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Choc Wars: Palm Oil Victory but Mars sides with Cadbury

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Dave Griffith
Dave Griffith

Cadbury is backing down on its use of palm oil in Dairy Milk chocolate. This is welcome news for Orangutans and green thinking consumers everywhere.

It is good to see that public pressure can still sway even the biggest corporates who will always respond to a dent in the wallet long before any moral or ethical considerations. 
It was quite refreshing to hear these words Cadbury Managing Director, Matthew Oldham "At the time, we genuinely believed we were making the right decision, for the right reasons. But we got it wrong,” he said.
Well that’s a victory in the Choc Wars saga for the people. But it is tempered by the news that the other Giant confectionery maker Mars has sided with Cadbury in downsizing everything but the price.
 I hadn’t realised until I picked up a large pack of M&M’s at the supermarket on the weekend. It didn’t feel right. A glance at the weight confirmed why. It was 200g that’s 50g less than the last packet I bought and the price was unchanged. At the same visit I notice that the Cadbury Twirl Bars weight had slid from the mid 40g’s into the late 30’s.
Mars New Zealand confirms that along with M&M reductions, Mars bars had been cut from 60 grams to 53g, while Twix bars were now 53g rather than 58g.
Mars New Zealand Sales Director Gerry Lynch says “There is a financial aspect to this where we can only absorb costs for so long before we have to pass some of that on," he said.
Their claims of wanting to help fight obesity by reducing portion sizes are laughable. It is like a drug dealer reducing the size of their ‘portions’ in order to help reduce drug abuse.
It’s no wonder these two mega corporates have found common ground and joined together in downsizing for profit. Gerry Lynch is a former Sales Manager at Cadbury.
Despite claims of financial hardship, it is hard to imagine the giant US$30m turnover Mars is doing it that tough. The claims of financial pressure do not ring true when we see little old Kiwi Whittakers still holding their own in the market with ‘normal’ size bars.
With Whittakers becoming virtually isolated from its competitors in the downsizing stakes, its hard to see them triumphing. But there is always hope. The battle still rages. The consumers have won a great victory over palm oil and there is no reason why we can’t win the battle over downsizing. At the very least we can play our part in downsizing Cadbury and Mars profits. That seems to be the only language they understand.

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