A renewed sweet taste for the Yorkie boosts Nestle sales

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A renaissance of the Yorkie chocolate brand has helped to boost UK sales at confectionery giant Nestle.

Sales of Yorkie, which are made at the company’s York factory, grew by 31.6 per cent in 2013.

The brand has grown by over 50 per cent in the last two years fuelled by TV ads and the launch of Yorkie Man Sized Buttons.

Other popular chocolate brands included Breakaway, which saw sales rise by 21.2 per cent.

Sales of Milky Bar, which are also made in York, were up 7.4 per cent.

Nestlé, which also owns brands including Nescafé, Häagen-Dazs and Smarties, saw global sales miss long-term targets because of weak emerging markets and the continued downturn in Europe.

Overall, sales were up 4.6 per cent last year. However, they were expected to grow between five and six per cent. Net profit fell slightly to £6.7bn.

Globally, the KitKat continues to be popular. The company said that the chocolate was particularly popular in Brazil, and in Europe.

UK sales were up five per cent, with the company also benefiting from the continued boost in home-coffee machine sales. Sales of its Nescafé Dolce Gusto coffee pods saw a 32 per cent jump in 2013.

Fiona Kendrick, chief executive of Nestlé UK, said: “The growth of coffee shops in the high street is introducing consumers to new tastes. As a result, more people want to experience coffee-shop varieties at home, but at a fraction of the cost.”

The company’s York site employs 1,750 staff, half of which are in production. It also has a factory in Halifax where it employs around 500 staff, rising to about 800 when in full production of Easter eggs, Quality Street and After Eight.

Ms Kendrick added: “Innovation continues to be key in growing our business.”