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Nestlé Candy Shop was a brand of confectionery owned and licensed by Swiss corporation Nestlé, until the Wonka brand was sold to Italian company Ferrero SpA in March 2018. The previous Wonka brand's inception comes from materials licensed from British author Roald Dahl. His classic children's novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and its film adaptations are the source of both the packaging and the marketing styles of the Wonka brand. The brand was launched on 17 May 1971, pre-dating by a month a tie-in launch coinciding with the release of the novel's first film adaptation on 30 June. In 1988 the Willy Wonka Candy Company brand – then owned by Sunmark Corporation – was acquired by Nestlé. Nestlé sold sweets and chocolate under the Willy Wonka brand name in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Africa, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica, Panama, Dominican Republic and the Middle East.