Cadbury was founded almost 200 years ago. Delve into the fascinating history and you'll find a wealth of interesting facts on subjects including advertising, Cadbury family, past and present products and philanthropy.

A pocket watch

1824John Cadbury opened Bull Street shop

In 1824, John Cadbury opened a grocer’s shop at 93 Bull Street, Birmingham in the 1830's. Among other things, he sold cocoa and drinking chocolate, which he prepared himself using a pestle and mortar.

John's wares weren't just inspired by his tastes, they were driven by his beliefs. Tea, coffee, cocoa and drinking chocolate were seen as healthy, delicious alternatives to alcohol, which Quakers deemed bad for society.

More about John's shop

1831John Cadbury opens factory in Crooked Lane

The Cadbury manufacturing business was born in 1831, when John Cadbury decided to start producing on a commercial scale and bought a four-storey warehouse in nearby Crooked Lane.

1842The range expands

By 1842 John Cadbury was selling no less than 16 varieties of drinking chocolate and 11 different cocoas! The earliest preserved price list shows that you could buy drinking chocolate in the form of both pressed cakes and powder.

The chocolate varieties boasted titles like 'Churchman's Chocolate’, 'Spanish Chocolate’, and 'Fine Brown Chocolate’. Cocoa was sold as flakes, in powder and in nibs, and went by names including, 'Granulated Cocoa’, 'Iceland Moss’, 'Pearl’ and 'Homeopathic’. It’s intriguing to imagine what the ingredients might have been!

More about the range

1847The business moves to Bridge Street

In 1847, the Cadbury brothers' booming business moved into a new, larger factory in Bridge Street in the centre of Birmingham.

The new site had its own private canal spur, which linked the factory to the Birmingham Navigation Canal and from there to all the major ports in Britain.

More about the new factory

1847Fry's Produce the First Chocolate Bar

18th century France produced pastilles (tablets) and bars. But it wasn’t until Bristol company Fry & Son made a ‘chocolate delicieux a manger’ in 1847 that the first bar of chocolate appeared, as we know it today.

The first ever chocolate bar was made from a mixture of cocoa powder and sugar with a little of the melted cocoa butter that had been extracted from the beans. The result was a bar that could be moulded. It might have been coarse and bitter by today’s standards, but it was still a revolution. Shaped into blocks and bars, and poured over fruit-flavoured centres, this plain chocolate was a real breakthrough. But there were many more treats in store...

More about the first bar
A vintage camera
A top hat

1861Richard and George Cadbury take charge

John's health rapidly declined and he finally retired in 1861, handing over complete control of the business to his sons Richard and George. The brothers were just 25 and 21 when they took charge of the business.

Although they’d both worked for the company for a number of years, taking control must still have been a daunting prospect for Richard and George. Other cocoa manufacturers were going bust, and they must have been worried that Cadbury Bros would soon be joining them. Luckily, they had a financial lifeline: each invested £4000 in the business, money that had been left to them by their mother. It was the equivalent of about £600,000 today, but it didn’t solve all their problems. The first few years were tough. To keep the business alive, the brothers worked long hours and lived frugally. George looked after production and buying. Richard looked after sales and marketing, which wasn't in good shape - he commented that if the business ever made a profit of a thousand pounds a year he would retire a happy man!

More about the brothers

1866An innovative processing technique is introduced

The turning point for the Cadbury business was the introduction of a new processing technique, resulting in the 1866 launch of 'Cadbury Cocoa Essence', the UK's first unadulterated cocoa.

Before Cocoa Essence, the cocoa Cadbury produced, like that of many other manufacturers, contained high levels of cocoa butter. They had to add starches to mask its taste and texture. But George Cadbury had heard about an innovative cocoa press being used by a Dutch manufacturer called Coenraad Johannes van Houten. The press squeezed out much of the cocoa butter from the beans, so it wasn’t necessary to add starches. Could this be the way forward? Buying the press was a massive gamble. It was expensive and the brothers had little money. It had to be used for mass production and no one knew if there’d be enough demand for the product. But the Cadbury brothers decided to go for it - the first British manufacturer to go down this route. It was a momentous step, one that changed the British cocoa business and led to the future prosperity of Cadbury. The press was installed in their factory in Bridge Street, Cadbury Brothers’ new product appeared. Cocoa Essence was extensively advertised as 'Absolutely Pure. Therefore Best’, alongside medical testimonials. The marketing of Cocoa Essence helped increase sales dramatically and transformed a small business into the worldwide company that Cadbury is today.

More about Cocoa Essence

1875First Milk Chocolate Bar

In 1875, a Swiss manufacturer called Daniel Peter added milk to his recipe to make the first milk chocolate bar.

This wasn’t a completely new idea; Cadbury produced their milk chocolate drink based on Sir Hans Sloane’s recipe between 1849 and 1875. And Cadbury added their own milk chocolate bars in 1897. But Daniel Peter was still way ahead of them – using condensed milk rather than powdered milk to produce a chocolate with a superior taste and texture. Another Swiss manufacturer invented the conching machine in 1879. This refined chocolate, giving it the smooth texture we know today. Swiss milk chocolate dominated the British market – a situation the Cadbury family set out to challenge in the 20th Century.

More about milk chocolate

1875Cadbury makes their first Easter egg

The first Cadbury Easter egg was made in 1875. The earliest eggs were made with dark chocolate and had a smooth, plain surface. They were filled with sugar-coated chocolate drops known as 'dragees’. Later Easter eggs were decorated and had their plain shells enhanced with chocolate piping and marzipan flowers.

1878The Cadbury Brothers are inspired by their vision

When the Bridge Street factory became too small, George Cadbury had a new vision of the future. 'Why should an industrial area be squalid and depressing?’ he asked. His vision was shared by his brother Richard, and they began searching for a very special site for their new factory.

In 1878 the brothers found their new home. They chose a 14½ acre greenfield site between the villages of Stirchley, King's Norton and Selly Oak, about four miles south of central Birmingham. The site comprised a meadow with a cottage and a trout stream - the Bourn. The cottage isn’t there any more, but the pear tree from its garden still stands outside the main Cadbury reception at the Bournville factory. The factory was initially going to be called, Bournbrook, after the cottage and Bournbrook Hall which stood nearby. But instead, 'Bournville' was chosen - combining the name of the stream with 'ville', the French word for town. At Bournville, workers lived in far better conditions than they'd experienced in the crowded slums of the city. The new site had canal, train and road links and a good water supply. There was lots of room to expand, which was lucky, because George’s plans for the future were ambitious. He wanted to build a place full of green spaces, where industrial workers could thrive away from city pollution. 'No man ought to be condemned to live in a place where a rose cannot grow.’ George Cadbury.

More about the search for a site

1879Bournville 'The Factory in a Garden' is born

Birmingham architect, George H. Gadd worked closely with George Cadbury to draw up plans for the factory. The first bricks were laid in January 1879 and 16 houses for foremen and senior employees were built on the site.

These mostly semi-detached houses were well-built and spaced out with ample gardens. Production began at the Cadbury Brothers' 'Bournville factory in a garden' in September 1879. When the workers arrived they found facilities that were simply unknown in Victorian times. There was a field next to the factory where men were encouraged to play cricket and football; a garden and playground for the girls; a kitchen where workers could heat up their meals, and properly heated dressing rooms where they could get changed. As George said, 'If the country is a good place to live in, why not to work in?’ Keen sportsmen, Richard and George encouraged sports and recreations, often playing cricket themselves. Sports facilities grew to include football, hockey and cricket pitches, tennis and squash racquet courts and a bowling green. Gradually women's and men's swimming pools were built and every young boy and girl joining the company was encouraged to become a good swimmer. Work outings to the country were organised together with summer camps for the young boys. Morning prayers and daily bible readings, first started in 1866, helped preserve the family atmosphere and continued for another 50 years, until the workforce grew too large for such an assembly. For workers who still needed to travel to the new factory from their homes in Birmingham, the Cadbury brothers negotiated special workmen's train fares to Bournville’s Stirchley Station with the local railway company. Cadbury duly became famous not just for its prosperity, but also for the advances in conditions and social benefits for its workforce.

More about Bournville

1893George Cadbury Adds Another 120 Acres to Bournville

George Cadbury had already created some houses for key workers when the Bournville factory was built. Then, in 1893, he bought another 120 acres near the works and started to build houses in line with the ideals of the embryonic Garden City movement.

George's wife, Dame Elizabeth Cadbury, planned Bournville Village alongside her husband, and her memoirs tell us how these plans became reality. 'When I first came to Birmingham and we were living at Woodbrooke, morning after morning I would walk across the fields and farmland between our home and the Works planning how a village could be developed, where the roads should run and the type of cottages and buildings.’ Gradually, she realised this dream. Many of the first tenants were men in Mr Cadbury's Adult School Class, who had previously lived in the centre of Birmingham without gardens. Now they enjoyed healthy surroundings and cultivated their gardens, many with their own apple trees.

