Winning the top honour in the Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brand list comes in an already significant year for Whittaker’s as it celebrates its 125-year anniversary.
Co-chief Operating Officers and fourth generation members of the Whittaker’s family, siblings Holly and Matt Whittaker say the award is especially highly valued by the chocolate company because it is voted on by the New Zealand public.
“We’re honoured by their trust in Whittaker’s and we take the award as an endorsement of our relentless focus on quality and innovation, our commitment to genuine engagement with Whittaker’s Chocolate Lovers, and the ongoing progress we’re making on our Good Honest Chocolate journey,” says Holly Whittaker.
Whittaker’s makes all of its chocolate – from beans-to-bar – at its one factory in Porirua, which means it has full control over the whole manufacturing process from roasting the cocoa beans to wrapping the finished products.
Matt Whittaker says much of the credit for the award is due to Whittaker’s factory staff, who share Whittaker’s passion for chocolate and commitment to quality, as well as all of the suppliers of the high quality ingredients Whittaker’s uses to make its chocolate.
“We’re fortunate to have a great network of local suppliers of high quality ingredients right here in New Zealand, as well as strong relationships with our cocoa farmers in Ghana, Samoa and Nicaragua. Those relationships are a key part of our success in maintaining our position as a trusted New Zealand brand so we’re working hard to strengthen them even further,” says Matt Whittaker.
One example is that since committing last year to 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified™ Ghanaian cocoa beans, Whittaker’s has undertaken other initiatives to improve conditions for its cocoa farmers in Ghana, including building new facilities at their communities’ local schools.
The annual Reader’s Digest Awards are conducted by Roy Morgan Research, which surveys a representative sample of 1,400 New Zealand adults. The two top awards that come out of this voting (apart from individual category wins) are “New Zealand’s Most Trusted” and “New Zealand’s Most Iconic.”
Photo: RNZ Pacific Caption Whittaker's 'Single Origin Samoan Cacao' using Trinitario Cocoa beans from Savaii