Cadbury Dairy Milk set to be produced in the UK again after £15 million investment
Production of the iconic Cadbury Dairy Milk range is set for a return to the UK, as parent company Mondelēz International delivers a £15 million investment into the brand’s founding British site in Bournville, reports Neill Barston.
In recent years, the series had been made in mainland Europe, but the company confirmed that it is consolidating its operations for the classic bar series, which in a 2020 study was voted the most popular in the world.
Notably, UK consumers have just had their first sight of the brand’s re-styled packaging, which is the first time in 50 years it has undergone a transformation, with industry insiders hailing its revamped image as a key step forward.
Mondelēz, which also holds, BelVita, Maynard’s Bassetts and Oreo brands, confirmed that its latest move with Dairy Milk includes £11 million being invested into production line dedicated to Dairy Milk. It will enable 125 million more of the iconic large sharing bars to be made at Bournville annually, with additional capacity for any future growth.
Furthermore, the business is also investing a further £4 million at the site to increase its chocolate making capacity, to ensure sufficient chocolate mass to meet current demand and anticipate future needs.
Louise Stigant, UK Managing Director, Mondelēz International, welcomed the development. She said: “At a time when manufacturing in the UK is facing significant challenges, it has never been more vital to secure the long-term competitiveness and sustainability of our business. We now have an opportunity at Bournville to further invest in its future as the home and heart of Cadbury by bringing more Cadbury Dairy Milk production to Bournville.
“This investment will continue the modernising of our production processes at Bournville and ensure we are meeting the need for a highly efficient and robust supply infrastructure for our iconic Cadbury Dairy Milk tablets.”
This latest commitment follows more than £80m of investment since 2014 to modernise the Bournville factory and drive efficiencies. Just five years ago, production costs at Bournville were three time more than those of similar factories in Germany and other European markets. As a result of investment at the site, production efficiency has increased by more than 30% since 2014.
Roberto Gambaccini, Bournville Manufacturing Director, Mondelēz International added: “Today, thanks to our investments over the last seven years and our colleagues’ commitment to improving productivity, Bournville is now much more competitive across our manufacturing network, particularly when it comes to producing high volume products such as Cadbury Dairy Milk tablets. It’s important that we continue this journey and this investment will see us take full advantage of the efficiencies that modernisation, and upskilling can create to continue the growth and success of the Bournville site.”
Joe Clarke, Unite national officer for food, drink and agriculture said: “The announcement by Cadbury of a new line at the Bournville site to handle 12,000 tonnes per annum of additional chocolate, which equates to 125,000,000 Cadbury Dairy Milk bars, is a vote of confidence in the UK workforce.
“To complete consultations and negotiations to deliver this fantastic investment, even in the midst of the Covid restrictions, is a credit to the trade union representatives, the members and the business.”