More about the new buildings at Bournville

1895George Cadbury Builds a Further 143 Cottages in Bournville

George Cadbury decided not to go for tunnel-backs because it limited the amount of light in the houses. Instead he chose rectangular cottages, each one with a large garden. In 1895, 143 cottages were built on the land he had bought privately, a total of 140 acres.

When building started at Bournville, the basic house type built in the Midlands was the 'tunnel-back'. It was cheap, large-scale housing complying with the Public Health Acts that had condemned 'back-to-back' housing. They were built in long rows with entrances to the back through common passages, built over on upper floors. Though they were an improvement on the previous houses, they didn’t look that attractive - lots of tunnel-backs meant endless rows of dreary monotonous housing. George Cadbury decided not to go for tunnel-backs because it limited the amount of light in the houses. Instead he chose rectangular cottages, each one with a large garden. In 1895, 143 cottages were built on the land he had bought privately, a total of 140 acres. The first houses were built in straight rows with no more than four houses in a terrace, but this soon gave way to more interesting layouts. Bournville was developed to be a 'garden village' and these were the guiding principles... Cottages grouped in pairs, threes or sometimes fours. Groups were set back from tree-lined roads, each house with its own front garden and vegetable garden with fruit trees at the back. All cottages were well built with light airy rooms and good sanitation. A typical cottage had a parlour, living room and kitchen downstairs and three bedrooms upstairs. Some early houses didn’t have bathrooms, but it was easy to add them later on. Houses should cost at least £150 to build: they were to house 'honest, sober, thrifty workmen, rather than the destitute or very poor'. Building was restricted on each plot to prevent gardens being overshadowed and keep the rural feel. The first houses were sold on leases of 999 years to keep the rural appearance of the district: mortgages were available for would-be purchasers. Bournville’s green environment reflected the aim of George Cadbury that one-tenth of the Estate should be 'laid out and used as parks, recreation grounds and open space.’ It attracted great interest from housing reformers, including the Garden City Association. In fact George Cadbury was instrumental in developing the Garden City Movement along with other reformers, including Sir Ebenezer Howard, who founded the Association in 1900 and was the father of modern town planning. He once said that Bournville gave him the drive to carry out his ideas. The first Garden City, Letchworth, was begun in 1902. Bournville became included within the boundary of the city of Birmingham in 1911, so it’s now a 'garden suburb', like Hampstead Garden Suburb in London.

More about building Bournville village

1897Cadbury Milk Chocolate is Launched

When Cadbury started making Cocoa Essence they had lots of cocoa butter left over, so they used it to make bars of chocolate!

Cadbury milk chocolate hit the shelves in 1897, but it probably wouldn’t be much to our taste now. Made of milk powder paste, cocoa mass, cocoa butter and sugar, the first Cadbury milk chocolate bar was coarse and dry and not sweet or milky enough to be a big hit.

More about Cadbury's first milk chocolate bars
A typewriter
An old Cadbury truck

1900Early outdoor and press advertising

Cadbury produced some of the finest examples of posters and press advertisements during this period. A popular local artist, Cecil Aldin, was commissioned to illustrate for Cadbury. His evocative images featured in early magazine campaigns and graced poster sites all over the country.

1905Cadbury Dairy Milk is Launched

Swiss manufacturers were leading the field in milk chocolate, with much better products than their rivals. In 1904, George Cadbury Jnr was given the challenge to develop a milk chocolate bar with more milk than anything else on the market.

All sorts of names were suggested, 'Highland Milk', 'Jersey' and 'Dairy Maid'. But when a customer’s daughter suggested 'Dairy Milk', the name stuck. Dairy Milk was launched in June 1905. It was sold in unwrapped blocks that could be broken down into penny bars. Gradually it became more and more successful, until it was Cadbury’s biggest seller by the beginning of the First World War. By the early 1920s it had taken over the UK market. And of course, it’s still with us today. Cadbury Dairy Milk has become what's known as a 'megabrand', hugely popular and available in many different varieties, all over the world.

More about Dairy Milk

1905First Cadbury logo commissioned

In 1905 William Cadbury commissioned the first Cadbury logo. He was in Paris at the time and chose Georges Auriol to create the design - Auriol also designed the signs for the Paris Metro.

The logo was an image of a stylised cocoa tree interwoven with the Cadbury name. Registered in 1911, it was used on presentation boxes, catalogues, tableware and promotional items, and imprinted onto the aluminium foil that was used to wrap moulded chocolate bars. Although we might not recognise it today, it was used consistently from 1911-1939 and again after the Second World War.

More about the first logo

1906Bournville Cocoa is Launched

At first, Cadbury resisted creating an alkalised cocoa (a product made less bitter by adding harmless carbonate of potash) having emphasised the purity of their own cocoa. But, eventually, the company realised that alkalised cocoa was the future and created Bournville Cocoa.

1908Bournville Chocolate is Launched

Bournville chocolate was launched in 1908. It was named after the Bournville factory where it was made, and was originally launched just as a plain chocolate bar.

Many variants have been added to the range over time including Bournville Nut, Bournville Fruit, Bournville Roasted Almond and Bournville Fruit & Nut.

More about Bournville chocolate

1914Fry's Turkish Delight is Launched

J.S. Fry & Sons merged with Cadbury in 1919 but the name of the bar remains. Fry’s Turkish Delight - rose-flavoured Turkish delight draped in milk chocolate - is a long-standing favourite.

This luxurious treat was flavoured with genuine Otto of Roses, and moulded without starch for a smoother finish. The slogan 'Full of Eastern Promise’ has been used since the end of the 1950s. It was particularly well known in the 1970s and 1980s through popular TV advertising, which tended to involve mysterious ladies in exotic desert settings.

More about Fry's Turkish Delight

1915Milk Tray is launched

Boxes of chocolates had been produced at Cadbury since the 1860s. But they were expensive, sold in small quantities and would only have been bought for very special occasions. Milk Tray was different: a chocolate assortment, affordable enough to be an everyday treat.

To start with, the chocolates were sold in 5 1/2 lb boxes, which would be put out in trays to sell to customers, which is where the name originated from. One was Milk Tray and one was Plain Tray. Then, in 1916, Cadbury produced a half-pound box of chocolates, followed by a 1Ib box in 1924. By the mid 1930s it was outselling all its competitors. Later, in 1961, it was made more sophisticated, while in 1971 a William Morris-style pack was introduced. In 1978 it changed again, to an elegant pack with a white orchid on the purple background. Milk Tray of course became hugely famous for its 'Milk Tray Man' TV commercials, featuring a daring, dark and handsome action hero who dives off cliffs, pilots helicopters through storms and speed boats over waterfalls, 'All because the lady loves Milk Tray’. Today, over eight million boxes are sold every year.

More about Milk Tray

1919Cadbury purchases Fry's

Cadbury bought Frys in 1919 and the company grew, producing delicous chocolate on a grand scale, so it could be enjoyed by everyone.

Cadbury already had close links with J.S. Fry & Sons Limited, and in 1919 they signed an agreement, creating a new holding company, the British Cocoa and Chocolate Company, to take over the assets of both businesses. A new site was found for Fry’s outside Bristol, at Keynsham, and this was named Somerdale. The Fry’s business had many good things going for it including Countlines. Countlines were popular in America and Canada; they were chocolate bars with different centres and got their name because they were sold by bar, not by weight. Crunchie, Fudge and Picnic are all tasty examples.

More about the purchase of Fry's
A bi-plane
An old telephone

1920Cadbury Dairy Milk goes purple

Cadbury Dairy Milk started out in pale mauve with red script, in a continental style 'parcel wrap’ at its launch in 1905. The full Dairy Milk range became purple and gold in 1920.

1920Flake is Launched

The 'crumbliest flakiest chocolate’ was first developed in 1920. A canny Cadbury employee noticed that, when the excess from chocolate moulds was drained off, it fell in a stream and created flaky, folded chocolate.

From that simple observation, came a mouth-watering new chocolate bar! It started off as a Cadbury Dairy Milk product with a see-through wrapper. The yellow wrapper appeared in 1959, without the 'Dairy Milk’ label. Sales of Flake quadrupled in the 1970s with the popularity of the sensual TV commercials, showing beautiful, bohemian Flake Girls enjoying luxurious 'Flake' experiences.

More about the history of Flake

1921Cadbury script logo first appears

The Cadbury script logo, based on the signature of William Cadbury, appeared first on the transport fleet in 1921. It was quite fussy to start with and has been simplified over the years. It wasn’t until 1952 that it was used across major brands.

1928The 'Glass and a Half' symbol is introduced

It was originally used in 1928 on press and posters, but since then it’s been in TV ads and on wrapper designs, where you can still see it to this day. First of all it was just on Cadbury Dairy Milk, but it’s become the face of the company in recent years.

1928Investment Begins in Cadbury Dairy Milk Ads

A huge success from day one, Cadbury Dairy Milk first hit the shelves in 1905. But surprisingly, little money was put into advertising it until 1928.

No one knew quite what to say about it - some ads talked about its 'rich nutty flavour’ others said 'rich in cream’. It didn’t matter though - by 1928 it was the biggest selling chocolate product in Britain. At this point Cadbury ploughed investment into advertising, stressing its high milk content. From 1928 a series of poster campaigns using the iconic 'glass and a half’ measure of milk established Cadbury Dairy Milk as one of the first truly recognisable brands on the high street. The 'glass and a half’s simple message of food value combined with enjoyable eating has found its way on to TV ads and wrappers. And it’s still there today - becoming synonymous with Cadbury Dairy Milk worldwide.

More about the Dairy Milk ads

1929Crunchie is Launched

A Fry’s product, Crunchie was launched to rival an Australian bar called the Violet Crumble, which first appeared in 1913.

It’s a bar with literary credentials - well, sort of. It was mentioned in Enid Bagnold’s book 'National Velvet’ in 1935, as the Brown sisters’ candy of choice for the year. It used to be smaller than it is now - the size was increased in 1982. Over a million bars are produced a day.

More about Crunchie

1932 High taxes on imported goods

Eamon De Valera became Taoiseach and headed up the new Irish government. This government protected Irish Industry by placing high taxes on imported goods.

1933 Cadbury Ireland Builds First Factory

Cadbury Ireland built its first Irish factory at Ossory Road, Dublin. The factory began making product in 1933 and made just three products, including the most famous bar of them all - Cadbury’s Dairy Milk.

1938Cadbury Roses are Launched

Cadbury Roses were introduced to compete in the twist wrapped assortment market. Early designs incorporated a sampler or embroidery rose design which was later replaced by a simpler rose.

Bournville - where the chocolates were conceived and produced - was renowned as 'a factory in a garden’. Roses were one of the most popular flowers at the time - hence the name for this popular assortment. The early 1lb drum was described as a 'wonderful lot’ of chocolates for two shillings (10p).

More about Cadbury Roses

1939Second World War Begins

During the War, rationing was enforced and raw materials were in short supply so it was a question of making do and concentrating on those products they were still able to produce.

Cadbury Dairy Milk came off the shelves in 1941 when the government banned manufacturers from using fresh milk. Instead there was Ration Chocolate, made with dried skimmed milk powder.

More about Cadbury during the Second World War

1939 Impact of the Second World War

By 1939, rapid expansion meant that a second Cadbury’s factory had to be built on Dublin’s East Wall Road. In the same year World War Two breaks out. Cadbury chocolate-making is rationed and food supplies were at a minimum. Ireland maintains its neutrality throughout the war and the period between 1939 and 1945 was known as ‘The Emergency’.

An old radio
A slinky toy

1945Post War Expansion

Once the war ended, the company worked hard to restore business as usual. In due course of time, its efforts were rewarded and sales climbed.

Cadbury expanded its biscuit range, launched a lot of promotional work and fended off competitors by keeping a direct distribution system.

More about Cadbury after the War

1947Milk Tray Bar is Launched

Eight Milk Tray Chocolates, in a bar. Imagine a box of Milk Tray Chocolates. Now imagine picking eight of the most popular chocolates – keeping their distinctive shapes – and putting them in a bar!

The Milk Tray Bar had a cult following back in the 1970s and people still reminisce about it to this day. It was originally launched in 1947 and was a favourite through to 1981.

More about the Milk Tray bar

1948Fudge is Launched

Launched in 1948, Fudge is most famous for its 1980s and early 1990s advertising jingle 'A finger of fudge is just enough to give your kids a treat’. The words were new, but the tune was borrowed and based on a traditional English folk song, 'The Lincolnshire Poacher’.

1948 Post-War Expansion For Cadbury Ireland

The first big post-war expansion for Cadbury Ireland came in 1948, when the company’s chocolate crumb factory was built in Rathmore, Co. Kerry, about 20 miles from Killarney.

