Cadbury closing in Dunedin next year

If Cadbury is being closed down in Dunedin it will rock the city. It is a local icon (despitebeing international owned now) and a significant employer.

ODT: Cadbury closure threat

Hundreds of worried staff are gathering at the Cadbury factory in Dunedin ahead of an expected announcement about the closure of the plant.

The Otago Daily Times understands owner Mondelez International has decided to close the factory, effective next year.

It is not yet known what the announcement will mean for the popular tourism attraction Cadbury World.

It is understood night shift staff were sent home early and among those asked to attend this morning’s meeting.

A few years ago Cadbury moved a lot of finished product manufacturing offshore (Tasmania and elsewhere), changed chocolate recipes, lost market share to Whittakers (I think) and now may have to close.

Dunedin continues to lose businesses and employers and car parks (including along both sides of the Cadbury block), but gains cycleways.

UPDATE: closure next year has been confirmed, with 350 jobs going.

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49 Comments

  1. Joe Bloggs

     /  February 16, 2017

    Damned shame for the workers who will be cast aside by an uncaring multinational, but seriously? Cadbury’s has systematically and repeatedly shot itself in the foot with inept business tactics that show no sensitivity to its local markets.

    Whittaker’s was once a one-hit wonder: a peanut slab on dairy counters. Now it’s market leader, not simply because of its own marketing savvy but also because of Cadbury’s arrogance in substituting palm oil, down-sizing its tables without dropping price, and so on, without thinking for a moment that consumers would push back.

    And not just in NZ… http://www.telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/features/the-many-ways-cadbury-is-losing-its-magic/

    Buy locally made and owned Whittakers

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  February 16, 2017

      I already do. If I get chocolate blocks I mostly buy Whittakers (their factory is out in Elsdon, Porirua – support Wellington local industry & workers folks👍). Have had the odd box of Nestle’s chocolate macadamias though. I had some Cadbury’s chocolate given to me recently. After an absence of it for a while I found it actually tasted vile. They really did shoot themselves in the foot with rhe palm oil recipe & change as far as I’m concerned. It actually upset me tum tum too.

      I’ve flagged it away, except maybe for the odd box of Roses or Contintental for the nurses @ dad’s rest home, or for someone else who deserves a wee thank you. For some reason the chocolate in those is more palatable – I’m guessing because it’s only a thin layer.

      Reply
      • Anonymous Coward

         /  February 16, 2017

        Whittakers definitely has a large edge on flavour and marketing. Last time I was in the food wholesaler I noticed that whittakers, obviously to meet demand from restaurants etc, is now selling 5kg catering blocks.

        Reply
      • Pete Kane

         /  February 16, 2017

        And Nigella. (Gosh showing, as well as feeling, my age.)

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  February 16, 2017

          Isn’t Cadbury’s English ? I know that the palm oil thing was a disaster, even when they changed back it was too late. I don’t eat much choccy, but if I do, it’s Whittakers. No comparison !

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  February 16, 2017

            AC, the downtick was for telling that there are 5kg blocks of Whittakers 😀

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  February 16, 2017

              Whittakers have always made more than Peanut Slabs, they used to make toffees for which they were very well known. They also made Toffee Milks. I wouldn’t be surprised if Peanut Slabs were comparatively recent. The company began in 1896.

  2. It’s a shame for sure. How is Dunedin resoonding in general to the new world order and globalisation? What’s the proportion of fee paying international students? It’s a cheap place to establish oneself and it has wonderful access to natural amenities? Is there any spin off from the Queenstown and environs boom?

    Reply
  3. Blazer

     /  February 16, 2017

    Sometimes life is like….an empty….box of…chocolates….thanks..Mondelez.

    Reply
  4. NOEL

     /  February 16, 2017

    Must admit I moved away from Cadbury to Whittakers when they messed around with the blocks. Palm oil or something was it?
    Bit like the Griffins ginger nuts. Took a historian to point out the change from electric ovens with cast iron molds thrown out in the move north to gas and aluminium was more accurate than the corporate spin,
    Make my own biscuits now.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  February 16, 2017

      They changed back, but here and in the UK they lost customers, I think.

      Reply
  5. Nelly Smickers

     /  February 16, 2017

    From the radio reports, sounds like they will be *totally gone* by next year! Just another kick in the guts for a city the size of Dunedin. The downstream effects will no doubt hurt a number of other businesses as well. Makes you wonder what else might be coming…..

