Marketing Strategies of Cadbury UK

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Marketing Strategies of Cadbury UK


The report is about Cadbury UK, one of the strongest competitors and contributors in confectionary market. Cadbury UK is a market-oriented company, which is evident from the strategies the company has been employing to maximise its sales and market presence (Cadbury Schweppes Limited Marketing Plan). It is counted amongst the few companies that have managed to sustain for a significantly long time, which is, of course, because it is not only a home to great chocolate delights but also to highly efficient marketing plans and policies. Cadbury UK has been a major brand in industrial world; the company has been around for nearly two centuries now and still holding its undeniable top position in the confectionary globe. It has become a part of Mondelez International in 2010 and on its own, Cadbury has held a position of strong contributor and competitor in confectioner’s market. It offers a wide range of products including dark, milk and white chocolate bars, assorted chocolate bars and candies and other edible products.


Company Overview

John Cadbury, a Quaker, opened a small shop at 93 Bull Street and sold cocoa and drinking chocolate. He believed that alcohol is the real cause of poverty and other social problems, hence, offering a tasty and healthy alternative in the form of tea, coffee and chocolate. The vision was carried on by his sons Richard and George Cadbury who not only emphasised on the quality of chocolate but on the healthy working environment (The Story).

It was in 1866 that Cadbury officially commenced its journey of becoming the mammoth trademark we know today, the Cadbury brothers, inspired by a Dutch manufacturer, bought and installed an innovative cocoa press machine in the factory. The machine extracted most of the cocoa butter from the product making it smoother, with the machine, Cadbury company produced UK’s first unadulterated cocoa. With the production of ‘Cocoa Essence’ sales of the company and demand skyrocketed overnight (The Story).

With every passing year, the company added products and value to its array including Bournville Cocoa, Bournville chocolate, Milk Tray, Flake, Crunchie, Cadbury Roses, Ration Chocolate, Milk Tray Bar, Fudge, Lucky Numbers, Skippy, Aztec, Toffee Buttons, Curly Wurly, Old Jamaica, Cadbury Creme Egg, Wispa, Boost, Twirl, Inspirations and Fuse. The company no longer manufactures some of the mentioned products but many of them are still part of the market. In 1965, the company merged with Schweppes and bought Adam’s, the second best gum manufacturing company, and became the leading confectioners in business. The merger ended in 2008 and in the same year Cadbury initiated the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership in Ghana, India, Indonesia and Caribbean. In 2010, Cadbury became a part of Mondelez International, a giant food and beverages brand, Cadbury has opened ‘The Centre of Excellence’, a global research and development axis, in Bournville (The Story).

Sectoral Analysis

            Cadbury operates in three sectors of food and drink; chocolate treats, chocolate beverages and gum and candies. In order to enhance consumers’ chocolate experience and to be ahead of market, Cadbury constantly adds to its range of chocolates as in the beginning it was Cocoa Essence while in present date there is a huge range of Cadbury chocolate assortment. Cadbury’s drinking chocolate is famous for its milky chocolate taste, the company has changed the packaging of its range of hot chocolate drinks, the design is a blend of classic Cadbury theme with modern look to appeal consumers (Weston, 2013). the company has also added new products to its candies’ range to attract consumers, Cadbury Eclairs Velvets in a sharing pouch is designed to increase sales as consumers are already in love with Cadbury Eclairs (Weston, 2014). Cadbury’s Marvellous Creations has been a huge success in Australia, the company launches it in UK and considers it a significant innovation in the range (, 2013).

Marketing Strategies of Cadbury UK

Cadbury UK has been a tremendously successful venture and is still going strong with all its impressive range of products and, undoubtedly, its powerful and efficiently crafted marketing strategies. The strategies are not only used to enhance business but also to educate the people about the upcoming Cadbury brands, which augments consumer experience (, 2014). Cadbury UK has been a thorough market-oriented company from its initial years of existence, John Cadbury, and later his sons, knew the importance of promotion and marketing in running a business successfully. In the beginning, John Cadbury advertised of his cocoa products in gazettes and magazines while the Cadbury brothers commissioned artists to illustrate attractive Cadbury advertisements (The Story). The market strategies employed by the company includes the significant aspects crucial in designing and succeeding a brand and product. Like their father, Cadbury brothers introduced one-liners, slogans and promotional posters for the marketing purpose, which increased the sales and made Cadbury the existing megabrand.

            Cadbury’s SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis is a key aspect to evaluate a company’s market position; the process also enables the marketing managers to determine the strengths and shortcomings of the products. The evaluation guides the strategists to develop effective strategies and to grab hold of business opportunities and stay clear of possible dangers.

(I)Strengths: Cadbury is world‘s leading confectioners for nearly two hundred years, while it is difficult to launch a new product in the market, it is even harder to sustain the consumer trust, which Cadbury has done tremendously well. The company has earned the trust and respect of consumers and is still maintaining it. Cadbury offers a broad array of products ranging from chocolates to gums, the quality is very good and consumers are confident about it. Rather than focusing on single kind of chocolates, plain bars for an instance, Cadbury strongly believes in development and develops its products accordingly. Cadbury’s strength in British market is evident from its rival’s, Nestle’s, poor performance in the market. The brand is noteworthy for several of its products but it does not match the chocolate quality of Cadbury (Carolan, 2009).

