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How Cadbury Dairy Milk Became a Global Icon

The Cadbury story began in 1824, with a rich history of innovation and transformation in the nearly two centuries that followed. With a commitment to quality and an ability to charm consumers, it’s no wonder that Cadbury Dairy Milk has become synonymous with chocolate, touching people’s lives and creating memories around half the world.

The Beginning

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Cadbury the Dairy Milk bar was first introduced in 1905 by British confectionery company Cadbury. Back then, chocolate bars were seen as a luxury item affordable only to wealthy people. But Cadbury had different plans — plans to make this delicious treat accessible to all.

In order to do so, Cadbury ensured that its chocolate bar was affordable without compromising quality. The company embarked on new manufacturing processes that allowed it to produce chocolate bars at a lower cost, which enabled them to sell them at a cheaper price point.

The Rise

Rapidly gaining popularity, the bar from Cadbury Dairy Milk quickly became a household name in the UK. And their success can be attributed to the brand’s smooth and creamy texture — one achieved through a unique recipe containing more milk than other chocolate bars on the market.

Beyond its taste, however, Cadbury Dairy Milk is known for its iconic purple glass packaging. This distinctive color was chosen by founder George Cadbury in the late 1800s and has since been used as an emblem for years.

Quality and innovation remained paramount for Cadbury throughout time. In fact, they introduced the first-ever milk chocolate with filling during the 1920s — known as the popular Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramel bar. Over time, they have also released flavors such as fruit and nut, whole nut, cocoa butter and Oreo-filled bars.

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As they expanded beyond UK borders into becoming an international phenomenon throughout time from their 1905 introduction date; In 1969 they would merge with Schweppes to form Cadbury Schweppes, furthering their presence in the global market for fresh milk. This merger allowed for the expansion of their product range and distribution channels, which made Cadbury Dairy Milk available in more countries around the world.

It would be a decade later, however, when Cadbury faced significant changes. Mondelēz International would acquire the company in 2010 — an American multinational confectionery, food, and beverage conglomerate. This acquisition marked the end of Cadbury’s independent ownership and caused concerns among cadbury gifts and loyal customers about potential changes to the brand.

Nevertheless, Cadbury Dairy Milk remains beloved worldwide. Despite its change in ownership — being one of the world’s leading chocolate bars — it has not stopped innovating or introducing new flavors and variations of chocolate bar that cater to evolving consumer palates.

The Origins of Cadbury Dairy Milk

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John Cadbury was a Quaker who began his career selling tea, coffee, sugar and drinking chocolate at a store in Birmingham, England. He went on to form Cadbury Brothers with his brother Benjamin. In 1854, they received royal approval for their products—laying down a foundation that would come to be cherished worldwide.

There is one thing that we can’t deny about Cadbury: they are incredibly resilient. The two brothers, Richard and George, were no different. When they took the reins from their father John, they used their knowledge to revamp the company with a focus on dairy milk chocolate only. And guess what? It worked! They developed Dairy Milk, a fan-favorite that was introduced in 1905.

Cadbury’s journey to Mondelēz ownership

Kraft Foods Inc., which is now known as Mondelēz International, acquired Cadbury in 2010. This opened new doors for Cadbury, allowing them to expand globally and continue being amazing.

Acquisition by Kraft and formation of Mondelēz International

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In 2010, Kraft paid $18.9 billion to acquire Cadbury in an effort to create a confectionery powerhouse that had considerable global reach. The partnership only led to further innovation and growth.

Cadbury’s transformation and new product introductions

Since the acquisition, Cadbury has continued its upward trajectory by inventing new treats while also reimagining old ones. Each treat launched from the Cadbury Dairy Milk line still meets customer expectations to this day.

Cadbury’s milestones in the 2000s

In turn of the century fashion, Cadbury continued its surge forward with new products left and right. This even helped it remain competitive in a space where competitors were constantly changing.

Introduction of New Products

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New products from Cadbury expanded its portfolio greatly by fulfilling new tastes and preferences around the country and the world.

Although each item was different from the next, they all shared two things in common: quality and flavor.

Changes and challenges faced by Cadbury

From market dynamics all the way down to changing consumer habits — you name it — Cadbury had to face it. But through all of it one thing remained true: Cadburry just wanted everyone to be happy when eating cadbury chocolate bars!

Cadbury’s brand identity evolution

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A strong brand should be able to adapt while still remaining beloved. Cadbury has managed just that with its ever-changing brand and a mission to only produce what their customers are happy with.

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