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  February 16, 2017

      How anyone can think that John Key is responsible for an English firm now being owned by an American multinational and for that multinational closing some of its factories is a real mystery to me. No doubt the person who originally did this pathetic photo thought themselves very clever.Cadbury’s has been owned by the US company for 7 years.Unlike Whittakers, It is not an NZ firm and never has been, it began in the UK nearly 200 years ago.

      Reply
  6. duperez

     /  February 16, 2017

    Maybe there could be negotiations. Try to get some money out of the Government –
    get creative, put out a ‘Rio Tinto’ block, or a ‘Saudi Sheep’ block.

    Reply
  7. Zedd

     /  February 16, 2017

    the second big closure in recent times.. Hillside, now Cadburys (350 jobs ?) 😦

    if we’d had a ‘lefty’ Govt. things maybe different ? :/

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  February 16, 2017

      How could any NZ government stop an English company which had a factory here selling the business to an American owner which then closes some factories ? Do tell how this would be be done.

      Reply
  8. Labour trying to score points off the misery of workers, hardly the Kiwi Dream

    Dunedin has been losing industries and jobs since the 1980s. This is just another nail in the coffin, and I doubt there is much Labour+Greens could do about it, especially about the Cadbury closure.

    Reply
    • I wish I understood exactly where Labour stood on jobs.

      During their tenure one company FONTERRA, the emerging and successful dairy company, raked them in more money than they could dream of. Despite these gains we saw hospital waiting lists increase under a complicated Health Board system. National took control of a tanked economy in the grips of a GFC, and true to their promises created a flourishing economy , one that saw the first nett Oz/Au gains in decades.

      To all intents and purposes, Labour appears, in it’s own very bigoted and exclusive way cherry picked an approach to the modern and mobile world – globalisation. If you’re a Chinese who wants to buy a house or a politically expedient American billionaire, you’re not welcome – unless of course you’re donating to them. They approve of all citizenship that will naturally vote left, much as their US Democratic soulmates.

      Reading the various left blogs, they’re largely for that personification of globalisation the EU. They love expanding federalism in Europe, many of their number taking a very negative approach to Brexit. Bizarrely, they hate Trump although he is all about Jobs For Americans and increasing prospects of existing citizenry. He gets rid of their hated TPP, and still they mock his orangeness and uncool lack of hipsterdom. Labour echoes the so-called left the world over in that they’re now more about liberal and social justice than the working classes. There is nothing working class about LGBGTQ or most liberal agenda. It’s all decidedly middle class intellectual snobbery.

      Labour (as in the post 80s version) has done zero to help workers or the unemployed. They’re all about chucking a visible amount of dollars at any given situation, telling the people it is “$$yada, yada, so much more than National ever contributed”, but we saw little in the improvement in their time. Where were the thousands of State Houses they rave about wanting now? Nowhere to be seen in the making. Where were decreased waiting lists? They didn’t exist, in fact they increased. However actions speak louder than words and it’s been National who has increased the minimum wage and increased in real terms benefits nada upped the employment.

      So, the increasingly irrelevant New Labour has finally wised up to the fact that they have no chance of electoral success without prostituting themselves to the Greens. If anyone sees competent leadership or role modelling in that combo, let me know.

      Despite today’s population concentration changes, there are very many jobs in NZ. The low rates of unemployment point largely to a population where if work is sought and people are willing to move – then it is available. Though it’s hard to see large areas and traditionally proud cities lose jobs, it is regrettably inevitable. Look at the rustbelt, look at the North of England.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  February 17, 2017

        gee Trav…with your fantasies apply for a job with…Disney…’National took control of a tanked economy in the grips of a GFC, and true to their promises created a flourishing economy , one that saw the first nett Oz/Au gains in decades’….AUD $,stronger than NZ$…S&P Rating higher than NZ???

        Reply
  9. Conspiratoor

     /  February 16, 2017

    They lost me when they capitulated to the halal rort. Chocolate of choice is Lindt because they have stood up to this bs and their cafe has been attacked by jihadist scum

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  February 16, 2017

      I really should have a look around in NW & see what alternatives there are to Roses & Continental now. I think I did once when they rooted the recipe with palm oil & shrank their block sizes – & there wasn’t anything similar for a competitive price at the time.

      Reply
      • Nelly Smickers

         /  February 16, 2017

        Take Cons advice Geez and go with *Lindt*……you’ll wish you had discovered it years ago!!