(II)Weaknesses: Cadbury tackles its weakness of concentrating on single unit of industry, confectionery, by offering high-class range of chocolates, gum and candies. The company is aware of their competitors and has maintained their upper hand by maintaining and innovating their products. Although Cadbury does not offer beverages and other products besides confectionery but what they offer is beyond comparison and competition, which makes it one of the leading companies worldwide. People buy soda, biscuits and like products of other brands but when it comes to chocolate, for a vast majority it is Cadbury.

(III)Opportunities: Besides being a sharp market competitor, Cadbury is quite impressive at recognising and grabbing new opportunities. The company has established its name in UK market and is now expanding its horizon to other markets also, initially Cadbury concentrated on developed countries but now it has made its way into the developing countries like Pakistan, China and India. In Pakistan and India, Cadbury has huge following that is increasing with every passing day.

(IV)Threats: Cadbury is one of the oldest global confectioners and threats are an obvious part of business; other than Cadbury, many other brands have appeared that offer chocolate, gum, candy along with other products. Besides the company is new to US market and faces difficulty in obtaining distinction. Moreover, the English culture is considered strict and uptight as compared to American one (Chan, Davenport, Gopal). The company plans on resolving the issue by enhancing their global communication via social media platform. The company identifies these threats and work accordingly to counteract them. The company had realised that their position is in danger of being forgotten by the consumers after which it released a number of advertisements under the ‘glass and a half full’ productions. Where the campaigns proved utterly successful it also proved Cadbury’s awareness of market trends and approaching threats.

Cadbury’s PEST Analysis

(I)Political Issues: The company is decades old and one of the few companies having Royal Warrant, granted in 1854, of chocolate manufacturers for the Royal family giving it a strong footing in political and social circle of Britain (Ella, 2009). In May 2014, news came out about two of Cadbury’s products in Malaysia, Dairy Milk Hazelnut and Roasted Almond, having found with traces of pork DNA. The news caused severe uproar among the religious bodies as they accuse the company of attempting to weaken their religious belief (Agence France-Press, 2014). However, the company withdrew its products and worked with Islamic religious authorities and health ministry to make sure that halal ingredients are used as Cadbury’s Facebook page stated (Agence France-Press, 2014). The company got clearance later the month (Associated Press, 2014); the company’s actions and compliance to sort out the issue strengthened its position in the Malaysian market as well as with the government. The conflict and the way Cadbury worked with Malaysian authorities to clear it out gives it even stronger presence in the respective market.

(II)Economical Issues: Cadbury is an enormously successful corporation; it has a broad range of products, which has increased with its merging with Mondelez International. The company’s economical assets are affected because of low purchasing power of consumers, economical slowdown and global recession. Cadbury has rolled out several marketing strategies to elevate its financial conditions; it is expanding its market to US and some of the hottest places of the world. Being fragile heat resistant, placing chocolate products in countries with hot climate is relatively difficult, however, after 10 years of research the company has come up with heat resistant chocolate bars that can endure up to 40 degrees of heat (Trotman, 2013). The bars are to be introduced in Africa, Middle East and other hot places without the threat of turning into liquid and loss of millions of pounds. Cadbury World is a huge contributor to the company’s finances, opened in 1990; Cadbury World serves both the educational and recreational purpose (Cadbury World A Case Study). Earlier this year Cadbury World has arranged several attractions as Mother’s Day celebrations, arrival of Sooty, meeting up with Cadbury characters and half-term holidays preparations ( Cadbury World has thousands of visitors each year that adds greatly to the revenue it contributes to the company.

(III)Social Issues: Cadbury strive to connect with people on social grounds, it values its workforce and their contribution towards the company’s success. Cadbury believes in providing hygienically sound work environment, evident from its ‘factory in garden’ initiative (The Story). Cadbury’s interest in social issues works together with its marketing techniques, people are aware of the company’s consciousness regarding the social matters that is an effective market policy.

Though chocolates are an eminent part of ceremonies and pleasure, they are also linked with a number of health issues. Obesity has alarmingly increased worldwide with 67% of men and 57% of women inflicted in UK only (Tran, 2014). Cadbury’s parent company, Mondelez International, signed calorie reduction pledge to limit the calorie count of two of their products. The company stated that it feels responsible towards enabling their consumers in reduced calorie intake (Tran, 2014). Cadbury pledges to reduce the calorie count of their bars to 250 or less with a reduction in bar size and prices (Tran, 2014).

Besides reducing calorie count as a social responsibility, Cadbury is an active member of the Fairtrade Foundation; the establishment is enthusiastic for the betterment of farmers’ organisations, wellness of children and abolishing of child labour (BBC, 2010). Cadbury has invested in Cadbury Cocoa Partnership to end child labour and farmers’ hardships, the company stated that they support the International Cocoa Initiative to improve living standards of farmers through cocoa crops and eliminate each form of child labour (BBC, 2010).

