Whittaker’s is no stranger to looking to its past. This time, it's taken inspiration from a 1930s classic to launch its latest Toffee Milk range, but not without a bit of help from a horse and cart.
To help promote the new range, Whittaker’s commissioned a custom-built horse-drawn cart — much like those used by J.H. Whittaker & Sons to distribute their chocolate back in the day – to be built by Wairarapa-based Wheelwright Shop using vintage designs and traditional techniques.
Earlier this week, the horse-drawn cart made its way up Auckland’s Queen Street to Aotea Square where the public were treated with the chance to sample the new range before it hits the shelves from 1 May.
“We commissioned Wheelwright Shop in the Wairarapa to make a customised cart, especially for this launch. The iron and front leather panel of a historical horse-drawn cart has been lovingly restored and incorporated into the 1930s-inspired design, which has been crafted using traditional techniques,” says Whittaker's assistant marketing manager Jasmine Currie.
“We’re really excited to have the opportunity to engage in-person with some of our loyal Whittaker’s Chocolate Lovers to launch this new chocolate, that celebrates our history and the enduring appeal of the original Whittaker’s Toffee Milk toffees among New Zealanders for nearly 90 years,” she says.
In a series of videos posted to its Facebook page, Whittaker’s uses footage of Wheelwright Shop assembling the horse-drawn cart to focus on the nostalgic traditions and artisanal crafts that underpin the ethos of the Toffee Milk range. One 16-second spot shows off the carefully considered process of the handmade woodwork, while another displays the delicate typography hand-painted onto the cart itself.
To further add to the nostalgia, the packaging for the chocolate is based on the original red and white chequered Toffee Milk toffee packaging of the 1930s.
Whittaker’s has often dwelled on timeless yet forgotten dessert traditions to aid its innovative branding. Last year, the chocolate brand launched the K Bar fusion chocolate which was accompanied by a 1950s pop-up milk bar, and its artisan range fronted by Nigella Lawson which placed emphasis on local premium products.
Toffee Milks, also endearingly referred to as "tooth pullers", are considered one of the three classics of the Whittaker's brand along with Peanut Slabs and K Bars.
Whittaker's Toffee Milks (Source: LongWhiteKid)