Fans of the iconic Cadbury Crème Egg are outraged and have taken to social media to call for a boycott of the confectionery company, after Cadbury revealed it has changed the recipe of its popular product.
Cadbury’s British-arm confirmed to UK media the outer casing of the eggs would no longer be made from its Dairy Milk chocolate, but a “standard cocoa mix chocolate”.
Fans are also upset about a recent change to the packaging of the Crème Eggs, with five eggs now boxed together instead of six. The boxes sell for the same price as boxes of six sold for last year, according to commenters.
More than 400 people have also joined a Facebook group created in the aftermath of the announcement, named ‘Boycott Cadbury Until They Change Back The Recipe For Crème Egg’.
Commenters have accused Cadbury of “cheap underhand tactics”, suggesting the confectionery company is attempting to cut costs by cutting quality.
“… as if it isnt bad enough that you have reduced the cocoa solids already in our famous british creation but i am absolutely disghusted that you have messed around with our boxes of creme eggs and tried to deceive customers by reducing the box of 6 down to 5, whilst keeping the same size box and charging the same price,” said one popular comment.” [Sic]
But Australian consumers have less to be alarmed about.
A spokesman for the brand told SmartCompany the recipe change will affect the 39g Cadbury Crème Egg in Australia, however the Mini Crème Egg recipe has not changed. Cadbury also confirmed there has been no change to the Crème Egg pack size in Australia.
“We carried out consumer testing ahead of this recipe and the 2015 recipe proved more popular with consumers,” said the spokesperson.
“The fundamentals of the Cadbury Crème Egg remain exactly the same – delicious milk chocolate and the unique crème centre that consumers love. We have always used a range of milk chocolate blends for different products, depending on their shape or consistency. Cadbury Crème Egg now uses a standard, traditional Cadbury milk chocolate for its shell.”
Michelle Gamble, owner of Marketing Angels, told SmartCompany brands needed to be very careful when making changes to iconic or cult products.
“For an iconic product, especially when there’s not anything like that out there, you’ve got to be careful when fiddling with what works,” says Gamble.
She says biscuit company Arnott’s is an example of a brand that has successfully played around with an existing product that works.
“Look at what they’ve done with Tim Tams. They’ve kept the classic, but played around with limited editions… and that can boost sales,” she says.
“Ultimately, if the customer stops buying them, you’ve got to wonder, what are their motives?”