Rainbow wins from Cadbury self-sabotage


Cadbury started sabotaging its brand when it started using palm oil in its chocolate .

It bowed to consumer pressure and went back to using dairy milk.

Then it changed the Minties’ recipe and moved production to Thailand.

Its next exercise in brand self-sabotage was to downsize its chocolate bars. and now it’s doing it again:

Following news that Cadbury would be dropping the size of its family chocolate block, it has now been revealed that lolly packets are also in for a chop.

Stuff reported today that Pascall lolly packets, including Jet Planes, Wine Gums and Jubes have all been cut from 240g to 180g packets. . . 

But perhaps its silliest move yet was to change to selling half Easter eggs.

Cadbury’s new-look marshmallow Easter eggs for 2019 are being called Easter “humps” and “rocks” online.

But no-one’s laughing.

Kiwis are outraged that the Australian chocolate manufacturer is selling easter eggs that are shaped like one half of an egg.

It replaces the old egg-shaped style where two halves were joined together, creating a crunchy chocolate layer in the middle. . . 

It doesn’t matter that the new half eggs are the same weight as the old whole ones. Half an egg is only half an egg.

But one’s company’s self-sabotage is another’s opportunity and Oamaru’s Rainbow confectionery is seizing it:

A change in shape for Cadbury’s marshmallow Easter eggs left a sour taste in the mouths of many New Zealanders.

It also increased demand for locally-made products, including one factory in Oamaru still making Easter eggs by half.

Easter’s still two months away, but production lines at Rainbow Confectionery have been running since before Christmas.

An extra 40 staff are working flat out, piecing together Easter eggs the old fashioned way.

Brent Baillie, Rainbow Confectionery general manager, says they are making the eggs the traditional way it has always been done.

“We’re doing it the way kiwis expect it to be done.” . . 

Some facts on Rainbow:

    • Every year, Rainbow Confectionery produces 9 million marshmallow eggs. If they were to be placed side by side, the eggs would stretch 540km.</li&gt;
    • Since 2012, Rainbow Confectionery has increased its marshmallow egg production by 6 million eggs.
    • Manufacturing for Easter runs from November through to March.
  • In April 2017, the factory completed a $3 million expansion project, which meant it could boost production capacity from about 2700 tonnes a year to 8000 tonnes a year.
  • At present, it is the largest manufacturer of gummy lollies in the country, and still produces classic New Zealand sweets such as pineapple chunks, chocolate-coated baby fish and whole marshmallow Easter eggs.

The Rainbow story is here.

I’m maintaining my annual protest against the sale of Easter eggs so long before Easter, but when I do buy some in the week before Easter, it will be whole Rainbow ones not the inferior halves.


Pineapple chunks trump lumps


Foodstuffs has put an SOS out to lolly makers to save some of New Zealand’s favorite sweet treats:

Like most New Zealanders, we are gutted at the prospect that the days are numbered for our iconic Jaffas, Pineapple Lumps, Buzz Bars, and Pinky Bars. Foodstuffs, the owner of PAK’nSAVE, New World, and Four Square, is a proud New Zealand company, and like the rest of the country we grew up with these Kiwi favourites. Reading today’s news that time is fast running out to save these favourite treats gave us a brilliant idea.

If you think you have what it takes to help us save them for New Zealand, we’ll get right behind you. We’ll work with you to help you get set up to sell to us, cram our shelves with them, and we’ll then help promote them to the millions of New Zealanders and visitors to this fine country who come through our doors each week. We’ll work up a sweat like nothing you’ve ever seen, unless it was on the ABs’ foreheads in an international test match, or the Silver Ferns as they race around the court against the Aussies, or our heroes in Bermuda as they race from side to side on that insanely scary boat.

So, if you’re sitting on the fence. Get off it now. Be a saviour. Give us a call. And let’s work together to rescue these awesome treats. . . 

This concern for these treats results from the closure of  Cadbury’s factory for n Dunedin.

But there’s no need to worry about pineapple lumps. Oamaru’s Rainbow Confectionary still makes pineapple chunks under the original Regina label.

When Charles Diver invented this recipe for Regina well over half a century ago, he didn’t intend to create little chunks of Kiwiana. He was just doing what Kiwis do best – innovating.

In true Kiwiana spirit we still use his original recipe with a wee tinkle to make it free from artificial flavoursand colours. The original –SO GOOD! 

Pineapple chunks preceded pineapple lumps and with confidence born of parochialism I can attest the chunks trump the lumps.


Chocolate matters


The world is a sweet place when a story about chocolate downsizing makes the news:

Cadbury Confectionery is reducing the size of its family block as the chocolate maker battles higher manufacturing costs.

But while the block would be reduced by 10% to avoid a price rise, the company’s owner said its Dunedin factory was going from strength to strength.

”We didn’t take this decision lightly,” said Jack Evison, the New Zealand head of Mondelez, the company that owns Cadbury.

”More of our manufacturing costs are going up than down. Other chocolate companies are also under pressure. Two are in significant trouble in Australia.

”We chose to reduce the size of the block rather than up the price so we can keep chocolate as an affordable treat. The quality and taste will remain the same.” . . .

Chocolate is one of my vices, albeit one I’ve learned to indulge in moderation.

A friend recommended a square or two of chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa after dinner as a way to satisfy cravings and I’ve found it works.

