Clarnico was the largest sugar confectionery manufacturer in Britain.
Clarke, Nickolls & Coombs was established as a jam manufacturer at Hackney Wick in East London in 1872.
One of the partners, Robert Coombs (1836 – 1919), developed a confectionery manufacturing subsidiary called Clarnico.
Clarke, Nickolls & Coombs employed 300 people by 1881.
Clarnico was one of the largest confectionery companies in Britain by 1886.
Clarke, Nickolls & Coombs was incorporated as a public company with a share capital of £80,000 from 1887.
Clarke, Nickolls & Coombs introduced a profit-sharing scheme for its workforce from 1890. After paying a six percent dividend, the company split the remaining profit equally between the shareholders and the workforce. 840 people shared a total of £1,700 in 1893.
The business grew rapidly throughout the 1890s. 1,000 men were employed in 1891. Around 1,300 people were employed by 1892, around 1,500 in 1896, and 2,000 by 1899.
The factory site covered five acres by 1896.
Over 3,000 people were employed by 1911.
The Clarnico Mint Cream had been introduced by 1912.
Clarnico was the largest sugar confectionery company in Britain during the interwar period. Over 700 different varieties of sweets were produced. The Clarnico site was the largest sugar confectionery factory in Britain.
Clarnico formed a joint venture with R S Murray & Co to establish an Irish factory from 1926.
Clarnico made a profit loss for the 1967-8 year. The company had failed to adapt, and it was acquired by London-rival Trebor for £900,000 in 1969.
Clarnico Murray held around ten percent of the Irish confectionery market by 1969.
The Clarnico factory in London was closed down in 1973.
The Irish manufacturing presence was closed down in 1974, and the market was thereafter served by imports from Britain.
Trebor was acquired by Cadbury for £120 million in 1989.
Cadbury divested its British sugar sweets subsidiary to Tangerine Confectionery for £52 million in 2008.
Clarnico Mint Creams are still manufactured by Tangerine Confectionery as of 2019.