Some U.S. chocoholics tell Cadbury to “kiss” off … here’s why.

TakeAway:  Gasp! Cadbury chocolate sold in the U.S. is not actually Cadbury chocolate…it’s a variation of Hershey’s chocolate!! 

In a highly competitive industry where brand equity and loyalty is so important, it seems a risky business decision to change the formula of your most prized asset – your chocolate. 

A key pillar of consumer loyalty is based in the consistency of the product experience, no matter the time or the place. 

Given the volume of consumer traffic between the U.K. and the U.S., did Cadbury’s think that consumers would not notice the difference in the taste of its famous chocolate? 

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Excerpted from WSJ, “What’s in a Name? Not Much for These Fans of Imported Cadbury,” By Joe Barrett and Timothy Martin, September 14, 2009

When Gayle Green has a craving for chocolate … she drives 45 minutes to … stock up on Cadbury chocolates imported from the U.K. …  Ms. Greene could buy American-made Cadbury bars at a grocery store just a few minutes from her house … she wants nothing to do with the stuff made in the U.S. … she says, “You might as well eat a Hershey bar.” …

Some U.S. fans of Cadbury are determined to snub the Americanized version of the chocolate, which is made under license by Hershey Co. … Like Coca-Cola lovers who swear the Mexican-made version of the soda tastes better, hardcore Cadbury fans spend plenty of time in hot chocolate pursuit. They scour the Internet, pester family and friends visiting Europe, and seek out specialty British and Irish stores to get their fix of imported caramel-filled Curly Wurlys … consumers say though the U.S. candy bar’s label looks virtually identical to the U.K. version, the U.K.-made bars are “silkier, smoother and they don’t leave an aftertaste.” …

A Cadbury spokesman said, “Consumer tastes and preferences differ in each market, and accordingly the products sold in different markets vary.” … Hershey has occasionally sent legal notices to stop U.S. shops from selling British-made Cadbury products. Still, the imports can be readily found in many cities. …

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