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Jan
21

The Changing Tastes Of Cadbury Chocolate

By

Will the real Cadbury bar please unwrap itself?


The British are in an uproar about Kraft’s recent bid of US$19.5bn to take over their beloved Cadbury.  They fear their treasured English treats will be turned into revolting American chocolate.

There’s a lot British chocolate lovers don’t already know.  Cadbury has already been turned into ‘revolting’ American chocolate in the United States; in Southeast Asia, into bitter Malaysian chocolate;  and in Australia and New Zealand, into sweet Australian chocolate.  Cadbury has local footholds in many of the countries which constitute the former British Empire, places like South Africa, India, Kenya; and even in countries which weren’t a part, like Morocco and Egypt.  The cacao beans may be imported from some equatorial nation, but the milk, the sugar, the nuts, the fruits, and any other artificial flavors and colors are sourced locally.

This go-local strategy differs markedly from that of the American chocolate giant Hershey.  Up through my twenties, the famous Hershey Bar tasted the same wherever you tried it, for the very simple reason that Hershey products were only manufactured in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  The Hershey strategy has since changed, and now various Hershey candies are manufactured in the People’s Republic of China for sale in other Asian countries.  The Chinese products taste nearly identical to their American counterparts.  I guess it’s not hard to duplicate the flavor of bland and bitter chocolate bars which only utilize 11% cocoa solids, the lowest I’ve ever seen in a confectionary market leader of an industrialized country.


I wasn’t fully aware of Cadbury growing up.  Dairy Milks were there, but not popular.  In the 1970’s, Cadbury products were put out in the US by a company named Peter Paul, more famous for its Mounds and Almond Joy candy bars than for handling the US operations of Cadbury.   Cadbury only started to register in my mind as a brand when I spent a year abroad in the UK in the late 1980’s.  Anyone resident in the UK who’s not lactose intolerant will eventually have his or her mouth intersect with a Cadbury bar. My mouth conditioned from years of eating Hershey bars, I found the creamier and subtler taste of the British Dairy Milks strange.


I didn’t give Cadbury any more thought until I went back to the United States and tried a Dairy Milk there.  It had a completely different taste.  By that time, Cadburys in the US were made under license by Hershey.  If I knew then what I know now, I’d have realized there was no way the British and American versions could taste the same.  There are 140 worldwide suppliers of cocoa beans and derivative products such as cocoa butter and Hershey buys from all of them.  With that many cacao beans floating about it’d be almost impossible for Hershey to use the identical beans prepared in the identical way in their version.


[Click the picture to read the rest of this brilliant article]

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Categories : Economics

14 Comments

1

I like the Malay Cadbury but I bet Cadbury today tastes nothing like it did 30 yrs ago. Ultimately Cadbury’s is cheap commercial shite. Lindt is the way to go!!

2

Funny I stumbled upon this when i did, at this very moment i’m eating a crunchie bar that my mother gets from ireland, it’s so delicious and crunchy! you should give those a try. I am from the states of course but i’ve traveled back and forth so i’ve done the same thing you have, but not to that extent… I say the uk is def. the best. The chocolate bars are sweeter, but when you take bars like tolberone and crunchie they are still my alltime favorite but not so sweet? as the ones in the U.S… Maybe U.S. jacks the sugar while reducing the coaco amount? do you know why?

3

I was trying to get Irish Dairy Milks and various nut bars to compare to the entire group, but my potential Irish supplier blew off my requests to send them. I was curious how those Irish bars would compare to the UK versions next door. The Irish ‘supplier’ claimed the Irish bars were the best. Naturally, I wanted to put it to the test myself. There is no question the US reduces the cacao content in their Cadbury bars. Hershey bars and, by extent, Cadbury USA bars manufactured by Hershey, must conform to American law which states that a minimum of 10% chocolate liquor be used. This is very, very low, and Hershey for their bottom level bars wouldn’t be far above this minimum. They say it’s a proprietary secret just how much cacao is in these low-end bars. Reducing cacao content, adding milk content, and increasing sugar makes the bars cheaper to manufacture — the costliest component is the cacao beans.

4

This is excellent work mate.
You are right about the smaller size downgrade in australia; cadbury
has it’s factory in Tasmania (southern island off the mainland)because
of superior milk quality correlating with nice grass there.
(i think it is still producing there)
My fave choc is Lindt (swiis made brand)
but i have heard that the Belgians make the best choc
(don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to have heard that)

Regardless, i am nominating you for a Nobel prize for this article.
Keep up the good work.
Dave S. (melbourne, Australia)

5

As i said to Doug in a private message that mere casual visitors
who have not sent Doug chocolate cannot hope to be privy to; i now believe that New Zealand made ‘Whittakers’ is awesome.
This was available at a major supermarket in Victoria, Australia.
As an example, the Hazelnut variety beats Australian Cadburys by 25%
(in my brilliantly,insightful and trustworthy opinion.)

Dave S.

6

Nice video with this article too. Good work and i can understand your American accent perfectly.

7

Thankfully Singapore gets its supply of cadbury chocolates from Australia (so nothing special to mail you). But I shall remember to try the British ones if I ever get a chance. Oh yeah, we have British Kit-Kat here though. Sold as imported items.

