It’s one of Birmingham’s most iconic brands – here are some fun facts behind the chocolate
The silky, melt-in-your-mouth taste of Cadbury chocolate is unlike any other. The world famous treats have been produced in Birmingham for years – and they’ve won fans across the globe.
But what do you really know about the famous Birmingham brand that produces Dairy Milk, Heroes, Creme Eggs and more. Here are 18 facts that might surprise you as the company releases details about its two mystery chocolate bars.
1. The chocolate factory bears the name of the founder
John Cadbury was only 22 when he opened his shop in 1824 next to his father’s drapery business in Bull Street, Birmingham city centre, which continued in business well into the 1960s. Cadbury sold tea, coffee, hops, mustard, cocoa and drinking chocolate – which he prepared himself using a mortar and pestle.
As his business grew, he opened a small factory in 1831 in Crooked Lane, where the foundations of today’s manufacturing business began. A larger factory was opened on Bridge Street near Broad Street in 1847 with John working alongside his brother Bejamin.
2. Nearly 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 chocolatier’s most popular product, according to Statista. The large number of people who said they had eaten dairy milk shows how popular it still is.
3. Chocolate for royalty
Cadbury received a Royal Warrant to become “Manufacturers of Cocoa and Chocolate for Queen Victoria” in 1854. The company became a Royal Warrant from Her Majesty The Queen in 1955. It is now one of 800 companies that will have to apply for a royal warrant following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
4. The 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, which had a workforce of 200,
In 1878 the brothers found an ideal location to expand their business further – on the Bournbrook estate, four miles south of Birmingham city centre. French-sounding names were all the rage at the time, so the brother named his new site Bournville – which is the name it still bears today.
5. First company to use heart-shaped chocolate boxes
Who doesn’t love heart-shaped chocolates on Valentine’s Day? It’s iconic and Cadbury was the one who started the trend. In 1861, entrepreneur Richard began selling heart-shaped chocolates for Valentine’s Day in heart-shaped boxes covered with 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 Creme Egg was launched almost a century later. It is now the fifth most popular product offered by Cadbury, although it is only available between January and Easter Sunday, according to Stasia.
7. Thank Cadbury for holidays on public holidays
Cadbury was one of the first companies to introduce half-day Saturdays off and was the first to adopt the custom of closing the factory on public holidays. They were pioneers in their day – can you imagine having to work on a holiday now?
8. Cadbury revolutionized the British cocoa trade 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 heavily adulterated with starchy substances like potato flour or sago to hide excess cocoa butter.
In 1866, they traveled to Holland and discovered the Van Houten chocolate press, which used new techniques to extract cocoa butter. This method helped them create a unique Cadbury taste.
9. Nearly a quarter of a 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 are so many buttons being made every minute that anyone could swim in them like Uncle Scrooge swims in his coins!
10. Bournville village – affordable housing for employees
In 1895 the Cadbury Brothers – which was then the name of the company – bought 120 acres near the Bournebrook chocolate factory and began to build the village of Bournville – meant to be affordable housing in a pleasant setting for wage earners. The village of Bourneville Trust still maintains the area.
11. Cadbury went purple in 1920
In 1905, when Cadbury Daily Milk was launched, the chocolate couverture was pale mauve with red writing, but in 1920 there was a rebranding. All Cadbury Dairy Milk products have turned purple and gold.
12. WWII – no more dairy milk
Rationing was enforced in the country and raw materials were also scarce. In 1941, Cadbury Dairy Milk also rolled off the shelves 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 aired on the ITV launch party
Cadbury is renowned for its iconic advertisements. His Victorian posters remain as eye-catching today as they were over a hundred years ago. Their first TV advert, which promoted their Cadbury drinking chocolate, was one of 24 shown on ITV’s launch party 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 over 50 countries. But it does not taste the same in all countries where the brand of chocolate is available due to different dietary laws.
15. The two-story bar is inspired by a 1970s automobile
The Double Decker name was inspired by Britain’s obsession with double-decker buses in the 1970s. Double Decker Chocolate is a combination of crispy cereal and soft, chewy nougat, layered and coated in smooth Cadbury milk chocolate.
16. Cadbury World opened in 1990
People still came to visit the factories, but that made operations difficult. So the company made a tourist attraction to take the place of the factory. In 1990 Cadbury World opened on a site next to the factory. Its manufacture cost 6 million dollars and attracted more than 350,000 visitors in the first year.
17. He became the world’s first confectioner in 2003.
Cadbury Shweppes became the world’s leading confectioner in 2003 when it bought a major brand of chewing gum. They had realized they couldn’t grab the top spot with just sugar and chocolate and ended up buying the world’s No. 2 chewing gum maker Adams to become the world’s best confectioner.
18. Mystery Chocolate Bars
Cadbury set the taste of the nation earlier this year when they released two mysterious tasting chocolate bars and asked the public to guess the flavor they announced on Thursday (October 13, 2022) that Rhubarb & Custard was the flavor of Mystery Bar One. And Blue Raspberry Slushie was the flavor of Mystery Bar Two.
Over 300,000 Cadbury fans put their taste buds to the test and an impressive 6,861 people guessed the right flavors for a chance to win one of two mystery prizes up for grabs.
19. Controversial Takeover
Not all Cadbury facts are nice. In 2009, the iconic British brand was embroiled in controversy when US food giant Kraft Foods Inc launched a bid to buy it. After a long fight, Cadbury chairman Roger Carr agreed to a deal in January 2010 after securing a last-minute deal.
The acquisition sparked questions about hostile overseas bidders and led to an overhaul of UK takeover rules. In 2012, Kraft reorganized its business, with Cadbury remaining in the renamed Mondelez International Inc.
20. The Cadbury Foundation turned 87 in 2022
The Cadbury Foundation was established in 1935 with a £40 donation to the Stirchley Girls Club. It continues to invest in local communities today in recognition of Richard and George Cadbury and their vision to create thriving, entrepreneurial and inclusive communities. She has invested £10 million over the past 15 years donating funds to charities such as the British Paralympic Association, The Prince’s Trust, and plans to help many others continue the spirit of company of the company born and raised in Brum!
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