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Quality Street

Is Quality Street the most ethical and sustainable chocolate?

Quality Street is a Nestlé chocolate brand that is listed in The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Chocolate Ratings Table. Although the brand is yet to meet our ethical standards, we expect the brand to improve in the future. There are a number of different attributes that a brand must possess in order for us to grant Ethical Accreditation and does have some of them. But there is still a lot of room for development. There aren’t any buying options for Fairtrade chocolate, for instance.

The significance of using materials from ethical sources is now more prominent than ever. Making Fairtrade products ensures that everyone involved in the manufacturing process, from start to finish, is paid fairly for their labour. We would have more faith in this company if it submitted an application for Ethical Accreditation, which would allow The Good Shopping Guide to conduct a more thorough examination and recommend changes for ethical improvement. We are confident that this brand could eventually earn The Good Shopping Guide‘s Ethical Accreditation, even though we are aware that it currently needs a lot of work.

Find out more about the ethical issues faced by the Chocolate sector and see how other brands are rated in our Ethical Chocolate Ratings Tables.

What does Quality Street do and what is its history?

By blending hard toffee and runny caramel, John Mackintosh and his wife created a brand-new confection in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England, in 1890, when they opened their first shop. They were so prosperous that they expanded the company and built the first toffee factory in history in 1898. John purchased a former carpet factory and converted it into a new building after it burned down in 1909. Harold Mackintosh, who had inherited the business from his late father John Mackintosh, started Quality Street in 1936.

In the early 1930s, boxed chocolates created with exotic ingredients (for the time) from all over the world and lavish packaging (that frequently cost as much as the chocolates themselves) were only accessible to the wealthy. In order to make chocolate boxes that working-class families could buy, Harold Mackintosh set out to sell them for a reasonable price. His idea was to present the various toffees in inexpensive but attractive boxes.

For which criteria does Quality Street perform poorly? 

Despite being highly ranked in many of our research categories, Quality Street still has some ethical business problems that need to be resolved. Public Record Criticisms, the absence of Organic products in Quality Street’s selection, and the availability of Fairtrade goods are issues that need to be addressed. Few of Quality Street’s chocolates have Organic or Fairtrade certifications. Quality Street cannot guarantee that people have been fairly compensated for their labour; fairtrade chocolate can.

In what areas does Quality Street score well for its ethics?

Quality Street scores above our benchmark in vital categories such as having vegetarian and vegan options, an environmental report, use of nuclear power and armaments. There has also been no negative record of the brand investing in Nuclear power.

For more information on Quality Street…

See our Ethical Chocolate Ratings Table. If your chocolate brand or product is right for Ethical Accreditation, get in contact with us or fill out an initial assessment form.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Genetic Modification


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power



  • Animal Welfare


  • Vegetarian/Vegan



  • Armaments


  • Political Donations


  • Fairtrade



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Public Record Criticisms


  • Public Record Criticisms+


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating