Saturday, 15 September 2012

Dear Cadbury

Cadbury has recently launched new re-sealable packaging for their chocolate slabs.

“The launch of Cadbury Dairy Milk’s resealable packaging is a £6-million project, which is aimed at improving the visibility of the brand, as well as consumer convenience. The easy-open, easy-close packaging allows consumers to keep the chocolate longer by means of resealing the wrapper. The unique new packaging allows consumers to be able to open and close their favourite chocolate slab again and again”

The product has been widely advertised on television. However, scientific investigation has revealed two fundamental flaws with their advert (see report below).


Dear Cadbury

As a life-long fan of your chocolate products I feel obliged to point out two problems with your current advertising campaign for the new re-sealable packaging for Cadbury chocolate slabs.

The television advert shows the Peel-me packaging being opened to reveal the blocks of chocolate beneath, then immediately being re-sealed, without any chocolate being removed.

The first obvious problem with this scenario is that all the Cadbury chocolates I’ve ever eaten have the block indentations on the front and not the back of the chocolate, and thus they would not be visible when the re-sealable packaged is opened.

The second reason that we think the advert is misleading is that nobody who has ever tasted Cadbury chocolate would open and then immediately reseal the packaging without consuming a single block. This might happen with other brands of chocolate, but certainly not with Cadbury.

The empirical evidence in support of the above assertions in presented in the short scientific report herewith attached.

Good luck with your new re-sealable packaging – I don’t think it will be used much. :-)

Yours in faithful service to excellent chocolate,

Craig Morris


An empirical investigation on the fundamental tenets of an advertising campaign to promote the new Cadbury re-sealable chocolate slab packaging


In 2012, Kraft Food introduced a unique new resealable packaging for their Cadbury chocolate slab range. Such packaging was apparently designed for customer convenience, to allow them to prolong the consumption of their favourite chocolate over a period by facilitating resealing of the remnant chocolate between feeding bouts to preserve its freshness and protect its contents against spouses and dogs.

Much planning and thought has gone into the design of this packaging: “[The] re-sealable digital activation and packaging innovation is in-line with current South Africa consumer trends which shows consumers are constantly seeking new experiences beyond the product. Both enable our consumers to experience the joy of Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate again and again” says Greg Banach, Kraft Foods Category Leader: Chocolate.

The television advertising campaign for this product shows the Peel-me packaging being opened to reveal the blocks of chocolate beneath, then immediately being re-sealed, without any chocolate being removed. The two key premises of this advert that have not, however, received any sound scientific attention. Accordingly, the specific research questions of this research were: (1) does the block indentation pattern in the slab lie on the verso, and thus be visible to the potential consumer when the Peel-me re-sealable packaging is opened?, and (2) would the consumer immediately reseal the package upon opening, without removing at least one block for inspection and likely consumption?

Materials and Methods

A dual sampling procedure, similar to that employed by agrostogists to estimate available herbage on planted pastures or natural grasslands using a disc-pasture meter, was used to verify the surface structural characteristics of the anterior and posterior of Cadbury standard flavour range slabs. The finger feel method was calibrated by touching and estimating the smoothness of three wrapped slabs, followed by verification of the estimates by unwrapping and establishing the true location of the blocked surface.

Thereafter, a stratified random sampling design was used to sample at least 40 (10 per flavour) wrapped slabs located on three shelves of the confectionery section of a local supermarket. The position of the blocked surface (Figure 1) was estimated by touch (following calibration, as described above).

 Figure 1: The blocked surface of a Cadbury chocolate slab.

The second question regarding the viability of re-sealing the chocolate slab without consuming any, or some, chocolate was addressed using a sample survey questionnaire distributed internationally through social media (Facebook & Twitter). Respondents were asked: When opening a re-sealable Cadbury 100g slab, do you: A) immediately reseal it, B) eat some then reseal it, or C) nosh the lot?


A total of 100% of all the chocolate bars sampled had the blocked surface on their anterior side, opposite to the re-sealable opening on the posterior. A total of 0% had the blocks on the back.

The survey revealed a skewed distribution of responses (Table 1).

Table 1: Number of respondents in each response category
Immediately reseal
Eat some then reseal
Nosh the lot
Note: numbers, but not ratios have been inflated to make the results more impressive.

Discussion and Conclusion

There is no empirical support for the advertised characteristics of the new re-sealable packaging for Cadbury chocolate slabs. Therefore, it is recommended that, when purchasing a Cadbury chocolate, remove the whole wrapper, turn the chocolate with the blocked surface to face you, and then break up the slab into mouth-sized pieces for complete consumption (alone) at a single sitting.

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