One of York’s largest employers has pledged to keep production of an iconic chocolate bar in the city.

Bosses at Nestle say they are committed to making Kit Kats and other products in York.

York is one of three Nestle sites in the UK, the others being Halifax and Girvan in Scotland.

The Swiss confectionary giant acquired the former Rowntrees in 1988, a heritage brand that still exists for a few products today.


During the 1980s and 1990s, the production of Easter Eggs, Rolos and Yorkies relocated from Norwich to York, but making Smarties, Dairy Box and Black Magic shifted to the European mainland.

In addition, the company announced 98 job losses in 2021 as it revealed a £20 million investment to boost the production of KitKats at the Haxby Road site, a product which has been made in York since 1935.

(Image: pic supplied)

Now, the spend has totalled £22 million over three years, which included a new two finger packing line in 2023, which boosted production capacity by 20 per cent.

Mark Davies, managing director for Nestlé Confectionery UK & Ireland, told the Press: “The investment has gone into upgrading the machines, allowing us to operate at a much higher speed. We’re now able to produce an impressive 1.2 billion KitKat bars every year here in York.”

As the company recently announced further moves on the ethical sourcing and sustainability of its ingredients to make chocolate, bosses have given further reassurances about Nestle’s presence in York.

Mr Davies continued: “York is the home of KitKat and of Nestlé Confectionery. It’s a really vibrant site with around 2,000 people working here.”

This includes York being the home Nestle’s product technology centre, meaning all its product development is done in York.

He also said: “We keep putting the investment in because York is a great place to be and the quality of the product that we are producing here is great too.”

Mr Davies added: “York is very important to Nestlé and our aim is that we will continue to grow and attract further investment in the future. We are a major employer in York and we want to make a positive impact on the local community where we can.

“For example, everybody at Nestlé is given two days leave each year to volunteer for local good causes. That's potentially more than 4,000 days a year where we can give back to the city. We also work closely with York Cares to support local sustainability projects and social connection events.”

In addition to KitKat, the York site also produces Aero, Yorkie, Milkybar and Polo. Nestle’s Halifax site produces Quality Street, After Eight, Rolo and Munchies. Between them, they can produce around 310,000 pallets of finished confectionery products a year.

For more details about Nestle in York, go to: Nestlé York | Nestlé (