Cocoa beans are processed into cocoa mass at Cadbury’s Dublin site and sent to the Rathmore factory, where the chocolate crumb is produced. Milk, sugar and cocoa mass are then combined in a gradual cooking process. The cooked mixture is then dried to form ‘crumb’, the basic ingredient for all Cadbury chocolate products. From Rathmore, the crumb is then sent back to Dublin to be made into finished chocolate bars. This Rathmore site was chosen because it gave immediate access to substantial supplies of quality milk. Continued investment in the Rathmore plant over time, makes it one of the most modern food factories of its type in the world. The Rathmore plant also exports chocolate crumb to the UK, US, Canada, Japan and other world markets.

More about Post-War Expansion

1955First Cadbury TV advert

Cadbury’s ad for drinking chocolate was one of 24 that were shown on ITV’s launch night. The advert was based on the popular panel game 'Twenty Questions'.

1957The Making of a 50s Cadbury TV advert

Ever wondered how an early TV ad was made? We found this footage in the Cadbury archive showing the making of an early Roses TV ad.

1958Lucky Numbers Are Launched

In 1958 Cadbury launched a new assortment of chewy sweets, some covered in chocolate and some not. These Lucky Numbers each had an individual number on the wrapper, hence the name. The brand was retired in 1968.

1960Skippy is Launched

The milk chocolate bar with a caramel and wafer centre launched in 1960, with the slogan ‘It’s got a crunch in the biscuit and a munch in the middle’. A classic 1960s TV ad for Skippy shows a swinging London couple getting off their scooter and going into a trendy coffee bar to pick up their Skippys.

Vintage glasses from the 50s
A tiny purple car

1964 Factory in Coolock Opens

In 1964, continued business expansion resulting from the introduction of new products prompted the next major step - the opening of the Cadbury factory in Coolock, a suburb of Dublin. The Taoiseach of the time, Seán Lemass, conducted the official opening of the new Cadbury Ireland factory. Production grew and many new products like Snack were brought to the market for the first time.

1967Aztec Bar is Launched

Made of milk chocolate, nougatine and caramel, the Aztec made a big impact on its launch in 1967.

1967Toffee Buttons Are Launched

A button-shaped chocolate sweet with toffee inside. Launched in 1967 and withdrawn in 1971. The packs featured brightly coloured cowboys and Indians.

1969Cadbury Merges With Schweppes

The merger happened after the new Cadbury Chairman, Adrian Cadbury, was approached by his opposite number, Lord Watkinson.

Cadbury commented 'We had great opportunity, which was that of broadening the market for Cadbury brands geographically.That required the concentration of effort behind major brands, the ability to give better value to the customer and more in the way of financial resources than the Firm then possessed’.

More about the merger with Schweppes
A colour television
Platform heels

1970A decade of sales growth

Many Cadbury brands - Flake, Cadbury Dairy Milk, Whole Nut and Fruit and Nut - saw vast increases in sales in the 1970s, partially due to hugely successful and memorable TV advertising campaigns.

1970Curly Wurly is Launched

Curly Wurly, made of chewy caramel covered in milk chocolate, first appeared in 1970.

It’s evolved over the years - the recipe was changed so that the middle was softer, making the milk chocolate less likely to drop off. It’s still popular and seems to remind grown-ups of when they were young.

More about Curly Wurly

1970Old Jamaica is Launched

Old Jamaica was a special blend of milk and plain chocolate with rum flavoured raisins. This Cadbury Classic Selection bar is no longer made for the UK market, but you can still stock up on Old Jamaica if you look around on the Internet.

1971Creme Egg is Launched

Cream-filled eggs first appeared back in 1923. But the Cadbury Creme Egg we know and love today didn’t hit the shelves until 1971.

Sales really took off in 1975, when Cadbury Creme Egg became a cult through the power of TV advertising. The eggs are delivered to the trade for sale between January and Easter every year. About 1.5 million Cadbury Creme Egg eggs can be made every day at the Bournville factory. They’re made in two halves, both filled with white and one additionally filled with yellow fondant. The two halves are closed together quickly and there it is - a Cadbury Creme Egg. With its milk chocolate shell, creme fondant and yellow 'yolk’ Cadbury Creme Egg is absolutely unique in the market, and over 200 million of them are sold in the UK every year.