8

[…] I compared Cadbury Dairy Milks and nut bars from more than a half dozen different countries and wrote about it on Doug’s Republic.  This was around the same time as Kraft was bidding to buy the Cadbury […]

9

[…] Most Recent VocalistsDoug's Chocolate Republic — Overview | Doug's Republic on The Changing Tastes Of Cadbury ChocolateAnonymous on Whittaker’s Dark Almond from New ZealandDave S. on Seven Steps To Successfully […]

10

Found your site when googling on the contents of Malaysian Cadbury. Loved reading it! I am a huge fan of Cadbury and make it a point to try any new Cadbury I come across.

It was really interesting to read about the different tastes of Cadbury – I did not know they were manufactured in so many countries! I’ve only tried US, UK, Canada, Malaysia and Australia so far. In fact I was just eating some Malaysian Cadbury after years of not doing so and wondering what makes it taste so different that I hit the net for an answer.

I run a tour that introduces people to various sweets stores and sample chocolates, cupcakes etc. Cadbury is featured on the tour and so it was very interesting to read that entry as there was quite a bit I did not know about Cadbury! I just wanted to write and thank you for such an entertaining an enlightening post.

I was in Malaysia and Singapore so I got the chance to get some Malaysian and Australian Cadbury, so when I return to Canada I will probably have my own informal taste testing with Canadian and UK Cadbury! I cannot tell UK and Aussie Cadbury apart (both are my favourites) so let’s see if I can see any difference with them side by side.

Also, I shared your entry on our facebook page: http://facebook.com/tastytourstoronto. Thanks for the 15min of laughter!

11

Excellent read.

A quick add. I grew up in the middle east.
What you have done with dairy milks, I have done with kit kats once i left the gulf.

In the middle east again chocolates are made in two primary locations.
U.A.E and Saudi. The Saudi chocolates are very well made, like the Kenyan ones. The U.A.E ones tend to be a little more bitter but creamy nevertheless.

So for Kit Kats the two toppers are the one from Saudi (shocking?) and Switzerland. The Saudi Cadbury, in my guess, should taste as good as the Kenyan one. The Saudi dairy is huge and has a very high quality produce, this shows in the creaminess of their chocolate.

The next to follow was France and Germany Kit Kats. But they are miles behind the top two. You dont have to eat the chocolates, you can even say this from the very smell. The Saudi and Switzerland ones have a beautiful after taste at the rear of the tongue.

The worst again – Malaysia, India and Thailand where it feels like you are eating solid Milo bar!

American Kit Kat is a Hershey bar with wafer, not Kit Kat.

12

Hmmm… I’m a chocoholic and like yourself, have eaten Cadbury all over the world. I must say that I agree with you when it comes to the standard Dairy Milk quality from Australia. I actually rate it above the UK. However Cadbury also manufactures chocolates in New Zealand. They used to make Dairy Milk there as well but have now moved it to Tasmania.

From all the years of eating Cadbury, I would say this would be the rank disregarding whether they are still made in those countries or not…
1) Australia (Tasmania)
2) New Zealand (Dunedin)
3) UK

That said I distinctly remember the Aussie Hazelnut and Almond block varieties of Cadbury being a lot better back in the 90s compared to today. They actually used to have larger whole nuts! Now they are all grounded up and smashed and it has lost its bite!

That said, I do no longer rate Cadbury Hazelnut as the best mass-consumer brand for chocolate in Australia. I have found that Aldi’s Choceur dark-chocolate with Hazelnuts taste far better and have whole nuts along with it being cheaper! However it is made in Germany

13

Excellent read. You wont believe how I found this article. Just after my lunch today I was hungry for some creamy melting chocolate and bought a small cadbury. Its sunny outside and the chocolate refused to melt.I just wanted to remind myself the taste of cadbury from my childhood days(80s) and the current version was tasting nowhere close. By the way I’m from India. Determined not to give up, I searched and bought an ‘Whole nut’ version imported from UK. I have tasted cadburies from Saudi before and that’s my favorite. For my surprise the UK one tasted like some cheap malaysian chocolates, far more worse than the Indian one. Its like bricks, no cream, wont melt in your mouth. Just googled to see if it was a knockout and found this article. Seems like its not a fake product. Still craving for a melty treat, gonna buy some Indian “Mars”

14

Jose, you’re not the first person to comment how good the Saudi Cadbury’s taste. Another commenter compared them to the UAE-made Cadbury bars and said the Saudi ones were incredible. I wish I could’ve added them to the taste test, but I didn’t know anyone from those areas to send such bars. As I said in the article and accompanying movie, chocolate is a cultural thing. The Indian-made and Malaysian-made Cadbury bars aren’t good. They are not made with high quality ingredients, but that perhaps is due to local tastes. The locals want them to taste a certain way. I believe in an international competition with chocophiles as the judges, the Indian and Malaysian bars wwould rank low, just as they did in my blind taste test. In my Chocolate Republic section of the site at http://www.dougsrepublic.com/chocolate/ I do review some Indian-made Cadbury Silk bars. Such bars are made only in India and a step up from the regular Cadbury bars there.

You need to compare bars side by side. It’s too easy for your taste buds to acclimate to a new bar and forget how prior bars tasted. When tasting alongside each other, you really start to recognize the difference in tastes and textures.

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