Robern Menz begins Violet Crumble production in SA


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By Melissa Keogh

What’s wrapped in yellow and purple and shatters into glistening shards of honeycomb when crunched?

The iconic Violet Crumble chocolate bar this week began production in Adelaide after South Australian sweets maker Robern Menz acquired the brand from Swiss confectionery giant Nestlé earlier this year.

Thirty jobs have been created to oversee the production and management of the chocolate honeycomb treat, increasing the Robern Menz factory’s overall output by 37% – equating to enough Violet Crumbles to stretch from Adelaide to Sydney if laid end to end.

It is the first time in 46 years that the Violet Crumble is Australian owned.

With financial support from the State Government, Robern Menz acquired nine semi-trailer truckloads of equipment from the Melbourne Nestlé factory, a process taking three months and more than 100 people working on the project.

The Robern Menz factory at Glynde in Adelaide’s east has also undergone a $4m refit and extension with new warehousing facilities added.

Robern Menz has more than 150 years of sweet tradition and is mostly known as the maker of local favourite the Fruchoc, a chocolate coated apricot and peach-centred sweet that is National Trust Heritage listed.

The fourth-generation family owned business is now the custodian of the original Violet Crumble recipe, which it says it will keep using, in addition to sustainable and ethically sourced cocoa.

Phil, left, and Richard Sims from Robern Menz.

Robern Menz CEO Phil Sims says it’s a privilege to have custody of one of Australia’s greatest chocolate bar brands, and to produce it in a way that does justice to its history.

“The recipe and process technique is top-secret,” says Phil, also an I Choose SA ambassador.

“That’s why the Violet Crumble explosive and shattering honeycomb experience is so unique and so loved by generations of Australians since it was first created in Australia by Abel Hoadley as Australia’s first chocolate bar in 1913.”

“It’s exciting to be part of the legacy.”

The Violet Crumble was invented by Melbourne man Abel Hoadley in 1913 and was made in Adelaide by previous manufacturer Rowntree Hoadley until 1985.

Nestlé later bought Rowntree and the Violet Crumble has since been made in Melbourne – until now.

The crumbly sweet is known for the tagline ‘it’s the way it shatters that matters’.

Robern Menz is one of the largest Australian-owned confectionary businesses and aside from Fruchocs produces over 100 other products included Crown Mints and JeliChocs.

It exports to the US and throughout Asia.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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