Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Kraft buys Cadbury

Cadbury WispaI’ve been following along for the past four months as have most folks who like chocolate since Kraft made an offer to buy Cadbury.

After oodles of wrangling and rumors that Nestle, Ferrero or Hershey’s would step in and partner or outbid, Kraft made it official (though it’s still tentative): $19 billion in cash and stock.

Kraft owns other confectionery divisions such as Terry’s Chocolate, Toblerone and C?te d’Or but Cadbury brings some pretty huge brands to the table besides Cadbury chocolate (available in dozens of countries) with their gum (Trident) and sugar candy (Swedish Fish & Sour Patch Kids) groups. A big concern for many is how this may stall Cadbury’s venture into Fair Trade, beyond their Green & Black’s brand and into their regular line of Dairy Milk bars.

Read more at the NY Times and Wall Street Journal.

Consider this your open thread to vent about it one way or another.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:09 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyCadburyKraftFeatured NewsNews

Comments
  1. As someone who has to deal with a gluten intolerance, I think this may actually be good news.  Kraft has had much better labeling practices than Cadbury has had in the past. I’m hoping that leads to good things in terms of expanding the candy line that my husband can eat!

    Comment by NGS on 1/19/10 at 4:15 pm #
  2. It’s amazing how many people in the UK are up in arms about this takeover.  While going through Twitter today for my video report on it,  I couldn’t believe how everyone just assumed this meant the death of chocolate simply because an American company bought it.  A bit ridiculous really!

    You can see the video at http://www.youtube.com/TopTrendingTopics

    Comment by Josh Rimer on 1/19/10 at 8:24 pm #
  3. gracecarriveau's avatar

    Hmm…I don’t know Josh. I think there may be a reason to be worried. One of the best things about Cadbury is their line of chocolate bars that are essentially only available in the U.K. I think those are the some of finest chocolate bars around, but because I live the USA, midwest, I don’t get a chance to have them that often.

    In the recent past, I began to realize that the Cadbury bars that are available here in the states, had begun to go downhill in quality. An owner of a local candy store who is from England, explained to me that the reason for that is that Cadbury bars for the states are produced here in the states and that’s why they’ve gotten so bad. However, the chocolate bars he imports from England are made with better ingredients over there. For example: the Picnic bar or my all time favorite, the Crunchie bar.

    If Kraft does seal the deal, what does this mean for the entire company? I’ve already pretty much written off Cadbury chocolate here in America, but I don’t want anyone messing around with the chocolate bars that come from England! Sure, I don’t get them as often as I’d like because it does take awhile for the English owner to get them sent here, but that’s part of what makes them so special.

    Although I will say, better Kraft than Hershey’s!

    Comment by gracecarriveau on 1/20/10 at 3:31 am #
  4. Well, the “British owned” thing is a bit of a red herring. It’s also absolutely not true to say that Cadbury’s chocolate is only available in the UK. It’s a global brand and has been for decades. Sure, it’s not huge in the USA, but that’s not the same thing.

    Getting upset because a British icon is no longer British owned is fair enough, but it doesn’t really mean a whole lot in the global economy.

    There are, however, two things to pay attention to:

    Firstly, will the quality slide? The answer is almost certainly no. It’s just scaremongering among certain people that Kraft is going to “Americanify” Cadbury’s chocolate. They’d be insane to do so, and everyone knows that.

    Secondly, what will happen to the factories in places like Bournville? This is talked about less than the more emotive “owned by Americans” or “quality” issue, but this is really the only one that has any real substance to it.

    Put simply, Britain probably ain’t the cheapest place to produce Cadbury’s chocolate. I don’t know the ins and outs of the deal and I hope there are safeguards. But if, e.g. the Cadbury factory in Birmingham were ever moved elsewhere it would be devastating on the local economy. Local morale has already taken a hit with the closure of Land Rover. To lose Cadbury would be appalling.

    Like I said, however, there must have been some safeguards in the deal.

    Comment by Richard @ The Bewildered Brit on 1/21/10 at 2:27 am #
  5. Yes, while there’s the initial smack of “But Cadbury’s is BRITISH!, Americans can’t take it away from us!” the fact is, as far as quality of the chocolate goes, I don’t think it will change.
    I live next to the English Channel, and day-trip to France semi-regularly, and something that struck me pretty hard when I looked at the packaging of some of the products in the supermarkets was…SO MANY things there were owned by Kraft.
    C?te d’Or, Suchard (mmm, Milka…Swiss I know, but still, there’s a lot of it in France), cookies by Lu that I remember from my childhood, all still absolutely delicious, good chocolate, not “Americanized” or cheapened, just yummy, and all owned by Kraft.

    My great-grandfather worked at the Bourneville factory. I hope for the sake of tradition /and/ obviously, the local economy, etc, they don’t completely move production elsewhere.

    Comment by Nivaya on 1/22/10 at 2:52 am #
  6. I think one thing is always certain after an acquisition—things WILL change.

    Comment by Pam Walter on 1/23/10 at 9:27 am #
  7. ... seems like a bit of mess. Don’t usually like Cadbury (except for the mini-eggs. and the Royal Dark), but it’s a brand I would’ve like to have seen keep its integrity.

    Cote d’Or went downhill—big time—after its acquisition.

    Comment by perry on 1/23/10 at 12:02 pm #
  8. gracecarriveau's avatar

    After talking to my British candy bar dealer, he’s assured me that Cadbury that is produced in England will not change. And since the Cadbury that is produced here, or maybe I should say sold here is fairly decent but not my favorite, I’m not that worried about it.

    Basically I just wanted reassurance that my favorite Cadbury chocolate that for some reason isn’t available over here, wouldn’t change. Okay, I’ll admit it, I’m really only worried about one bar in particular. The Cadbury Crunchie Bar! Yummy!

    Comment by gracecarriveau on 1/23/10 at 1:23 pm #
  9. Being English I for one am deeply against Cadburys takeover (by anyone). It will undoubtedly mean large scale job losses, deteriation in product quality, discontinuatiuon of smaller lines and a general fall in the brand. Bad times :(

    Comment by alan on 1/24/10 at 7:29 am #

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