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Cadbury Maintaining Sustainability and Traditions in UK Chocolate Market

In 2009 Cadbury trialed a new packaging format for its Roses chocolates brand, replacing the standard 975g metal tin with a carton box pack. However, a poor sales performance resulted in the company reverting to the tin format for the 2010 Christmas season. This article analyzes the reasons behind Cadbury’s decision, and explores the hypothesis that consumers’ actions relating to sustainability may be at odds with their intentions when brands evoke strong emotions of tradition and nostalgia.

This article examines the reasons behind Cadbury’s original packaging switch and subsequent reversal, looking at the extent to which consumers’ interest in sustainable packaging solutions can be undermined by stronger sentiments associated with a brand, notably nostalgia and tradition. Important contextual factors include:

Carton is a lightweight packaging material compared to metal – Cadbury changed the format of its flagship 975g pack from the traditional metal tin to a carton pack on environmental grounds.

Metal packaging can be a sustainable format – Although the environmental logic behind the original packaging change was broadly in line with consumer sentiment, Cadbury failed to take fully into account metal packaging’s recycling credentials, and the fact that reuse at home represents a highly sustainable solution.

Metal tins convey quality and integrity for gifting and sharing – During the key sales period for larger packs of sharing confectionery, consumer choice is more likely to focus on aesthetic design and packaging appearance factors over the sustainability of the packaging. Metal packaging offers significant advantages over cartons for gifting, as it effectively communicates the quality and integrity of the product.

Packaging can reinforce brand heritage – Metal tins fit in well with the trend for nostalgia in the biscuit and confectionery markets, and are a particularly popular packaging choice for commemorative products. This reinforces metal packaging’s association with tradition, and demonstrates the potential virtues of retaining the container within the home once the product has been consumed, either as a memento or for secondary storage applications.

Find this interesting. For more. please read Cadbury Roses “Cartins” Case Study: When Sustainability Vies with Tradition in the UK Seasonal Chocolate Market or our company report on Cadbury

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