(IV)Technological Issues: Cadbury is a huge business with millions of annual turnover; technology has played a vital role in making what Cadbury is today. In the formulating years, the Cadbury brothers installed cocoa press machine and produced Cocoa Essence, which was the first step in Cadbury’s success legacy (The Story). The company has state of the art technology to make the process hygienic and cost effective; the company has new Pathatrix Pathogen testing systems that are well integrated with the company’s system. The system checks for possible food contaminations and can analyse large samples in less time (Foodprocessing-technology, 2014). The company has also invested seventeen million pounds in the new global research and development facility in the Bournville factory, which has new labs, test plant and kitchen to perfect and innovate recipes (The Story).

            Cadbury’s Marketing Mix

            Mix marketing is the analysis of factors that affect marketing strategies of a company and help the company in having clearer view of market and its placing in it.

(I)Product: Cadbury UK knows the value of having a strong brand image, the value it has followed from its early days. The company developed strong brand image through their unmatched quality, innovation, campaigns, and advertisement and promotion methods. The company uses fresh ingredients and communicate its values through their packaging, the purple wrappers with brand logo and iconic one full and a half glass of milk are allied with long held trust and reliability. It has a wide range of products including Snack Wafer, Picnic, Snack Short Cake, Milk Chocolate Snowman, Milk Chocolate Santa and Winter Wonderland to name a few (Products).

(II)Price: Pricing of a product depends on its quality and quantity, instead of offering each of the products in same price, Cadbury offers them in different prices. The company focuses on the product, its quality and targeted segment and market to determine the price. Cadbury chocolates are available in premium price, depending on quality, reputation and reliability; consumers are willing to pay more for them. As compared to some other chocolate brands, Cadbury’s products are of first-rate quality and price, of course, the pricing largely depends on consumers’ conception that the company takes care of through their promotional campaigns.

(III)Placement: Cadbury UK exports its premium products to different sectors of market and retailers because of which Cadbury products are accessible everywhere. The company chooses its outlets carefully and place the products accordingly, for an instance, Cadbury Dairy Milk is available everywhere from superstores chain retail outlets, convenience stores and other channels. While the higher quality products are made available through Selfridges and Airports, apart from it, Cadbury’s extinct classic ‘Old Jamaica’ bars are available through some online vendors.

(IV)Promotion: Cadbury UK has exceptionally strong and influential promotion approaches; the company uses all means of advertisement and promotion to increase brand visibility and image. In the beginning, John Cadbury and Cadbury Brothers used the means of advertisements and magazine campaigns to enhance sales and brand recognition. Afterwards the company took direct approach by interacting via social media platform; Facebook is the strongest amongst them. The company has set up different pages for every product where the staff interacts with consumers and has insight of their Cadbury experience and expectations. The information is used to augment brand’s quality and other factors (Moth, 2013). In collaboration with Mondelez International, the company designed a 2013 campaign for its globally loved Cadbury Creme Egg eggs. The key objective was to determine the affect of social media, especially Facebook, on the eggs’ sales. The sales raised by nine percent while it was sixty six in case of other products exposed to TV promotion (Haymarket Media Group Limited).

Cadbury UK has ran a series of campaigns to gain attention, the popular series consists of gorilla, dancing eyebrows, trucks, dancing cloths etc. advertisements that affected the Cadbury sales instantly and people are, once again, had long-lasting Cadbury experience (Fra30774, 2012). The 2007 gorilla advertisement lifted the flattening sales of Cadbury, which the company was facing for quite some time. The commercials felt stale and irrelevant to new and young generation, it was then that the company introduced its content-led campaign consisting of a series of adverts (D&AD, 2010). The drumming gorilla was the very first of the series and proved to be a huge commercial success. The sales skyrocketed and Cadbury was back in business.  Although the drumming gorilla advert proved to be a big turning point in Cadbury business but the company still relies on social media than adverts (Moth, 2012). The introduction of Joyville campaign increased the level of communication by providing the opportunity of suggesting content for Cadbury products (Magee, 2013) while its partnership with cocoa merchants and fair-trade increased its presence.


Cadbury UK is Britain’s top confectionary company, which manufactures different kinds of chocolates, candies and gum. The company is well known for its high quality products, mainly of which are chocolates, and maintains the reputation of being the best in business. It has a long and endeavouring history of manufacturing state of the art chocolate bars and becoming the top name in chocolate business. Tracing back to John Cadbury’s time, the company has always been active in marketing, after him, his sons kept the business growing by maintain the products’ quality and creating some of the most captivating adverts. The company is market-oriented from its initial business and remains so until now. The company educates its marketing managers in understanding the existing trends in business and to recognise possible threats and their solutions in the meantime. Instead of following the same line of simple chocolate bars and drinking cocoa, Cadbury innovates its chocolate bars and offers the most luxurious chocolate experience to its consumers.




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