Special commemorative ‘Flanders Field Selection’ chocolates sold around this year’s centennial ANZAC Day have raised $12,240 in proceeds for the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association (RNZRSA).
Auckland-based food importing business William Aitken & Co, which commissioned Belgian chocolatier Vandenbulcke to manufacture the commemorative chocolates, is delighted to make the $12,240 donation to the RNZRSA.
The RNZRSA gave its official approval and insignia for the special edition of commemorative chocolates. Each box was sold for $6.99, with 50 cents from each pack to go to the RNZRSA. The chocolates were available in Foodstuffs’ New World, PAK’N SAVE and most Four Square stores.
Sales & Marketing Manager of William Aitken & Co, Troy Culpitt, says he was always confident that they would be a popular commemorative gift and treat given the WWI centennial and extra attention this year but was still surprised how well they went. “We were really pleased with the great support from Foodstuffs and their customers. They gave the product good placement and sold nearly 25,000 boxes of chocolates up and down New Zealand in a few short weeks. New Zealanders could instantly see what a great cause it was and what a great product and so put them in their grocery trollies,” he says.
Chief Executive of the RNZRSA David Moger says the organisation was delighted to support the initiative and are pleased with the result.
“We are continually amazed at just how many Kiwis young and old are getting behind the RSA movement, particularly since the World War One centennial commemorations kicked off last year. We’re very appreciative that importing company William Aitken and Foodstuffs did this off their own backs and ensured RSA’s full involvement from beginning to end. The chocolates were another great way for New Zealanders to support the RSA and the proceeds raised will be put to good use,” says Moger.
Culpitt says it felt right for William Aitken & Co to commission the chocolates and work with the RNZRSA. Company founder William Aitken served in World War One and set up his European food importing business during World War Two.
He says as a heritage New Zealand FMCG company it made sense for them to work with Vandenbulcke, which has been manufacturing great Belgian chocolates very near the fields of Flanders and Passchendaele since 1949. “We’ve been really proud to lead this project, pay particular tribute to all the New Zealanders killed in the tragic 1917 Battle of Passchendaele, and give the proceeds to the RNZRSA. What’s more we have New Zealand shoppers to thank for buying these commemorative chocolates in such numbers and supporting the cause so well,” says Culpitt.