While seeking to change some of its recipes and products for the sake of innovation, Cadbury made a series of decisions that didn’t sit well with customers – one being the production of chocolates outside the UK.
For a company that grew off the back of its British heritage and familiar recipes, its sudden diversification has been viewed as a step in the wrong direction. So much so that the Telegraph dedicated an article to the many ways in which Cadbury had “lost its magic”.
Written by Harry Wallop, who presented Channel 4’s Dispatches: Secrets of Cadbury, the feature made clear it was no fan of Cadbury’s decisions.
“To many, the 1971 invented Creme Egg is pure gloopy joy, containing palm fat and paprika colouring. In 2015, Cadbury confirmed it would replace the very popular Dairy Milk shell, with one made from a standard cocoa mix. They said they were in fact reverting back to the original 1971 recipe, and consumers prefered the original recipe. Many were unconvinced.”
He made note that the company also rounded its Dairy Milk bar corners, altered what went into the Heroes tub selection box and shrunk all the bars yet kept the prices high. The list goes on, glancing over how chocolate had been added to Philadelphia cream cheese.
“No, no, no. When Kraft took over, how we all joked about how they’d put chocolate in processed cheese. It turns out, it was no joke. Cadbury Philadelphia is a thing.”
His biggest grievance though, shared among numerous customers, is the production of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk in Poland. It was explained that after Kraft’s hostile takeover of the company – and the closure of the Somerdale factory – Kraft executives were called to Parliament.
“Trevor Bond, president of Kraft Foods Europe, heeded the call,” Wallop said. “He was asked: ‘Will Cadbury’s Dairy Milk continue to be produced in the UK?’. He said ‘yes’. He was then asked for how long. He answered: ‘For as long as our consumers are delighted by the taste and the product we produce’.
“But dispatches discovered a number of bars are made in Poland. This is particularly galling as Cadbury likes to flaunt its Britishness.”
It is in an effort to regain some of that Britishness, no doubt, that Cadbury owner Mondelez International – working under Kraft – is set to expand production of its Bournville factory, bringing its Dairy Milk Oreo and Tiffin bars “home”. This comes after an initial investment of £75m for new machinery.
Cadbury said in a statement: “The production of all Cadbury Dairy Milk products originally made in the UK, but temporarily made elsewhere, will be coming back home to Bournville.
“This investment means our Bournville factory can now favourably compete against manufacturing facilities in other European markets and retain the majority of Cadbury Dairy Milk and Cadbury chocolate production right here in the UK.
“Previously it cost three times more for us to make a chocolate bar here in Bournville than it did in Germany. That wasn’t sustainable. That’s why our investment in these world class production lines is so vital.”