The Challengers of Chocolate

If you’re an avid news reader, you’ll probably have read about the Creme Egg scandal that knocked chocolate fans for six, a few months back.

To re-jig your memory, here’s what happened…

Chocolate giant Cadbury decided to change their ever so popular Creme Egg shell recipe from Dairy Milk chocolate to standard Cadbury milk chocolate, AND swapped their six packs for five – with huge consequences…

Whilst expecting a boost in sales as customers ‘flocked’ to try the new recipe, it had the opposite effect; they suffered a huge media backlash, disappointed fans, and to top it all off, they’ve now lost their top 20 brand ranking.

Pipped to the post by brands such as British Airways, BBC, Nike, and Apple, it’s not the first time Cadbury have come under fire. Bosses have never been forgiven for going back on a promise to keep open a factory at Keynsham, near Bristol. Not only that but they were also criticised for shifting large parts of their production to cheaper facilities in Poland, AND they’ve slowly been shrinking the size of their products.

Yet this last move by Cadbury seems to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Losing a couple of customers here and there is always bound to happen in business, but losing a title like the one they used to have is a big deal.

If we’re going to learn anything from Cadbury’s blunder, it’s that you need to be ever so careful before making a decision that will affect your customers.

Could Cadbury have saved themselves the hassle? Of course they could. It doesn’t take a huge amount of work to do a little research. They could have run a survey, they could have split tested the product, THEY COULD HAVE ASKED.

Now they ‘claimed’ the change was based on consumer research – but if the raging public is anything to go by, their ‘research’ wasn’t exactly very effective!

All businesses need to make a change (however big) from time to time, but when it’s your turn, may we kindly suggest doing a little more ‘research’ than Cadbury.

You never know…you might just save yourself a whole lot of bother.

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