The confectionary company – now owned by US giant Mondelez International – will be reducing its 220g Dairy Milk, and its assorted nutty variants, by 20g. This, distressingly, means one row fewer of chocolate in each bar.
Cadbury blamed the “squeeze of increasing costs” for its decision, declining to downgrade the price of the product in proportion to its newly abbreviated size.
The company said it has “reached a point where we can no longer absorb these increasing costs into the price of our chocolate blocks … we chose to keep Cadbury chocolate affordable for families across Australia and reduce our family blocks by one row”.
This move will, according to Cadbury, allow it to “continue to support local manufacturing in Australia as we have done for almost a century now”.
Chocolate fans will probably note that Cadbury has previous form on downsizing, reducing its then-250g block to 200g and adding palm oil to the ingredients in 2009.
Much like now, Cadbury blamed rising costs for its decision, citing a doubling in cocoa prices over the previous two years. The move was partially reversed in 2013, when Cadbury increased the size of blocks by 10%, up to 220g.
The latest downsize hasn’t gone down well on Cadbury’s Facebook page, with one former fan asking “Do you take us for fools?” and another calling the company “plain greedy” and “thieves”. Some posters, however, pointed out the change might encourage them to give up their chocolate habit.
Luke Butcher, associate lecturer at Curtin University’s school of marketing, said buying chocolate was an “irrational” thing.
“It’s a habitual purchase, people buy it because it makes them feel good rather than because of the price,” he said. “People tend to accept this, unfortunately.
“Cadbury has a lot of competitors now, such as Lindt. Lowering the price would infer reduced quality, which wouldn’t be good for Cadbury. They don’t want to be seen as going downmarket.”
This article was written by Oliver Milman, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 3rd February 2015 05.42 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010