A piece of chocolate is something that most people, young and old, savour.
“A little chocolate doesn’t hurt”, I often find assuring myself whenever any weight issue pops up in the mind. The self-assurance works like magic and kicking aside all doubts I reach out for a piece (albeit a small one) of Bournville.
Cadbury, the chocolate that we all delight in, is my brand for today.
It is intriguing to imagine that the Cadbury chocolate owes its existence to John Cadbury, who lived some 200 years back, and sold cocoa and drinking chocolate in 1824 his shop at Bull Street, Birmingham, in UK. He eventually handed over the business to his sons Richard and George.
In 1878, the Cadbury brothers found a special site for their new factory between some villages, about four miles south of central Birmingham. The site comprised a meadow with a cottage and a trout stream – the Bourn, from which it derived its name Bourneville.
Thus the factory in a garden was born in 1879. A pear tree from the garden still stands outside the main Cadbury reception at the Bournville factory.
‘No man ought to be condemned to live in a place where a rose cannot grow.’ ~ George Cadbury.
Swiss milk chocolate dominated the British market in the 19th century– a situation the Cadbury family set out to challenge in the 20th Century. Cadbury Dairy Milk was launched in June 1905, and became hugely popular. The first Bournville chocolate was launched in 1908.
When the second World War began in 1939, raw materials were short in supply and rationing was enforced. Cadbury Dairy Milk came off the shelves, instead there was Ration Chocolate, made with dried skimmed milk powder. Once the war ended, the company worked hard to restore business as usual.
Many Cadbury brands – Cadbury Dairy Milk, Whole Nut, Fruit and Nut and Cadbury Creme Eggs saw massive increases in sales in the 1970s, partially due to hugely successful and memorable TV advertising campaigns.
In 1990, Cadbury World opened in Bournville on a site next to the Cadbury factory and headquarters, attracting 350,000 visitors in its first year
In 2008, Cadbury launched the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership through which they worked with the government and cocoa farmers in Ghana to help the farmers increase their yields and produce top quality cocoa beans.
The 21st century has also seen the recall of some Cadbury products in 2007, 2008 and recently in 2014 in Malaysia.
In 2010, Kraft Foods bought Cadbury and its global snacks business under the name of Mondelez International. Sentiments ran high in the company and in UK, as the Cadbury management resigned. The takeover also prompted a revamp of the Takeover laws governing how foreign firms buy UK companies.
I had the opportunity of hearing the takeover story from none other than the ex Cadbury Chairman Sir Roger Carr at London Business School.
The heat gradually settled down and a new global research and devlopment centre was opened in Bournville to put new ideas to test.
A recent recipe change of the Crème Egg doesn’t seem to have gone down well. Cadbury India, which has been in India since 1948, may be rechristened Mondelez India.
Nah! The name doesn’t strike a chord.
Image source : www.cadbury.co.uk
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