YORK’S top chocolate bar – KitKat – is celebrating its 75th birthday, with Nestlé boss David Rennie promising the company will not sit on past achievements.

A Rowntree employee conceived of the bar as something “a man could take to work in his pack up”; now KitKats are sold in more countries than any other chocolate brand, with factories across the globe producing 17.6 billion fingers every year. In the UK alone, more than one billion KitKats are eaten every year, with three million made every day in York.

David Rennie, managing director of Nestlé Confectionery in the UK, said: “With a brand that’s 75 years young, it’s important to celebrate reaching this milestone, but actually the most important thing is to plan for the future.

“This is a brand that started life in York and started an important trend in Britain at that time. It is a great product with a great taste, as well as consistent brand qualities; all ingredients that have allowed a British invention to grow to become a much-loved global brand.”

Robert Opie, founder of the Museum Of Brands, Packaging And Advertising, said any brand that sold a billion bars a year had reached iconic status.

He said: “It is just one of Britain’s favourite brands.”