7 reasons to enjoy chocolate - without feeling guilty!

It’s always a pleasant surprise to read about chocolate in a positive manner especially as it’s something we all love to snack on from time to time. Chocolate should be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet, as well as in moderation but further to this, it doesn’t all have to be rules!

Most people don’t need an excuse to indulge in the wonderfully delicious world of chocolate, but just in case you do here’s 7 reason why…

1.     Helps with cholesterol
Scientists have proven that specipicically dark chocolate and flavonoid rich cocoa powder reduces LDL – aka bad cholesterol oxidation.

2.     Reduces inflammation
Studies how that when people ingested small amounts of dark chocolate, their levels of c-reactive protein, which is an inflammatory marker, decreased a certain amount.

3.     Lots of antioxidants
As chocolate is high in flavonoids, which is an antioxidant in the polyphenol type category. Antioxidents are great because they help to prevent cell damage and have been linked to the prevention of degenerative diseases

4.     Lowers blood pressure
Studies show that dark chocolate can have a positive effect on lowering blood pressure

5.     Mood enhancer
As chocolate contains tryptophan which linked to serotonin. Research shows that chocolate can actually increase dopamine in the brain which is a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure. Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine (PEA)

6.     Helps with blood flow
Research shows that cocoa has anti-clotting, blood thinning properties that can work in a similar way to aspirin.

7.     It’s delicious!


Just weeks after announcing the purchase of Cambridge Vending, Montagu Group has completed another major acquisition.  Montagu has bought the trade and assets of three businesses from AIM listed Uvenco UK PLC; namely Uvenco vending, Snack-in-the-Box and Drinkmaster.

Montagu director, Paul Allen, said:  “When we recently announced the acquisition of Cambridge Vending, we were already working on this deal as we see vending and “consumption on the go” as a key area of expansion for us. This purchase brings us another 12,000 points of sale, giving us a total of more than 25,000 across the group.  It also broadens our geographical reach as the company has offices in London, Newport, Blackburn, Coventry and Liskeard and franchisees across the UK. We are delighted with the addition of almost 200 employees to our Group and a further £15m of turnover. Our added scale and geographic growth now places us as the largest British owned vending company.


“Snack-in-the-Box and Drinkmaster add new complementary areas for us.  Snack-in-the-Box is a UK wide franchise operation, run through local franchisees which provide “honesty-boxes” and vending machines. Drinkmaster manufactures and supplies sealed “in-cup” drinks such as coffee, tea, hot chocolate and soups, the sort of thing you often see on aeroplanes.  All of these businesses have shown a real flair for innovation and pushing technological boundaries and that’s something we see as essential to our continued growth in the vending market. We look forward to meeting all of our new customers and building on the existing relationships they already had.” 

Fast-growing, specialist vending-solutions company, Montagu Group Limited, is owned by the Hutchinson family.  The Group has completed a number of major acquisitions since its inception in 2017 and now turns over nearly £50 million per annum and employs nearly 600 people.

Nestle to launch new UK exclusive bar - Milkybar Wowsomes

The new Wowsome bar will be avialable in the UK and Ireland from March and will feature 30% less sugar than other chocolate bars. Nestle have stated that the product doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners, preservatives, colours or flavours and it is also the first Milkybar to contain both milk and white chocolate within the same bar!

Nestle are introducing two varieties of the Wowsome bar – one that is simply white chocolate, and the other will be milk and white chocolate combined. Both contain a delicious crispy oat cereal

The sugar reduction has been a welcome addition, with natural ingredients being a priority for Nestle and their new creations.  The sugar that is in the bar used a method that is inspired by candy floss with an ultra fast melt in the mouth dissolving method. At only 95 calories per individual bar, it sounds like a delicious light treat.

Nestle went on to add that the new bars are not the first step in their sugar reduction route. These efforts are in accordance with their goal to cut 10% of sugar in their whole confectionery range by 2018. So far, they have achieved a solid 7.4%.

News also states how their have changed their recipes as a leading confectionery brand, showing an example of removing 1,000 tonnes of sugar (totaling a whopping 3 bn calories) from KitKat’s alone in the UK. This was done by adding extra milk and cocoa! More sugar reduced snacks will be coming to the market soon.

Christmas chocolates revealed from Mars

This Christmas season sees Mars UK set with a wide range of products in different sizes and price points, so there’s something for everyone! The creations provide a seasonal twist on the public’s favourite chocolates.

With a company that sells 3 confectionery products every second during the Christmas period in the UK, it’s exciting for all to introduce these new treats, and there’s always room for more inventions.

Malteasers Merryteaser Reindeer and mini Reindeer sharing bags are fun sized bags at a low cost. Malteasers Teasers will now be available in box format, introducing the all important and most popular sharing aspect of chocolates at Christmas.

Mars states that Celebrations are the “number one selling tub and pouch brand”. Now, the Celebrations range also includes a new Gift Box. Aside from Maltesers Teasers and Celebrations boxes, Mars has also introduced a Peanut M&M’s box and the classic Maltesers box.

New advent calendars are also available including Malteasers Merryteaser, Galaxy and standard Mars. A great range of large selection boxes and tube boxes are now on the market including Galaxy and Malteasers. A new Snickers selection box has also been added to the range.

Mars UK welcomes ‘New Year, New Choices’ chocolate campaign in 2018

An exciting new ‘lifestyle’ campaign has been announced from Mars UK to promote the 2017 launched bars Goodness Knows, as well as Mars protein and Snickers protein varieties in the new year, 2018.

Goodness knows has been a great hit this year, since being released. Mars will be promoting the bars further with new television ads in the upcoming year, so expect to see a lot more of the bars to come!

Snickers will also be promoted with their new advertisements and campaigns, supported by new media investments and funds. The protein variants will be featured on sports websites too.

