Gary Littman


Garry Littman is the owner and director of The Language House in Geneva which organises English language training for professional people, companies and students. He was a radio and newspaper journalist in his native Australia and ran a restaurant in Kathmandu in his younger days. He is an English language trainer and an aficionado of pétanque.

Nestlé 1 - Cadbury 1 in tit-for-tat Kit Kat war

Nestlé's flagship brand Kit Kat suffered a bruising defeat this week in the 11-year-long Chocolate Wars with its bitter rival Cadbury.

Nestlé sought to trademark the shape of its four-finger chocolate bar in the UK, which would have outlawed all other four-finger chocolate bars of a similar shape and size in Europe.

The attempt was foiled when a senior European Court lawyer gave the four-finger proposal, a polite one-finger, saying it was against European law. Cadbury lawyers argued that Nestlé could not monopolise the shape of its chocolate bar.

It was sweet revenge for Cadbury, which last year lost a decade-long battle to trademark its royal purple wrapper – introduced in 1914 as a tribute to Queen Victoria – after objections from its Swiss rival.

Confectionary insiders expect neither side will take a break. The bar brawls are expected to continue. They predict Kit Kat will face a flood of copycat four-finger bars.

Kit Kat turned 80 last month. A chocolate bar that a man could take to work in his packed lunch was the original idea from a Rowntree’s employee that led to the creation of Kit Kat. Nestlé bought the brand from Rowntree in 1988.

Nestlé has Kit Kat factories across the globe, producing 17.6 billion fingers every year. In the UK more than one billion Kit Kat products are eaten every year. Employers might be concerned to know that 564 Kit Kat fingers are consumed every single second. That’s a lot of breaks in productivity: 16.5 million worldwide this year already, according to the Kit Kat website.

Kit Kat owes its success to lots of dancing: The brilliant dancing pandas, the dancing squirrels of India, the dancing babies of India, dancing cranes, the non-dancing action hero Jason Statham (when he still had some hair), the receptionists of 1965, a couple of green androids and this high-powered Teddy bear.



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