Hershey Settlement Means No More Importing British Cadbury Chocolate into the US
Remember a couple of weeks ago when the internet went mad with rage over learning that Mondelez International wasn’t using real British-made Cadbury chocolate in its Cadbury Crème Eggs? Now some more insight on the depth of that situation has come to light. This week it has been revealed that, due to the settlement of a lawsuit brought on by the Hershey Company last year, importing company Let’s Buy British Imports (LBB) will no longer be able to import Cadbury products made overseas.
The gist of the lawsuit is that importing Cadbury products from the UK violates Hershey’s licensing agreement allowing the company to manufacture and distribute Cadbury’s-branded chocolate within the United States. The lawsuit also has LBB ceasing import of British-made KitKat bars, Toffee Crisps for their packaging similarity to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Yorkie bars for their name similarity to York Peppermint Patties:
So what’s the big deal, if US citizens and expats are still getting Cadbury chocolate? The main issue is that the UK Cadbury chocolate recipe and the US Cadbury chocolate recipe are vastly different. Not only does Cadbury dairy milk chocolate in the UK contain a higher butterfat ratio, but it also uses a different blend of fats and emulsifiers compared to the ever present soy lecithin used in the United States. Many consumers who have tried both assert that there’s a pretty big difference in taste between the two, and the outcry suggests that there’s a clear winner in the court of public taste opinion.
Of course this leads to the question: why doesn’t Hershey just use the same recipe that Cadbury uses in the UK? It’s pretty likely that the answer is cost and efficiency (among other things, soy lecithin is plentiful for US manufacturers thanks to the soybean’s prevalence as a commodity crop), as well as the fact that most US consumers who haven’t had British-made Cadbury chocolate will never know the flavor difference between what was imported and what’s already sold here.
Not that it’s a reason British Cadbury chocolate lovers will easily accept. But if it’s a good enough reason for Hershey, it doesn’t seem likely that they will change their mind on this decision any time soon.