Cadbury Ireland has just revealed details that it is to scrap the foil surrounding its half-pound bars, an integral part of the Cadbury bar of chocolate experience since the dawn of time (well, possibly since the 1930’s). The eight squares are to remain, unlike the dreadful, elongated relaunch in the UK some years back, and I’m sure it’ll still contain a glass and a half of milk, but will it be Irish milk? The new “reclose pack” does not feature the Love Irish Food branding, which made choosing a Dairy Milk (and its Dairy Milk chums, see below) an almost patriotic purchase.
Say what you like, but Dairy Milk’s made in Ireland taste different to the UK variants. The UK varients aren’t even square anymore, thanks to a curved new shape. It appears that only the eight-square Dairy Milk’s and the bigger Dairy Milk’s are made in Dublin, where Cadbury have been making chocolate since 1933, and for a couple of years now they have carried the Love Irish Food branding, which appears on a plethora of Irish-produced brands. Other Cadbury products include the vastly under-rated Twirl, its mother, the timeless Flake and the often-forgotten Time Out bar, which is really just a fancy Pink Snack. Anyhow, there is a taste difference. Literally minutes of blind taste-testing conducted with the brother – who lives in Hong Kong – confirmed this last Christmas.
But it’s about more than taste. The foil wrapping that enveloped a Dairy Milk is integral to the enjoyment of the bar- and also the other glass and a half bars: Tiffin, Fruit & Nut, Turkish Delight, Golden Crisp, Caramello, Whole Nut and Mint Crisp. Like the Kit-Kat before it (and even the Purple Snack, my staple diet for several months working in a Dublin pub) this is a disastrous decision. The foil on the Kit-Kat (and yes, the Purple Snack) was part of the eating experience. Some rubbed it to see the writing, some ripped it, others ran their nails along it before eating. There was something sensual and almost sexual about it. There was chocolate foreplay in whipping off even just a corner of foil. But similarly to the Kit-Kat, the Dairy Milk is not the preserve of some small independent company anymore. Cadbury were taken over by global food giant Kraft in 2011, and one wonders if a small change like removing the foil is a precursor to even bigger changes at Cadbury Ireland?
At the moment, Cadbury Ireland is profitable, and its workers beaver away in Joyville making not just bars and the Flakes for 99’s, but crumb and gum based products. For the punter, this doesn’t matter a jot, as it’s all about the product, but sadly, the need for further profit seems to have removed a beautifully packaged traditional favourite from the shelves in favour of cheap foil-plastic “reclosable” packs. We can still be thankful that most of the Dairy Milk range is exclusive to Ireland, but all will be wrapped differently once the current stocks disappear from the shelves of your local shop. Of course, another irony is that most people don’t need to reclose the pack…