With timeless, quintessentially British dark mint chocolates, including the famous Bittermint, Bendicks has earned the favour of the royal household
It all began in an unassuming address in Kensington in 1930, where Oscar Benson and Colonel “Bertie” Dickson began making chocolates in the tiny basement of their shop. By combining the first syllables of each of their names, the “Bendicks” brand was born and very quickly developed an enviable reputation for high-quality chocolates. The successful confectioners soon opened another shop in the heart of London’s exclusive Mayfair.
Perhaps the most significant part of the Bendicks story was the mint creation by Oscar Benson’s sister-in-law Lucia in 1931. The “Bittermint” – an intense mint fondant, covered in 95 per cent dark chocolate and individually wrapped in foil – has been a staple of upmarket dinner parties for generations. While Lucia Benson may have created the new mint chocolate recipe with these occasions in mind, many have their own rituals for eating them.
“The Bittermint has a unique flavour,” says Marketing Director Rebecca Robert. “Whether enjoyed as a finishing touch to a meal, or with friends over a cup of coffee, the exquisite combination of intense mint fondant and rich dark chocolate is always a delicious experience.”
Bendicks was awarded a Royal Warrant in 1962 for services to Her Majesty The Queen and has held that consecutively for nearly 60 years. “It is a sign of the prestige and quality of our products,” says Rebecca. “Royal Warrants have long been regarded as demonstrating service, quality and excellence and are highly prized. It is these traits that have defined Bendicks for more than 90 years and continue to do so today.”
The classic Bendicks Bittermint is now a regular feature at the British dinner table. It is estimated that 30 million of these mints are consumed every year, meaning it is the most popular premium after-dinner mint on the market. The box and logo are bywords for sophistication and, for many customers, it’s something akin to a family tradition for a box of Bendicks to be passed around the table at the end of a meal, something repeated by multiple generations.
Bendicks also offers a wider selection of chocolate mints in the “Mint Collection” which is particularly popular at Easter and Christmas when people are more likely to want to share their boxes at large family gatherings. The Mint Collection comes in two different sized boxes and includes four flavours – the Bittermint; the Mint Crisp with honeycomb, mint oil and 50 per cent cocoa; the Elizabethan Mint with a softer fondant; and the Dark English Mint, a dark chocolate baton infused with fresh peppermint oil. Mint Crisps can also be purchased in standalone boxes, and the company sells a yard of Bittermint at annual pop-up shops at Goodwood Revival and Royal Windsor Horse Show.
As well as being a long-time holder of a Royal Warrant, Bendicks supports the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, which supports British craftsmanship, and the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The Royal Foundation supports young people, mental health and emergency responders, with a specific focus on conservation. However, the company’s principle focus remains on the Bittermint that Lucia Benson first developed back in 1931, with Bendicks maintaining strict standards of quality to ensure the Bittermint remains as good as ever. “We take pride in the fact that we still produce to the original Bendicks recipe,” says Rebecca. “There is such strong loyalty to Bendicks Bittermints and we remain committed to delivering first-class quality for our consumers.”