        It’s availabvle at NW and they do some really really luvly flavors….my fave’s are *Orange Intense* and the *Caramel Seasalt* 😛

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  February 16, 2017

          Lindt is available in many places, probably all supermarkets and the Warehouse-it’s probably sold wherever chocolate is. Be careful, the peppermint one now has a sickly cream filling, thank goodness I noticed in time.It may be one of their American ones. .

          As chocolate is not made with meat, I cannot see why anyone would connect this with halal. The cafe killings were a tragedy but were most unlikely to have anything to do with Lindt refusing to have anything to do with halal,

          Reply
  10. Brown

     /  February 16, 2017

    Whitaker’s advantage is that its a private family business. I gather the owners are generally nice people who care about their product and customers. If it eventually gets sold big business management will stuff it like everything else they touch.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  February 16, 2017

      Let’s hope not. They’d be fools to change something so successful.

      Reply
  11. Alan Wilkinson

     /  February 16, 2017

    I presume Cadburys was a multi-national when it set up in Dunedin. Now it is still a multi-national when it moves out, but just one on the way down instead of on the way up.

    Meanwhile a NZ company is taken over its market share. So what is the problem? The real problem if there is one is that there is not enough entrepreneurship in the south perhaps due to distance from market and small population with insufficient supporting companies and services.

    Reply
    • Serves Cadbury’s rapacious executives & shareholders right.

      I reckon if Whittakers branched into the chocolate box assortment field, they’d clean up the opposition.

      Reply
    • Joe Bloggs

       /  February 16, 2017

      what problem? …. the closure of the 4th largest employer in Dunedin, 360 redundancies, and flow-on issues for Dunedin’s economy…

      That’s globalisation for you – not the workers’ fault but they get screwed anyway. And for what? So the 1% get larger dividends?

      Reply
      • Can I assume you support BREXIT and Trump’s anti TPP stance. Both of these are nationalist/anti-globalist actions.

        Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  February 16, 2017

        Oh, boo hoo. Typical Lefty response. It’s someone else’s fault. I’m not responsible for anything and certainly not for finding something to do that someone else will pay for.

        Reply
        • Anonymous Coward

           /  February 16, 2017

          Maybe Whittakers will take the opportunity to expand it’s empire into the deep south.

          Reply
        • Anonymous Coward

           /  February 16, 2017

          “Typical Lefty response. It’s someone else’s fault.” So you’re saying it’s the fault of the 360 workers that the factory is closing Al?

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  February 16, 2017

            Possibly. I wouldn’t know. But it’s certainly their responsibility to find something to do that someone else will pay for just as it is mine and yours.

            Reply
            • Anonymous Coward

               /  February 16, 2017

              So you don’t know what you’re saying. Got it.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 16, 2017

              No, it’s you who don’t know what I’m saying, or pretend not to.

          • Conspiratoor

             /  February 16, 2017

            No it’s not their ‘fault’ ac unless it became a heavily unionised intractable workforce which I doubt. But it raises once more the imperative for parents to drill into their kids the importance of a good education and portable skillsets that employers want. Like medical professionals, engineers and geologists

            Reply
  12. John Schmidt

     /  February 16, 2017

    Who were the idiots on the board that thought Palm Oil was a good idea a few years ago. That dumb decision resulted in massive consumer backlash, massive loss of market share and went from being the most trusted brand down to near the least. Have not eaten Cadbury since, now a total Whitaker fan willing to pay a premium price for a premium product.
    The palm oil decision set the course that has concluded with this closure. What a total corporate disaster.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  February 16, 2017

      It seems not. If 70% is exported, and that has become very expensive, that puts a very different complexion on it-they need to make a profit to keep going and pay the wages. The palm oil thing was a long time ago & I don’t know how much it affected Cadburys here and in the UK long term-it’s still making good profits there.. I don’t know how much Cadburys has suffered from Whittakers; the sample here is small, but we all seem to prefer it.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  February 16, 2017

        Google ‘Cadbury palm oil issue’. The results are surprising. I didn’t know that Lindt used it ! I think that Nestles may, too.

        Whittakers can give Lindt a run for its money for quality. Be careful-not all Lindt is Swiss-made, and the US made ones might cater for the US market and be very, very sweet.The peppermint one that’s not just dark choc flavoured with peppermint sounds very sweet indeed, Only for those who like sickly cream fillings, I imagine.

        6 of us like Ws better than Cs. Nobody said that they liked Cs better.

        Reply

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