It is so easy to form wrong ideas of people of different nations through superficial knowledge. The more one has traveled the broader one’s mind becomes.”
“In Germany the military element is uppermost; in Russia, the police; in England, the civilian power is the greatest. Long may it continue!”
As the business grew John Mackintosh spent much of his time traveling to promote the company. His travels took him to Europe, Asia and America. He started his first travelling to Northern Europe in July, 1902 and in the Autumn of 1903, along with his brother-in-law, he had a quick tour of America and Canada to look at business possibilities.
John Mackintosh was aware that in America more cattle were killed for food than kept alive for making butter to the point where butter was becoming scarce and when something because harder to find, the price of it goes up. Butter made in Siberia was becoming available outside of Russia and large cold stores were being built by an English company for the storing of butter. If the quality of the butter was good then John Mackintosh wanted to buy it. John Mackintosh called at Brussels, then Cologne and Berlin. After a 30 hours railway journey he reached the Baltic port of Riga in Russia. From there he went to St Petersburg and Helsingfors and sailed to Stockholm. From Stockholm he went to Christiania, Gothenburg, Copenhagen and Hamburg. The journey took him passed Hohenzollern where he noted a fleet of German warships at Kiel. From Keil John Mackintosh went to Amsterdam staying where the first Peace Conference took place. After a brief time spent at Rotterdam he set off back to London.
“just in time for the coronation.”
He observed that he had travelled,
“3,000 miles, spent seven nights in ‘Sleeping Cars,’ two in steamers, passed the Customs eleven times, dealt with people speaking five different languages, and using six different coinages.”
All this travelling proved very successful and John Mackintosh bought £5,000 worth of butter and arranged for it to be transferred to Hull. This gave him a full year’s supply of butter when it was almost impossible to buy large amounts of it in England.
Countries on the Continent were also now aware of Mackintosh’s Toffee. On February 21st, 1907 John Mackintosh was almost drowned when the ship the S.S. Berlin was wrecked off the Hook of Holland. He had made the crossing the night before but his foreman followed the night after and died. The first time Mackintosh’s Toffee was introduced on the Continent it had some funny moments. Some people mistook toffee for coffee and John Mackintosh received letters from people saying that they had poured boiling water on the toffee but it hadn’t worked! Gradually it became accepted although in Germany and surrounding countries it was seen more as a symbol of ‘Britishness’ and instead of being eaten was used in window displays where British products were sold.
Before the First World War one third of the toffees were being sold throughout the world and over forty countries were selling Mackintosh’s Toffees. Factories were opened in Canada and Australia whilst special toffees were created to suit the tastes of people in Africa and China. By the age of 34 he decided to look at selling his toffees in America. Importing toffees would be too expensive and so John Mackintosh had to open new factories in the United States. He visited The States the following year and by now their own brand of advertising had given him a new name, the “Toffee King”.
Factories were opened in New York and Philadelphia with some employees moving over from England. Shops were opened in the main cities of America but surprisingly Americans weren’t familiar with the word toffee or toffee itself. Canadians were much quicker in responding to English toffees.
By the time this second visit to America ended the toffees were selling well. In America his face became his trademark, an idea that he would never have agreed to in England but his Agent told him that his face was the only thing his competition cannot copy. This advertising campaign was seen in every magazine and newspaper throughout America and his portrait appeared on the gable-ends of twenty-storey skyscrapers.
At that time it was said that President Theodore Roosevelt and John Mackintosh were the most widely photographed people in the United States.