Anger as Cadbury downsizes its chocolate bars in Australia
Confectionery company Cadbury is reducing the size of its family bars by one row of squares. Could Ireland be next?
It has not been a good few months for Cadbury. First, it stopped selling chocolate coins: then, there was a backlash when it changed the recipe for Creme Eggs. Now, in Australia, it has been revealed that the company will shrink the size of its chocolate bars by 10 per cent – but without dropping the price.
The confectionery firm, which is now owned by US company Mondelez International, will be reducing the size of its large family blocks of Dairy Milk chocolate by 20g, or one row of squares, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
Amanda Banfield, managing director of Australasia for Mondelez International, blamed the change on growing packaging costs and an increase in the cost of raw materials. Demand from developing countries such as India boosted cocoa prices to three-and-a-half year highs in 2014.
"We've just had unprecedented cost headwinds over the past 18 months," she told the newspaper.
In a post on Cadbury's Australian Facebook page, the company said that it had been forced to "make a tough decision: increase the recommended price of Cadbury family blocks or decrease the size. We chose to keep Cadbury chocolate affordable for families across Australia and reduce our family blocks by one row".
Cadbury fans voiced their frustration on social media. One Facebook user posted: "Won't be able to call it a family block anymore. We are a family of five and we will be lucky to get three pieces each."
Many chocolate manufacturers have shrunk the size of their products over the past few years. In 2012, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed that British chocolate bars had been reduced by around 10 per cent in just one year while prices remained the same, leading the ONS to warn that customers were facing inflation “by the back door”.
Rising prices are commonly cited as the reason for such reductions, but some confectionery companies also claim to be trying to fight obesity. Last year, chocolate giant Mars shrunk its Mars and Snickers bars as part of pledge to cut to cut the calorie content of its single-serve products to a maximum of 250 calories.