A.L.Simpkin & Co marks shared centenary with Royal British Legion through special edition sweets

Sheffield-based confectionery business A.L.Simpkin & Co continues its centenary celebrations in partnering with the Royal British Legion, which is also marking its 100th anniversary, reports Neill Barston.

The UK travel sweet specialist will be displaying the logo of the RBL veterans charity, as well as producing a special edition tin for Remembrance Day later this year.

Confectionery Production recently spoke to the company’s managing director, Adrian Simpkin, for an exclusive video interview, which he reflected on its major milestone as the third generation to run the family business.

The company has gained a global following for its gluten-free travel sweets, enjoying global exports of its ranges which, use only all-natural colours and flavours. During the course of its history, it has gone on to develop a broad extended range of confectionery, including chocolate biscuits and liquorice.

Adrian said: “We are delighted to join forces with the RBL and are confident our donations will support their work for the armed forces community, and I hope that this will be the start of a long partnership.”

Second Lieutenant Leslie Simpkin founded the company in 1921 after returning from World War One.  Leslie was injured at the Somme and was awarded the Military Cross for his service. Their sweets can be found in service stations, chemists and airport shops across the globe in the familiar iconic gold, circular tin. They produce around five million sweets from their factory in Sheffield every single week.

Adrian, a former Royal Marine, added: “Myself and the team here at A.L.Simpkin are honoured to be working with the RBL during such a milestone year, especially since this remarkable charity is so close to the nation’s hearts. “People have their own personal links to the forces and reasons to support the charity. My grandfather proudly served during the First World War before going on to found the company in 1921, using some of his demob money. My father also served in the Marines as well.

“During World War Two, our family firm supplied glucose drops to the RAF for high-altitude flying missions” The idea for the boiled sweets came to Leslie while he was being treated for shrapnel injuries.

He was given liquid glucose, which prompted him to think about boiling it instead. Ben France, Head of Corporate Partnerships at the RBL, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with AL Simpkin, a family company with a proud history of military service, and are very grateful for their generous pledge of donations from sales of their market-leading mixed fruit drop travel sweets. “This is a wonderful way to mark our centenary and raise vital funds to provide life-long support to serving and ex-serving members of the British Armed Forces, their families and dependents through hardships, injuries and bereavements. “As we both mark our 100th anniversaries, we are delighted to be able to launch this new partnership.”


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