New Zealand-born business executive Chris White has been singled out by the Wall Street Journal as an example of how not to sell chocolate bars.

The business newspaper this week devoted several thousand words to a case study of how Mr White tried to market KitKat chocolate bars in Britain for Nestle.

Mr White was a New Zealand lawyer working for Coca-Cola, and had worked in Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, China and Korea when he joined Nestle in 2001.

He was given the job in November 2003 of reviving the fortunes of Nestle Rowntree's chocolate brands in Britain, of which KitKat made up about a quarter of sales.

The KitKat, wafers covered in praline and chocolate, was invented in 1935 by chocolate maker Rowntree in England.

Mr White introduced new flavours that had worked well in other countries, such as a lemon yoghurt version that Germans liked. For summer there were strawberries and cream, passionfruit and mango, and red berry versions.

In the winter came "Christmas pudding" and tiramisu, containing real wine and marscapone.

The company dumped its famous "Have a break, have a KitKat" slogan for "Make the most of your break".

By early 2005, customers were complaining the chocolate tasted strange or too sweet.

New flavoured KitKats began piling up in warehouses and were sold to stallholders in open-air markets.

Sales fell dramatically.

Nestle had planned to offer Mr White a job back in Australia.

However, in November he quit, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Nestle's British operation has abandoned virtually all of its exotic KitKat flavours.

It is back to basics.

And the "Have a break" slogan is back in advertisements.

- NZPA