In 1862, Henry Rowntree bought a simple cocoa works in York and turned it into a confectionery company. Henry was joined in business in 1869 by his brother Joseph Rowntree who eventually took over and transformed the company’s fortunes.
The brothers hired French confectioner August Claude Gaget. With his expertise, they developed the recipe for Rowntree’s® Fruit Pastilles, which they launched in 1881. Rowntree’s® Fruit Pastilles were a huge success, and led the company to develop Rowntree’s® Clear Gums (now known as Rowntree’s® Fruit Gums) in 1893.
Rowntree’s® were early adopters of many forms of advertising. You can see some of our favourite examples from across the decades on our advertising page.
1965 saw the launch of Rowntree’s® Jelly Tots®. In 1969, Rowntree’s® merged with rival confectionery company Mackintosh. This merger brought a number of popular confectionery products into the Rowntree’s® range, including Tooty Frooties®.
In 1988 Rowntree’s® was bought by the Swiss company Nestlé®, who decided to keep Rowntree’s® as the name of their UK fruit confectionery range.
In 2005 Rowntree’s® pledged no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives in any of their products.
Rowntree’s® Randoms® launched in 2009, and quickly became
one of the UK’s favourite sweet treats.
Following several requests, Rowntree’s® changed the recipe of their renowned Fruit Pastilles by removing gelatine to become vegan-friendly. Fruit Pastilles® join our existing vegan-friendly Jelly Tots® sweets and create the Rowntree’s® vegan-friendly range.
Today, Rowntree’s® remain the nation’s fruity favourite, with more single tubes of Fruit Pastilles sold than any other fruit confectionery product in the UK. In fact, our products are enjoyed by 15 million people every year! We’ve also updated our Fruit Gums recipe to join our vegan friendly family, meaning you can also enjoy Pick & Mix as part of a vegan friendly diet!