Thursday, 21 January 2010

Chocolate Epilogue

So, farewell then Cadbury's as we knew it. Or as we like to remember it, as I went on about here last November. It's a great shame, to see something so decidedly English become just another name in Kraft's brand fortfolio. (They come over here, chat up our girls and eat our chocolate.) But the writing was very clearly marked on the wrapper. You've only got to look at what happened to good old Rowntrees, snaffled up by Nestles. Smarties were sent off to Germany, with the loss of 646 jobs, but they did build a new factory in York, saying the old Haxby Road factory was difficult to make chocolate in because of keeping the temperature consistent. Funny how Rowntrees managed to do it for over a 100 years without it melting. Of course that's not the point. It's only about the consistency of making money, not chocolate. But I still eat an Aero every other day; they're still made in York and I couldn't tell you it tastes any different. Although I heard a rumour that the current Terry's Chocolate Orange, another Krafty deal that moved production out of York to Slovenia or somewhere, now tastes more like Bert's Chocolate Mothball. It might still be alright down at blossom-filled Bournville, but I doubt it. Whatever their bleating protestations last November, Cadbury's were always going to sell to the highest bidder whatever, even if it was to a producer of tasteless processed cheese.

19 comments:

TIW said...

Kraft Creme Eggs? No thanks.

Circe said...

That's truly a shame-- if it's any consolation, it's happening here in America, too. Hersheys production(not nearly as delish as Cadburys but a beloved American institution nonetheless) had produced previously in Hershey Pennsylvania, formerly Derry Church, since 1903. Now they have moved production to Mexico and other unknown locales out of country. A great let down.

For the record, I love Cadbury's, Smarties, and the original Chocolate Orange. I checked: we have not a single Kraft Foods item in our home that I can determine... and now I'm even LESS likely to purchase one. If that's possible!

Cheers to you, Peter. Great graphic, btw!

Vinogirl said...

I am crying in California.

Diplomate said...

now then- whilst you have that particular page of the scrap book open - we need to discuss the demise of the un-tipped Camel. Nearest thing to decent factory made smoke and seems to have vanished. Prior to its apparent demise the euro-warning department had already managed to destroy what had to have been the finest bit of fag pack art in history. Lord save us !!! Mind you Kraft are top for Cheese Whip, Ezee Cheese and other aerosol dispensed processed goodies which should be available in every store cupboard

Peter Ashley said...

Oh Diplo, I thought you'd Follow That Camel.

Philip Wilkinson said...

A sorry state of affairs indeed.

I live not far from Kraft's UK HQ in Cheltenham. Whenever there's an item about the takeover on the local news, after the obligatory footage of rivers of chocolate, there's a shot of the Kraft office, although no one from this organization ever seems to be available to comment. The building, for the record, is a glorious and vast Cheltenham Regency house - or at least it has the facade of one: there are probably modern offcies behind and the front kept as a 'townscape amenity'. Hm. Facadism.

But Diplo: Ezee Cheese?????

Jon Dudley said...

..and just down the road from Hotel Kandinsky, Mr.W, which I suspect they're still in the process of ruining. I presume the Cadbury family made some money after the merger with 'Schh..you now' who back in '68? although the umpteenth great grandaughter is kicking up a fuss at the moment. Fortunately the Bournville Village Trust has a 999 year lease on the land upon which production is centered so the Dairylea folk will not only have to deal with the administrators (the Cadbury family presumably) but also the residents and may hopefuly find it impossible to capitalise on a real estate deal when they try to move production to Chad or somewhere equally creative. I'd love to know what the current CEO of Cadbury will make as a result of this £11billion pound takeover. Interestingly, Warren Buffet, a significant shareholder in Kraft is reported as being against the deal, but even that hasn't stopped 'em. Where will this all end? Award yourself the CDM, Mr.A.

Peter Ashley said...

Thankyou Jon, I shall wear it with pride. Cadbury's chief executive is US-born Todd Stitzer (no, you couldn't make it up), and was probably brought up at his mother's knee to sell 'business units' and squeeze costs. Bournville is the only surviving link to the old family-run business, and apparently houses only a fraction of Cadbury's global workforce. My acknowledgements to Martin Vander Weyer in this week's Spectator for this rush of unexpected business knowledge.

Wartime Housewife said...

Well said Peter, and well said everyone else.

I completely despair. It's only a matter of time before England owns nothing, manufactures nothing, grows nothing. We will become a dormitory country in economic thrall to the rest of the world. I'm all for open markets, but if we're not careful we will have nothing left to bring to market.
Yours, growling in a corner, WH

Diplomate said...

From what i can remember Cheeze Whiz has been around pre-aerosol but seems to have gone away, I think Eazey Cheeze is the aerosol version - shame really because I prefered the old name, I'm pretty sure the're both Kraft products. In fact I have to say that the name is the only bit i do like, that and the space-age concept of a cupboard full of aerosol food products. The reality is a little different and the disappointment is similar to that following a 3 am donner kebab c/w chile sauce .... great idea at the time and all that. MORE WENDY'S

Diplomate said...

actually - to continue - i think the whole thing has something to with wanting a massive GeneralElectric or Fridgidare unit stashed full of 50s and 60s americana from the food world. Or maybe a Westinghouse Larder 2600 Belaire Deluxe for $99.99

Peter Ashley said...

Oh Diplo. This obsession with American Kitcheniana has got something to do with The Parent Trap. Hasn't it? The one with Hayley Mills, obviously.

Jon Dudley said...

The Parent Trap...ah! Hayley Mills...to use another cookery metaphor - early stirrings. I'm with Diplo on Americana, Roymond Loewy-designed Coca Cola fountains and coolers, let alone Pennsylvania S1 locomotives. Has anyone tried White Castle (slogan - What you crave) rather than Wendys?...minute burgers only regionally available served from castellated establishments with much use of Olde Englishe type in the signage...you buy 'em 6 at a time. Sorry, a little detached from Cadbury but equally weight-inducing.

Peter Ashley said...

I like the idea of White Castle burger joints. Part of that American tradition of preposterous roadside architecture, I imagine. Grotesque Hansel and Gretel cottages, massive stetsons and a B52 as a filling station canopy.

Thud said...

I have no problem with the free market or do we go down the path of mationalised chocolate?....I am sure there are others that will emerge to fill any gap created by the abscence of English style chocolate.

Diplomate said...

Right then - I've been trying to avoid this but - i reckon the detractors in this case and indeed the Cadbury's must be English-owned brigade have entirely missed the point that Cadbury's make very little proper chocolate any how. Most of the stuff that appears in the shops has no bloody cocoa in it. I suspect Kraft have bought a pig in a poke and they'll soon be regretting it - 12 billion dollars !!! I guess it must be the addictive mix of chemicals and vegetable fat that enables them to keep selling the stuff and has persuaded Kraft to take the bait. Shame the serious engineering businesses of this country failed so badly to provide a product people wanted, at the quality they expected and for the price they were prepared to pay. The list of great british companies that failed to get bought out by some American suckers is long and sad.

Isabella Golightly said...

If it's any consolation, Kraft also owns Vegemite, which is as Australian a food icon as any; I think we need to start a Kraft boycott...

Dave Lovely said...

And what of Bournville?. Though I suspect the dread-seeming Bournville Estate Design Guide has already mummified it.

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