But in the quest for quality rather than quantity I discovered Lindt from Switzerland so that habit won’t be affected by the downsizing.

However, I use Cadbury chocolate to make a chocolate hazelnut Christmas tree and a smaller block will mess with the proportions in the recipe.

Pigging out on chocolate


Cadbury ran foul of its customers a few years ago by putting palm oil in its chocolate.

Now it’s courting controversy over the news that some traces of pig fat have been found in its chocolate in Malaysia:

Cadbury Indonesia has ensured that none of its products in Indonesia contains pig fat. The statement came after Cadbury Malaysia had withdrawn two chocolate products namely Cadbury Dairy Milk Hazelnut and Cadbury Dairy Milk Roast Almond as the two contain porcine or pig fat. . .

I’m not reassured by the statement there’s no pig fat in Indonesian chocolate because it suggests there is pig fat in chocolate elsewhere and that could include New Zealand.

I don’t have a religious objection to pig fat but it’s not what I expect – or want – in chocolate which I thought still had a glass and a half of full cream milk.

If if does, it brings a new, and unwelcome, meaning to the phrase pigging out on chocolate.

If it won’t melt in the heat . . .


Cadbury has invented chocolate which can withstand temperatures of up to 40degC .

It’s destined for sale in hot countries including India and Brazil.

As any chocoholic will tell you, chocolate isn’t designed to be bitten and swallowed but savoured for as long as possible which raises a question – if the new chocolate won’t melt in the heat will it still melt in the mouth?

Fairtrade chocolate passes taste test


Several years ago my daughter found what she thought was plastic in a Cadbury Easter Egg.

She wrote to the company explaining what she’d found, enclosed the remains of the egg and the wrapper and within days got a response acknowledging her letter.

A couple of weeks later she got a second letter saying it wasn’t plastic but undissolved sugar and a full explanation of how it would have happened. They also sent her a selection of chocolate.

A couple of months later a second package arrived with more chocolate and a letter thanking her for having taken the trouble to write to them.

The company is still very good at customer response.

Last year I did a post complaining about palm oil in chocolate. Mine was one of many complaints which Cadbury responded to by returning to the original recipe, they also sent me a block of palm oil-free dairy milk.

They’ve now followed that up with a block of dairy milk to coincide with the launch of their Fairtrade Certified chocolate.

There are arguments for and against Fairtrade which I’m not qualified to comment on. But as a committed chocophile I can confirm that Fairtrade dairy milk passes the taste test with flying colours.

Leaving like a jet plane


Minties, fruit chews and milk shakes are now being made in Thailand and moro bars, Eskimo lollies and jet planes will soon be made in Australia.

I’m not opposed to the shifting of production to other places per se.

If something can be done as well or better for a cheaper price somewhere else it is better for the business and the consumer if it is done there.

But I do have reservations about the manufacturing of anything we eat in places where hygiene standards might not be as high as they are here.

Australia has similar standards to ours, but I am less confident about Thailand.

Next time I need a sugar fix I’ll have to choose jaffas, pineapple lumps, chocolate fish, pinky bars and boxed chocolates which will still be made in the Cadbury factory in Dunedin.

It’s moments like these . . .


 . . . you wonder what passes for customer knowledge in Cadbury.

The experiment with palm oil in chocolate failed when consumer pressure forced them to return to the old recipe with cocoa butter (and very nice it is too).

But they haven’t learned from that expensive exercise because now they’re meddling with Minties.

Cadbury is changing the recipe of the lolly and switching production to Thailand.

The confectionery company acknowledges the lollies are now “a softer chew” and a different taste.. .

New Plymouth woman Tania Garcher used to love Minties, she says she chewed them for stress relief. But after Cadbury changed the way her favourite lollies were made, her stress levels have raised considerably.

“All I care about is the taste. If they tasted fine – that’s great, but they don’t – they taste totally different to me,” she says.

Minties are Minties because of both taste and texture.

Meddle with one or both and Minties fans will be reaching for something else to get them through their moments.

Chocolate will get you (almost) anywhere


Our nephew’s wife always takes Cadbury’s chocolate as a gift for her sister when she goes home to Argentina.

She took some over with her in July and her sister said the chocolate wasn’t nearly as good as she remembered.

When our niece-in-law returned to New Zealand she found out that Cadbury had changed its recipe and was using palm oil in place of cocoa butter.

Her sister wasn’t the only one to notice a drop in quality as a result.

Chocolate lovers the length and breadth of the country revolted. Such was the backlash the company admitted it had got it wrong and decided to quit the palm oil and go back to cocoa butter.

I blogged on the change to palm oil, the boost it gave to Whittakers  and the decision to go back to cocoa butter.

Someone from Cadbury must have noticed because last week I got an email from the company asking for my postal address and on Friday a package with five blocks of palm oil-free chocolate arrived in the mail.

With it was a letter which said:

We know we got it wrong when we started putting palm oil in Cadbury Dairy Milk and we’d love your help in spreading the word that cocoa butter is back!

It’s part of Cadbury’s campaign to promote the return to the cocoa-butter only recipe about which you can read more at www.choclovers.co.nz

I can spot a blatant attempt to chocolate curry favour when it turns up in my mail box.

I know they’re just sweet talking me as a marketing ploy to get me to spread the word.

But I can resist (almost) anything but chocolate.

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