By Ashley Horne
We’ve all heard of the Cadbury bunny – an adorable little rabbit that delivers decadent sweets – but what’s the story behind our furry little friend and the company that created him?
The Cadbury Candy Company was founded in 1824 in Birmingham, England, by John Cadbury, a Quaker. Surprisingly, the company did not originally sell candy. In fact, Mr. Cadbury sold coffee and tea based products. Over the years, his sales began to include other products such as hops, mustard, cocoa and drinking chocolate.
By 1842, the company was selling nearly 30 cocoa and chocolate based drinks. Despite this, it was not until the 1860’s that the company began to manufacture cocoa essence in a manner in which eating chocolate could be more easily made. In 1899, the company produced its first milk chocolate.
With great success, the company expanded operations to other countries including Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and South Africa between 1900 and 1940. In addition, the company acquired JS Fry & Sons of Bristol in 1919. This acquisition brought with it a wide range of chocolate products. Chocolate products were considered essential for soldiers and civilians and were rationed through the war years and until 1952. Even during these difficult times Cadbury continued its growth and even opened a facility in India in 1949.
The same success has continued for Cadbury. Growth has been seen over the past several decades. The company has continued to acquire smaller confectioners and has also merged with others. The company has been publicly exchanged on the London Stock Exchange since 1969 and the Melbourne Stock Exchange in Australia since 1989.
Today, the company is in pursuit of the title of biggest and best confectionery in the world. To help earn that reputation, Cadbury is going to be the official treat provider for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games which will be held in London.
And what about our furry friend? The first ad campaign was launched in 1982 in North America. These ads used the slogan, “No bunny knows Easter better than him,” and featured mainly Flemish Giant rabbits. In Crème Egg ads viewers were shown a small white rabbit who clucks like a chicken. Caramel egg ads used a larger, gold-colored rabbit which also clucked. Finally, a large brown rabbit was used for chocolate egg ads. This rabbit clucks, but in a deep a voice. These ever popular ads worked wonders for brand recognition!