More about Creme Egg

1973 The Rise of Exports

Nine years later in 1973, Ireland joined the EEC (now the EU), and Cadbury is well positioned to compete in a much wider market place. During the 1970s Cadbury Ireland reorganised its manufacturing to grow its export business and began the process of developing new products to remain competitive in the broader European market.

1980 Irish Centre of Excellence Produces New Products

By the early 1980's the "era of new product development" was in full swing. This led to the introduction of new products such as Twirl, Moro, Chomp and Eclairs.

In fact, Cadbury’s Dublin factory became a centre of excellence for the manufacturing of these brands. Of course this required major capital investment to modernise the plant and the full support of the Irish Government and the IDA (Industrial Development Authority), who both recognised that Cadbury’s development programme would help Ireland’s export trade and provide maximum employment prospects. Was the new programme a succes? YES! So much so that: Sales increased significantly since the early 1970s. Even more importantly, exports increased substantially.

More about Irish Centre of Excellence
A Rubix Cube
An old mobile phone

1981Wispa is Launched

Launched nationally in 1983 after a trial run in the North East of England, Wispa was available throughout the 1980s and 1990s and was re-born in 2007.

Early TV campaigns used the power of celebrities to create impact featuring comedians and comic actors including Mel Smith, Paul Eddington, Nigel Hawthorne, Victoria Wood, Julie Walters, Peter Cook, John Le Mesurier and Arthur Lowe who talked about it in a series of ads. A teaser campaign in the press asked 'Have you heard the Wispa?’ - but didn’t divulge that they were ads for a new chocolate bar. Wispa was discontinued in 2003 but relaunched, first temporarily in 2007 and then permanently in 2008 following pressure through social media channels to bring it back!

More about Wispa

1985Boost Coconut is Launched

Milk chocolate covered bar with a toasted coconut and caramel centre. A variant of the mighty Boost, this coconut flavour was discontinued in 1994.

1987Twirl is Launched

Twirl was launched in the UK in 1987. The brand was developed by the Cadbury Ireland business using Flake technology. It was originally launched in Ireland in 1985 as a single finger product and became a two-finger product on its UK launch.

1989Inspirations Are Launched

Textured fruit flavoured centres covered in milk, white and dark chocolate. Inspirations launched in 1989, in a carton with sliding drawers. Initially highly successful, it was retired in 1998.

A cassette tape
A MiniDisc and a CD

1990Cadbury World Opens

Factory tours had always been popular but it was impossible to run a factory smoothly if it had thousands of visitors. In 1988 Cadbury began planning a visitor attraction to take the place of the factory tours - Cadbury World.

It cost £6 million to build, but was worth the expense. In 1990 Cadbury World opened in Bournville on a site next to the Cadbury factory and headquarters, attracting 350,000 visitors in its first year - 100,000 more than were expected.
Visit Cadbury World website

More about the opening of Cadbury World

1993 Cadbury Ireland Products Adored at Home and Around the World

Many other products are also produced at the Coolock factory, including Cadbury's Dairy Milk, Wholenut, Fruit And Nut, Golden Crisp, Tiffin, Mint Crisp, Turkish, Caramilk, Rum and Butter, along with other popular varieties.

While some brands are made for sale throughout the World, others are made solely for the Irish market. Altogether, Cadbury Ireland produces over 200 products. Products not made in Ireland are sourced from other Cadbury factories, such as those in the UK and France, to service the Irish market. You could enjoy a TimeOut in the UK, South Africa, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, the Middle East, Bermuda or in the Czech Republic that was produced in Ireland. Equally if you eat a Flake in London, it too has been produced in Ireland for export abroad. Cadbury’s chocolate, manufactured in Ireland, is now exported to over 30 countries all over the world including the UK, Canada, Spain, Portugal, South Africa, Asia, The Middle East, Cyprus, Bahrain, Israel, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Holland, USA, Canary Islands, Bahamas, Czech Republic, Bermuda, Jamaica, Colombia, and Costa Rica.

More about Cadbury Ireland Products

1996Cadbury Fuse is Launched

Fuse exploded into the UK marketplace on ‘Fuesday’ 24th September 1996. It was a chocolate bar with a difference – instead of having a milk chocolate coating on the outside, the yummy ingredients were suspended right the way through it.

40 million bars were sold in the first week, and within eight weeks it was the UK’s favourite confectionery. Alas, ten years later and Fuse fizzled off the shelves, but it’s fondly remembered to this day.

