The silken taste of Cadbury chocolate melting in the mouth is unlike any other. The world renowned sweet treats have been produced in Birmingham for years - and they’ve won fans across the globe.
But how much do you really know about the famous Birmingham brand which produces Dairy Milk, Heroes, Creme Eggs and much, much more. Here are 20 facts that may surprise you after the company released detais of their two mystery chocolate bars.
1. The chocolate company is named after the founder
John Cadbury was just 22 years old when he started his shop in 1824 next to his father’s drapery business in Bull Street in Birmingham city centre which continued trading until the 1960s. John Cadbury sold tea, coffee, hops, mustard, cocoa and drinking chocolate - which he prepared them himself using a mortar and pestle.
As his business grew he opened a small factory in 1831 in Crooked Lane, which is where the foundations of today’s manufacturing business began. A larger factory was opened on Bridge Street, off Broad Street in 1847 with John working with his brother Bejamin.
2. Almost 24 million people ate a Cadbury Dairy Milk in 2020
As many as 23,920,000 people ate a Cadbury Dairy Milk in 2020 making it the most popular product by the chocolate maker, according to Statista. The sheer number of people who said they ate a dairy milk shows how popular it still is.
3. Chocolate for Royalty
Cadbury received a Royal Warrant to become “manufacturers of cocoa and chocolate to Queen Victoria” in 1854. The company became a holder of a Royal Warrant from Her Majesty The Queen in 1955. It is now one of 800 firms that will have to re-apply for a Royal Warrant following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
4. Cadbury factory moved to Bournville 54 years after it started on Bull Street
John retired from the business due to ill health in 1861 and his sons Richard, 25, and George, 21, were now in charge. By the 1870s the flourishing business had outgrown the Bridge Street factory, with its workforce rising to 200,
In 1878 the brothers found an ideal spot to grow their business more - on the Bournbrook Estate which was four miles south of Birmingham city centre. French sounding names were on trend at the time, so the brother’s named their new site Bournville - which is the name it still has today.
5. First company to use heart-shaped chocolate boxes
Who doesn’t like heart-shaped chocolates on Valentine’s Day? It’s iconic and Cadbury was the one to start the trend. In 1861, entrepreneurial Richard began selling heart-shaped chocolates for Valentine’s Day in heart-shaped boxes that were covered in cupids and roses. Who knew Brummies could be so romantic!
6. The first Easter Egg was made in 1875
Cadbury’s first Easter egg was launched in 1875, and the Crème Egg was launched almost a century later. It is now the fifth most popular product offered by Cadbury, despite only being available between January and Easter Sunday, according to Stasia.
7. Thank Cadbury for holidays on bank holidays
Cadbury was one of the first firms to introduce a Saturday half-day holiday and were pioneers in adopting the custom of closing the factory on Bank Holidays. They were pioneers in their time - can you imagine having to work a bank holiday now?
8. Cadbury revolutionised British cocoa business in 1866
After taking over the business from their father, Richard and John became frustrated with the quality of cocoa products in Britain where cocoa powder was was hevily adulterated with starchy substances like potato flour or sago to mask the excess cocoa butter.
In 1866, they took a trip to Holland and discovered the Van Houten chocolate press, which used new technicques to extract the cocoa butter. This method helped them to create a unique Cadbury taste.
9. Almost quarter million Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons are made per minute
More than 250,000 Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons are produced every minute, according to Cosmopolitan. There’s so many buttons being made every minute that anyone could swim in it like Uncle Scrooge swims in his coins!
10. Bournville village - affordable housing for wage earners
In 1895, the Cadbury Brothers - which was the name of the company then - bought 120 acres near the chocolate factory in Bournebrook and began to build Bournville village – which was supposed to be affordable housing in pleasant surroundings for wage earners. The Bourneville village Trust still maintains the area.
11. Cadbury went purple in 1920
In 1905, when Cadbury Daily Milk was launched the cover of the chocolate was pale mauve with red script but in 1920, there was a branding overhaul. All Cadbury Dairy Milk products became purple and gold.
12. WWII - no more Dairy Milk
Rationing was enforced in the country and raw materials were also in short supply. In 1941, Cadbury Dairy Milk came off the shelves as well since the government banned manufacturers from using fresh milk. There was Ration Chocolate instead - made with dried skimmed milk powder.
13. The first Cadbury TV advert was shown on ITV’s launch night
Cadbury is renowned for its iconic adverts. Its Victorian posters remain as eye-catching today as they did over a hundred years ago. Their first TV ad, which promoted their Cadbury’s drinking chocolate, was one of 24 shown on ITV’s launch night in 1955. It was based on the popular game - Twenty Questions.
Cadbury has given us many iconic TV adverts since then - with the Flake girl, the Milk Tray man and, our favourite, the drumming gorilla.
14. Cadbury Chocolate doesn’t taste the same everywhere
Cadbury, which has been available in Birmingham since 1824 and is now available in more than 50 countries. But it doesn’t taste the same in all the countries where the chocolate brand is available due to differing food laws.
15. Double decker bar was inspired by an automobile from 1970s
The Double Decker name was inspired by the British obsession with double decker buses in the 1970’s. The double decker chocolate is a combination of crispy cereal and soft, pillowy nougat, layered up and coated in smooth Cadbury milk chocolate.
16. Cadbury World opened in 1990
People always visited to tour the factories but it made operations difficult. So, the company made a tourist attraction to take the place of the factory. In 1990, Cadbury World opened its doors on a site next to the factory. It cost $6 million to make and attracted more than 350,000 visitors in the first year itself.
17. It became the world’s leading confectioner in 2003
Cadbury Shweppes became the world’s leading confectioner in 2003 when they bought a major chewing gum brand. They had realised that they won’t be able to grab the number one spot with only sugar and chocolate and ended up buying world’s number 2 gum manufacturer Adams to become the top confectioner globally.
18. Mystery chocolate bars
Cadbury put the nation’s taste earlier this year when they released two chocolate bars with a mysterious taste and asked the public to guess the flavour which they announced on Thursday (October 13, 2022) that Rhubarb & Custard was the flavour for Mystery Bar One. And Blue Raspberry Slushie was the flavour for Mystery Bar Two.
More than 300,000 Cadbury fans put their taste buds to a tantalising test and an impressive 6,861 people successfully guessed the correct flavours and have been entered into a chance to win one of two mystery prizes up for grabs.
19. Controversial takeover
Not all the facts about Cadbury are sweet. In 2009 the iconic British brand became embroiled in controversy as American food giant Kraft Foods Inc launched a bid to buy it. Following a long fight, Cadbury Chairman Roger Carr agreed to a deal in January 2010 after extracting a last-minute deal.
The acquisition sparked a questions about hostile foreign bidders and led to an overhaul of the UK’s takeover rules. In 2012, Kraft reorganised its business, with Cadbury remaining in the renamed company called Mondelez International Inc.
20. Cadbury Foundation turned 87 in 2022
Cadbury Foundation was formed in 1935 with a £40 donation to Stirchley Girls Club. It continues to invest in local communities today in recognition of Richard and George Cadbury and their vision to create prosperous, enterprising and inclusive communities. It has invested £10 millionover the last 15 years donating funds to charities like The British Paralympic Association, The Prince’s Trust, and plans to help many more to continue the entrepreneurial spirit of the company born and bred in Brum!
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