A little history of Kennedy’s
A golden year – the year that Chocolate Torres was born in Spain and the Tunnock’s factory was started in Glasgow – Kennedy’s Confection was founded. At this time it was called Confectionery News and was founded just three years after the invention of Coca-Cola by John Pemberton in the United States. Kennedy’s Confection today is one of the oldest trade magazines in the world.
The parents of Angus and James Kennedy started a business called J.G. Kennedy and Partners and bought the rights to Confectionery News from Maclaren, and changed its name to CMM (Confectionery Manufacture and Marketing).
John Kennedy, the father of Angus and James, tragically dies of cancer leaving his two sons, Angus, then 10 years old and his brother 12. Margaret Lang, their mother, keeps the business together and focuses on the confectionery magazine (CMM) with her new husband, Walter Kaethner.
James Kennedy joins the family business and three years later his brother Angus Kennedy also joins their mother. The company changes its name to Kennedys Publications Ltd and the magazine continues as CMM and is published from their family house in North London and in the garden shed with two mad dogs! James starts the process of bringing in computerisation and modernising the print process.
Angus Kennedy rebrands the company and changes the magazine name to Kennedy’s Confection and moves the offices out of the family home to an office near Arsenal Stadium. His brother takes over accounts, design and distribution. Profits double in two years.
Margaret Lang, a much loved character and editor in the industry, dies of drink-related abuse soon after her late husband Walter Kaethner.
Angus takes the move to sell his family house to buy Kennedy’s off his brother, James Kennedy. Angus relocates the business out of London into Kent, where it is today.
Kennedy’s decides to take a double-decker London bus to Interpack! A proven hit, the bus has since appeared at numerous key exhibitions across the world, and today is synonymous with the company – in fact, not a day goes by when somebody does not ask us about its whereabouts! At shows, the Kennedy’s team uses the bus as a meeting venue to host guests, treating them to British delicacies such as tea and biscuits whilst conducting business.
According to ABC figures, Kennedy’s Confection has – in 2009 – established itself as having “the highest worldwide circulation in the industry”.
Angus Kennedy starts The London Chocolate Forum, an annual industry conference and event for chocolate producers to meet, network and do business. The event was started on the idea that visitors should not have to pay so much for an orange juice at trade events! The event is still free to producers of chocolate – and they have a free orange juice and buffet too! In 2015, the event broke records and is one of the fastest-growing events in the food industry. In 2015, it became the largest conference in the chocolate industry in the world.
The great floods of Kent hit Kennedy’s and the whole office is submerged. Angus and the staff work day and night to rescue the business. In the same year, Kennedy’s Bakery Production magazine is launched as one of the only monthlies serving the bakery industrial community. James Kennedy comes back to join the family business after a few years out.
Kennedy’s Confection celebrates its 125th birthday. In the same year, Angus Kennedy starts to get noticed by the press and gains exposure in the national newspapers, media and television as the leading authority on chocolate and confectionery. Kennedy’s Confection magazine subsequently is quoted all over the world and the magazine profile doubles over night. Angus becomes a well-known face in media right across with appearances on: BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Al Jazeera in Washington in 2015.
Kennedy’s goes digital with the four-year project to take the company into the digital era, with the launch of this site you see now and many other digital products for 2016 and beyond.