Cadbury Chocolates' PR Hell in New Zealand


Cadbury, the self-proclaimed "world's largest confectionary manufacturer," is finding itself in the middle of a PR shitstorm in New Zealand over its recent decision to use palm oil in its chocolate — the Auckland Zoo is now boycotting all of Cadbury's products, claiming that endangered orangutans are losing their habitat due to the continued demand and production of non-sustainable palm oil. The zoo is going so far as offering a nine-page shopping list (pdf) of "Orangutan friendly" products such as "palm oil-free" dog food and powdered drinks.

Inevitably, the Facebook group "Take palm oil out of Cadbury chocolate bars" has appeared — with 1,800+ members — and there's even the ever-effective online petition.

Cadbury is no stranger to consumer backlash — back in May, they whipped out the grocery shrink ray, decreasing the standard Dairy Milk chocolate bar by 20% (from 250 to 200 grams). So now if you find yourself in New Zealand or Australia craving a Cadbury bar, not only will you bite into a chalky, waxy version of its former self, you'll also get less of it, and you'll have the blood of orangutans on your hands too.

In their defense, Cadbury claimed that due to inflation the current size of the bar was no longer economically “viable,” and that consumers shouldn't fret because "the new shape provides a greater mouth-feel, enhancing the chocolate delivery and is easier to break with fewer crumbs."

Here's a brilliant user-made video out of New Zealand detailing Cadbury's shrink ray and its clever re-packaging technique:

Michelle Mettler

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Comment Feed

  1. This may be the first time I find myself pissed off at a chocolate bar.And, the "grocery shrink ray" sounds like a retro sci-fi WMD...No good can come of it.

  2. fumbling around

    Isn't it ironic that they have made a very good, popular, prize winning commercial featuring a gorilla and yet are somehow contributing to the destruction of the gorilla's cousin's home?

  3. Fi in Oz

    Bring back truth in advertising! Thanks for making an informative video, now I'll have to discount Nestle and Cadbury from my all-too-regular choccie purchases. Will they ever learn?

  4. Hey, thanks for the facebook group mention and petition mention. I started the group just as your average joe annoyed consumer (being an Orangutan Conservationist I feel very strongly about the addition of Palm Oil!) and was surprised at the amount of support.
    I hope the group and petition continue to swell and Cadbury start to feel it in their falling bank balance!

  5. Jose B

    hey dude that's a crap video - those ppl were obviously friends of yours! Cut it out and the video is improved.
    But your point is valid. Not only did Cadbury cheat us with smaller blocks for the same price, they've cheated us further by adding cheap vegetable fats to the chocolate itself.
    They've changed the goddam recipe! Now that's just not cool.

  6. charlie

    Guys I lived 14 years in ghana and was amazed when i moved to new zealand to see Whittakers chocolate ads on tv. Did you know that whittakers cocoa beans are harvested using child labour? More like piss-takers than whittakers i reckon.

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