In the scheme of things, with everything that has happened in the world over the last week, you wouldn’t expect a company changing the recipe of a sweet treat in the western world to create that much of a splash in the news. In fact, you’d expect it to go unnoticed, which is probably what Cadbury’s were hoping would happen.
Yes, I’m talking about the Cadbury’s Creme Egg scandal. To bring you up to speed with exactly what one of those is, here’s the summary of it’s history from Wikipedia:
A Cadbury Creme Egg is a chocolate product produced in the shape of an egg. The product consists of a thick milk chocolate shell, housing a white and yellow fondant filling which mimics the albumen and yolk of a real egg. Creme Eggs are the best-selling confectionery item between New Year’s Day and Easter in the UK, with annual sales in excess of 200 million and a brand value of approximately £55 million.
Creme Eggs are produced by Cadbury UK in the United Kingdom and byCadbury Adams in Canada. They are sold by Mondelēz International in all markets except the USA, where the Hershey Company has the local marketing rights. At the Bournville factory in Birmingham, in the UK, they are manufactured at a rate of 1.5 million per day. The Creme Egg was also previously manufactured in New Zealand but, since 2009, they are imported from the UK.
While filled eggs were first manufactured by the Cadbury Brothers in 1923, the Creme Egg in its current form was not introduced until 1963. Initially sold as Fry’s Creme Eggs (incorporating the Fry’s brand), they were renamed “Cadbury’s Creme Eggs” in 1971.
This is what it looks like:
Okay, now we’re all caught up we can get on with the reason I am writing about this particular sweet.
Creme Eggs have been a staple of my childhood. Traditionally they appear in the shops on the 1st January and then disappear after Easter. It has always been this way (they did try and market a bar based on the confectionary but it didn’t really catch on) and long may it remain so. When they appear in the shops it’s a sign that spring is on its way, like the mornings growing lighter.
When I was a child they felt huge. I couldn’t fit a whole one into my mouth at once and they took at least 3 or 4 bites to eat. Obviously as I have got older (and grew up) they got smaller, but even when I was old enough to get one into my mouth in one go (I’ve only done that a couple of times) they still took 2 or 3 bites.
If you’re british and you like Creme Eggs (yes, there are people who don’t) the first egg of the year is a step back into your childhood. The chocolate is smooth and creamy, the fondant filling is gloriously thick and sickenly sweet… the whole experience is
There is more than one way to eat them; my favourite happens to be biting it open and sucking out as much fondant as I can before eating the rest in a couple of bites.
They were always available in singles, 3, 6 and 12 packs. One of my fondest memories is going to a family party and having three 6 packs given to me. I think I ate the first pack in less than an hour and found out just how sickening they can be…
Now this year, due to rising prices of chocolate (believe it or not there is a cocoa shortage) Cadbury have shrunk the 6 pack to a 5 pack. Understandable, especially as they have shrunk the rrp (it’s up to retailers what they sell them at) as well.
That didn’t bother me. I have a family with five people in it… that means I don’t have an odd egg rolling around in the cupboard, tempting me to eat it…
This happened on Monday –
Shellshock! Cadbury comes clean on Creme Egg chocolate change
-The headline comes from The Guardian online.
They have changed the chocolate recipe that they use for the shell of the egg. Instead of the smooth, creamy Dairy Milk chocolate of my childhood, they are using what they call ” standard cocoa mix chocolate”. This is the same chocolate that they use in any bar that DOESN’T carry the Dairy Milk Branding – Flakes, Twirls, Wispa… and so forth. It has the addition of vegetable fat (Palm and Shea) – to make the chocolate go further I should imagine…
I accept that it’s a cheaper alternative to the Dairy Milk recipe and that with the addition of the sickenly sweet fondant, most kids are going to wolf them down and not bat an eyelid. Once you’ve eaten a couple, you won’t taste anything other than sugar and the chocolate won’t matter.
For those of us who like their Cadbury’s chocolate and care about how it tastes, this vegetable fat laden version is okay, but not something to write home about. It will always lose out to Dairy Milk in the choice stakes.
My kids won’t notice the difference, but I did; as did my fiance. It was less creamy and the contrast with the fondant was much more apparent. We were disappointed that it didn’t taste as good as it used to… and this time it wasn’t because we’d grown up.
So to those of us who grew up on the Dairy Milk version, the change is a big deal.
I will always have one Creme Egg each year – to start the spring countdown – but it will be an egg of nostalgia only. It will never ever be the same.