An international petition to keep Dunedin’s Cadbury factory has gone viral, reaching more than 4,000 signatures. The petition, launched by the International Food Union, includes a letter of protest to Irene Rosenfeld, Mondelez’s International CEO. A NZ-based petition, titled 'Keep Cadbury in Dunedin', has also reached more than 8,300 signatures.

Despite the reasonableness of Cadbury’s position, bringing into play all costs related to the facility’s great distance to its export markets, the proposal to close down the factory has triggered an unprecedented backlash.

According to University of Otago’s marketing professor Juergen Gnoth, Mondelez risks facing negative consequences.
“While it may not be harmful to the overall profit in the short term, I believe their market share will become more volatile in the long run, costs to innovate will increase, and ROI sink,” Gnoth told us.

Elsewhere, it’s business as usual for Cadbury, which is extending its range in the UK with the addition of Peanut Butter Oreo Dairy Milk and Mint Oreo Dairy Milk. The Cadbury/Oreo combination has been proving popular in NZ too, both as a Dairy Milk chocolate block and the new limited-release Oreo eggs.

Cadbury’s story spans nearly 200 years, having been founded in Birmingham, UK, in 1824. The company started to specialise in chocolate by 1831, introducing its first Easter egg in 1875 and Cadbury’s Dairy Milk in 1905. Currently operating in over 60 countries and employing more than 46,000 staff, it’s the second largest confectionery brand in the world.