further extending  the Quality Street brand.