More about Cadbury Fuse
A pair of glasses
A digital camera

2003Cadbury Schweppes Buys Adams and Becomes the World's Leading Confectionery Company

Cadbury bought the world’s number 2 gum manufacturer, Adams, in 2003 and achieved its aim of leading the market.

Cadbury Schweppes had the ambition to become the world’s leading confectionery company but it was going to be hard to achieve through chocolate or sugar. Large chocolate companies tended to be family-owned and not for sale, and in sugar confectioners, a field in which there were few major brands. However chewing gum had big brands, growth and margins. Cadbury bought the world’s number 2 gum manufacturer, Adams, in 2003 and achieved its aim of leading the market.

More about Cadbury buying Adams

2007The Gorilla Advert Premiers

'Gorilla’ showed the eponymous primate enthusiastically playing the drums on the Phil Collins record 'In the Air Tonight’. It proved hugely popular and cleaned up at advertising awards ceremonies, winning many prizes including the prestigious Grand Prix Lion at Cannes in 2008.

2008Cadbury and Schweppes Demerge

The two companies demerged to allow each to concentrate on its area of expertise.

2008Cadbury Cocoa Partnership Launched

In January 2008, Cadbury launched the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership. £45 million was put aside to put into cocoa farms in Ghana, India, Indonesia and the Caribbean over a decade.

Today’s cocoa farmers face big problems - average production has dropped and it can be hard to make a living. The Cadbury Cocoa Partnership has been set up to help them. It’s a groundbreaking initiative, now funded by Mondelēz International, which is carried out in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme and others, and marking 100 years since the Cadbury brothers first began trading in Ghana. 70% of the Partnership funds will be invested into small farms and farming villages in Ghana, which provide the cocoa beans for Cadbury's UK chocolate, giving it its unique and much loved taste. So what will the Partnership do? Help farmers increase their yields and produce top quality beans; Help start new rural businesses; Improve life in cocoa communities by supporting education, the environment and building wells for clean and safe water; Develop a pioneering way for cocoa farmers to work together with governments, NGOs, local organisations and international agencies. All in all, around a million people - cocoa farmers and the communities they live in - will benefit.

More about the Cocoa Partnership

2009Cadbury Dairy Milk Becomes Fairtrade

The move to Fairtrade has the impact of tripling the sales for cocoa farmers in Ghana under Fairtrade terms, both increasing Fairtrade cocoa sales for existing certified farming groups, as well as opening up new opportunities for thousands more farmers to benefit from the Fairtrade system.

This move, which also includes Cadbury’s hot chocolate beverage, marked the first anniversary of the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership.

More about Cadbury Dairy Milk becoming Fairtrade

2010Cadbury becomes part of Mondelēz International

Cadbury became part of Mondelēz International family on the 2nd of February 2010.

2012Chocolate centre of excellence opens in Bournville

A new global research and devlopment centre opens in Bournville as part of a £17 million investment in R&D in the UK.

The 'Centre of Excellence' includes brand new innovation labs, a test plant facility and a collaboration kitchen to put new ideas to the test.

More about the Centre of Excellence

2012 Cadbury Ireland Today

Cadbury Ireland creates direct employment at the Cadbury factory in Coolock, Dublin and at the chocolate crumb factory in Rathmore, Co. Kerry.

Additional employment is created through the purchase of local milk, sugar beet, packaging and a wide range of other materials . In fact, Cadbury Ireland is one of the biggest users of indigenous materials. In Ireland, thousands of shops carry a wide range of Cadbury’s chocolate products. Fleets of trucks and vans are kept constantly busy on a circuit of Ireland, making sure that all your favourite bars are available in your local shop. More than €250 million worth of Cadbury chocolate produced in Ireland, is exported every year, bringing Ireland valuable earnings from abroad. Cadbury Ireland has had many export successes and has made a spectacular transition from being a small scale manufacturer for a protected home market to a substantial producer of brands consumed around the world today. Since its humble beginnings, Cadbury Ireland is now one of Ireland's foremost companies serving consumers in Ireland and around the world. Millions of consumers enjoy the delicious experience of a Cadbury's chocolate bar that "Tastes like Heaven". .

More about Cadbury Ireland Today
Dotted line

We are using cookies in order to facilitate your navigation on this website. You can read about How We Use Cookies and see Managing Cookies to change your settings at any time on our Cookies page.
By continuing to navigate on this website or clicking on the Close button below you accept our our policy regarding the usage of cookies on our ”Cookies” page