Mars have said that they are hoping that these ‘lifestyle’ snacks will give the public more variety when snacking on the go.


Nestle to reduce sugar content in confectionery

Nestle has announced that they will be sticking to their plans of reducing 10% of total sugar from their confectionery by 2018 in the UK and Ireland.

It has been said that the cut is inspiring by the rising levels of sugar in products since 2015. It has also been implied that if certain steps are not taken to reduce sugar levels, a government driven tax may need to be introduced. To get an idea of reduction in mass, it will total around 7,500 tonnes. This will affect many well known and well loved chocolate bars including KitKat, Lion, Quality Street, Toffee crisp, Rolo, Aero, Munchies and Yorkie.

In order to achieve these goals, nestle have said that instead of replacing with artificial sweeteners, they will be replacing the sugar with higher amounts of existing ingredients or alternative non artificial ingredients, which will allow the calories to remain lower. The aim is to keep the taste as similar as possible and making minimal compromises on the great taste. Another option will the that the sizes will be made smaller, this will mean that the taste is affected the least, whilst still remaining true to cutting sugar and calories.

Another key point has been that Nestle have stated that they have come to a key breakthrough in food science research which will allow them to reduce sugar content by up to 40%. The basis of this is that scientists have claimed to find a way to structure sugar differently within the confectionery. This has been welcomed and encouraged by Public Heath England.

Nestle are said to feel proud to commit to making healthy changes to their products and begin to trial their findings and efforts, sending a positive message out to ensure that confectionery can keep its great taste whilst cutting sugar content.

A more sustainable future for Cocoa production

Members of Cocoa & Forests Initiative has announced plans to take action against ending cocoa driven deforestation, a problem that has arisen and becomes more apparent in recent years. This has come about after pledges made at the UN climate Change conference and involves big brands like Mars, Nestle and Hershey.

The focus has been discussed and aims to underline growing more cocoa, but all the while using less land. This has been committed with companies at the conference in Germany. This will highlight increasing cocoa production on sustainable land, and to help diversify crops. This will in turn help farmers heighten their earnings and ultimately reduce the high demands
and pressure on our forests.

The areas that are affected are National parks, and reserves and sourcing will continue for 25 years, under the new system that has been discussed. It hopes to restore those affected
forests to a healthy state.

Companies that have been sourcing from those areas commit to 100% traceability by the end of 2019, which means easier monitoring of the forests and their long term health. Some of which who have committed already include, Nestle, Mars, Sainsburys, Ferrero, Hershey and
Godiva among others. Companies are also told they must publicly disclose individual
action plans by the end of 2018.

The chocolate industry and the governments are now finally setting about the task in a serious
way to help out forests whilst helping those involved and continuing our cocoa
production in sustainable ways.

Success in Northern Ireland

Snack in the Box has long been established in Northern Ireland and we asked our Franchise Manager, Stuart Boyd, who works alongside our Franchisees in the area, for some further details.

“We currently have 3 Franchisees in Northern Ireland, each one having their own specific area. They all operate as ‘sole traders’, with some back up from family members.
Over 400 customers are serviced on a regular basis and the annual sales revenue our Franchisees collectively achieve is over £350,000!”

Desi Kennedy, who operates in the Southern part of Northern Ireland, adds…

“Being a Snack in the Box franchise in Northern Ireland has many rewards.
Working in your own time as your own boss, delivering crisps, chocolate bars, and soft drinks to the working public sees you in many different work places, such as car washes, garages, banks, factories, offices of all types - this gives you the opportunity to converse with all walks of life.
In my own area of Northern Ireland I have the pleasure of covering the very scenic east coast which sits under the beautiful Mourne Mountains that sweeps down to the sea!
For me it is a very pleasurable business - meeting people and having great ‘craic’ at the same time. I enjoy the Franchise immensely and would recommend it to anyone”
 David Skelton – Northern Ireland Franchisee – “what a great range of products!”

David Skelton – Northern Ireland Franchisee – “what a great range of products!”

Welcome to latest Snack in the Box franchisee

Our latest new franchisee is Stephen Bundy who has taken over the areas of Fife, Perth and Dundee in the east of Scotland.


Stephen has considerable experience of both the hospitality and licensing trades but decided it was time to take back control of his working life and run a business for himself. He wanted something that was simple and with a proven track record and ideally something that didn’t require any real previous knowledge or technical expertise.

Since training in the middle of September, Stephen has had a very busy month taking over an existing estate of more than 60 machines and with a box launch of 60 further new customers.

Things are now starting to settle into a routine which he’s been craving since the beginning and can finally happen with the new sites established.

He knows that much work lies ahead to develop the business that he wants, and is prepared for that, but the early signs are very promising.

Celebrate with Chocolate Week 2017

Chocolate week sees the 13th consecutive yearly celebrations this week from 9th – 15th October, 2017. Hundreds of events are expected across the UK, with the country’s top chocolatiers and chocolate companies, hotels and restaurants celebrating.

We can expect talks, tastings, demonstrations and sampling, as well as lots of exciting product launches.

This week aims to promote our beloved chocolate, with all of its flavour and variety and also favour independent chocolatiers and companies who work directly with cocoa farmers to encourage a more cost efficient process.

Chocolate week has been organised by Sylvie Douce and Francois Jeantet who are organsiers of the Salon du Chocolat around the world, including the London Chocolate Show held this week, showcasing many important brands and companies.

The show is expected to see 30,000 chocolate fans, in its fifth year. It will be showcasing many UK companies, as well as international and European companies. There will also be demonstrations, talks and workshops so plenty to get stuck into for chocolate fans everywhere.

Why not celebrate in style this year and get baking or inventing with your favourite snacks?