Cadbury creamed by customers after reducing the size of its chocolate blocks, again

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Chocolate and confectionery giant Cadbury has been harangued by customers after announcing it would be reducing the size of its family chocolate blocks for the second time in five years.

Announcing the change via its Facebook page, Cadbury said customers would soon notice something a “little different” about its family-sized blocks.

In a rare display of corporate frankness, the chocolate company admitted while it was committed to getting chocolate to consumers at the best price it could, in the last few years the company has “seen our costs go up”.

Cadbury is owned by US food giant Mondelez, who acquired the brand in 2010.

“Rather than raising the recommended retail price, we’ve made the call to reduce the size of our Cadbury family blocks, and also bring down the recommended retail price slightly, so that our blocks can continue to be an affordable treat for all Australians,” the company said.

“We know some will be disappointed by this change, but we want to keep offering you the best value and best tasting chocolate we can.”

The company also assured customers while the block sizes will be shrinking, the recipe of the chocolate would not change.

Materially, this means the standard Cadbury block size will reduce from 200 grams to 180 grams, with the recommended retail price reducing from $4.99 to $4.79.

However, this isn’t the first time Cadbury has cut the choc. Four years ago in 2015, the company downsized the blocks from 220 grams to 200 grams, causing outrage among shoppers.

It’s clear those shoppers don’t easily forget.

“Didn’t you guys already do this a few years back? Is this a yearly thing now?” one shopper accused via Facebook.

“So before you were a 250g now down to a 200g block so I’m guessing it’s dropping down to a 150g block which is not a family block,” another said.

“Very disappointing Cadbury’s [sic].”

Speaking to SmartCompany, director at InsideOut PR Nicole Reaney says the frank and blunt approach from Cadbury about the changes has worked in the company’s favour.

“The worst thing they could do is make the reduction in the hope no consumer would notice which savvy shoppers and lovers of the block, definitely would have,” she says.

“By doing this, they’ve acknowledged potential reactions by consumers and also voiced a reasonable explanation of the change.”

Some commenters on the post asked what contributing factors led to Cadbury’s costs going up, with the company pinning the increase on cost hikes for energy, ingredients, packaging and transport.

“For the last four years we have absorbed these costs instead of making any changes to the size of our blocks, however, it just isn’t sustainable for us to continue to do that,” a spokesperson for the company explained.

Reaney says the company’s choice of using Facebook to announce the change showed its willingness to respond to customer questions and critiques.

“Selecting a two-way communication channel, like Facebook, is the right approach as it allows consumers to share their views,” she says.

“Also, providing a reason it is attempting to maintain price levels for consumers demonstrates the company is empathetic to consumers and their tightening budgets.”

NOW READ: An army of chocolate lovers is putting the hard word on Cadbury to bring back this product

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Jan Deane
Jan Deane
2 years ago

Totally understand rising costs, but would prefer if they just put the price up without reducing the size. They need to understand the science that goes into dividing each block up for nightly consumption! Changing the size creates a dilemma – eat less chocolate per week via the usual one block of Top Deck or go crazy and buy two blocks. Decisions decisions…

2 years ago

Chocolate has caught the beer price hike syndrome, but that’s twice a year. But it is nice to read that in exchange for the Cadbury consumer accepting a smaller product, Modelez is not going to change the recipe. How thoughtful. But a change in recipe would mean a change in taste and that would not be acceptable, would it.

In this modern era of industry cost cutting to earn greater returns, why is the cost of energy used in considering this price rise? Surely the factory would be sourcing best price options for power, as well as installing solar and evaluating sustainable battery systems. Packaging price increase? – go to another factory in China, and transport? – tender for the best price and lock it in.

Stop aiming to grow the bottom line, consider the consumer or consider leaving the Australian market.

The options are there.

Maybe Bega could look at this, they bought back Kraft cheeses, peanut butter and Vegemite to Australian ownership.