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Don't Forget the Frosting

Battle of the chocolate bars


As far as I am concerned, Valentine’s Day’s main purpose is providing everyone, single or involved, with an excuse to enjoy chocolate. That being said, I am quite serious about my chocolate and take issue with American chocolate companies that sell chocolate products with only the bare minimum amount of actual chocolate necessary to legally label it as such. Chocolate deserves our respect as a delicious treat, and recently another insult has been thrown in its face by none other than the Hershey chocolate company.


After suing New Jersey company Let’s Buy British for trademark infringement for importing Cadbury brand chocolates from Britain to sell in the U.S., Hershey settled the issue when LBB agreed to no longer import Cadbury chocolate, which aside from the famous bars and eggs also includes English Kit-Kats, Rolos and Maltesers. Additionally, the ban affects Yorkie bars and Toffee Crisps because Hershey argues they too closely resemble York Peppermint Patties and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, respectively.

Understandably, many British ex-pats living in America and other Cadbury chocolate fans have reacted in a hostile manner to this development. A petition protesting Hershey legal action on has collected over 35,000 signatures, and over 1,000 chocolate lovers signed another petition on Now, if you are not currently a regular Cadbury consumer, you may wonder at this point why you should care about this news. This issue is bigger than just chocolate though, it goes back to corporate greed and lack of respect for quality products.


Hershey has the legal rights to produce chocolate with the Cadbury name in the U.S. However, they have tweaked the recipe in a way that makes it cheaper to produce. Sugar is the first ingredient in the American Cadbury chocolate produced by Hershey, whereas the British product lists milk first, meaning that British Cadbury has a higher milk content and less sugar. Hershey also adds more preservatives to their version of Cadbury. Therefore, since the recipe is not the same, the Cadbury chocolate produced in America is not true Cadbury chocolate, complete with a different flavor and texture.

LBB imports true Cadbury chocolate and other British sweets into the U.S. and sells them to British specialty shops, not mainstream supermarkets that buy their American recipe Cadbury from Hershey. LBB Imports President Nathan Dulley estimated that about $50 million worth of British chocolate is sold in the United States each year, according to a BBC article about the ban. Now while this may seem like a huge sum of money, BBC called the amount miniscule compared to the rest of the American chocolate sales.

So while one does understand Hershey desire to protect their brand, this move seems like a petty attempt to take out a niche import market in order to gain a small boost in income. Since the complaint is that Hershey products’ flavor does not measure up to the original recipe, maybe Hershey worried that if those blindly buying their products got a taste of the real Cadbury chocolates they would not want to go back to the American imposter. However, judging from the outrage from stateside Cadbury consumers, some of which use the hashtag #BoycottHershey to voice their concerns, they may not gain that extra money after all.


Your Turn.  Post a Comment

  1. Jeff Beckman

    I want to address some substantial factual errors in this story about the recipes of U.S. and UK Cadbury bars.

    At Hershey, we use the same formulation that the Cadbury family developed when they first brought Cadbury bars to the United States in the 1970s. They varied from the UK formula in terms of using only pure cocoa butter because they wanted to be able to label the product as “chocolate” by meeting the U.S. FDA standard of identity. We have maintained this Cadbury family recipe for 27 years ago.

    In the U.S., only genuine cocoa butter is required to call the product “milk chocolate” while in the UK, other vegetable fats can also be used. We have a stricter milk chocolate standard in the United States because you cannot use these less expensive vegetable oils and still call it “milk chocolate.” The UK Cadbury bars cannot be called milk chocolate in the U.S. On the other hand, our U.S. product does meet the standard for the UK and the EU and can be called milk chocolate there.

    The base ingredients for our U.S. Cadbury bars – the mixture of chocolate, sugar and milk called “chocolate crumb” that are at the core of any chocolate bar – actually come from the Cadbury factory in the British Isles, that same factory that supplies the crumb for UK Cadbury bars. It’s the same crumb. This is why the amount of chocolate, sugar and milk are exactly the same in both the U.S. and UK versions. Because we import our crumb from Europe and use only genuine cocoa butter, this makes our Cadbury bar one of our most expensive recipes.

    The reason for the difference in the order of milk and sugar on the U.S. and UK labels is because of the difference in labeling requirements. In the UK, milk weight is measured in its heavier liquid form and the U.S., we are required to measure milk weight in its lighter evaporated form. If UK Cadbury bars were labeled to U.S. standards, the ingredients would be in the same order on both labels. The amount of milk, sugar and chocolate are exactly the same. The UK bars are not labeled for legal retail sale here in the United States.

    Also, the comment that “Hershey also adds more preservatives to their version of Cadbury” is not accurate. Both versions of the product use the same emulsifiers. Because of different labeling requirements, we say PGPR and soy lecithin on our label. UK bars list E442 and E476 on the label. E442 is lecithin and E476 is PGPR.

    When we bought the U.S. Cadbury business, we also acquired the Cadbury family’s U.S. Cadbury factory and we still make our Cadbury bars in that same factory using the same U.S. formula that the Cadburys created in 1970s.

    I hope this helps to dispel that many myths, rumors and untruths about U.S. Cadbury bars that have circulated on the internet, some of which are included in this story.

    Jeff Beckman
    The Hershey Company
    February 12, 2015

  2. James Adam

    Chocolate sometimes refers a word near of love, we need to keep its natural impress. September 19, 2017

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