The Cadbury Story
Cadbury is one of the best-known and most-loved producers in chocolate’s almost 200-year-old history. Explore our timeline and discover some tasty facts about us, our products and our philosophy of spreading joy.
John Cadbury opened Bull Street shop
In 1824, our founder John Cadbury opened a grocer’s shop at 93 Bull Street, Birmingham, where, among other things, he sold cocoa and drinking chocolate.
John Cadbury opens factory in Crooked Lane
The Cadbury manufacturing business started properly in 1831 when John Cadbury decided to start producing on a commercial scale and bought a warehouse in nearby Crooked Lane.
Fry's produce the first chocolate bar
British company Fry and Son made a chocolate delicieux a manger in 1847, the first chocolate bar as we know it, made from a mixture of cocoa powder and sugar with a little melted cocoa butter.
First milk chocolate bar
In 1875, Swiss manufacturer Daniel Peter added milk to his recipe to make the first milk chocolate bar; he also used condensed milk rather than powdered milk to produce a chocolate with a superior taste and texture.
The chocolate we know and love today is thanks to a Swiss manufacturer’s invention—the conching machine—which refined chocolate, giving it a smooth texture.
Cadbury Milk Chocolate is launched
When Cadbury started making cocoa essence, there was a lot of cocoa butter left over, so it was used to make bars of chocolate.
Cadbury brings its famous Dairy Milk chocolate to South Africa
The Cadbury brothers—Richard and George—brought their chocolate brand to South Africa and appointed a sales agent to sell their products.
Cadbury Dairy Milk is launched
In 1904, George Cadbury Jnr was given the challenge to develop a milk chocolate bar with more milk than anything else on the market. A customer’s daughter suggested the name 'Dairy Milk', and Cadbury Dairy Milk was launched in June 1905.
First Cadbury logo commissioned
The first Cadbury logo was designed by Georges Auriol, the same designer who created the iconic Paris Metro signage. The logo was an image of a stylised cocoa tree interwoven with the Cadbury name.
Cadbury Dairy Milk goes purple
At its launch in 1905, Cadbury Dairy Milk packaging was originally pale mauve with red script in a continental style 'parcel wrap’. The full Dairy Milk range only became purple and gold in 1920.
Cadbury script logo first appears
The Cadbury script logo, based on the signature of William Cadbury, appeared first on the Cadbury company’s transport fleet in 1921.
Cadbury officially opens in South Africa
The South African arm of Cadbury was formed in 1926, with the opening of the Port Elizabeth factory in 1930. Today, the PE manufacturing plant is the heart of local business, employing more than 1 000 people.
The 'glass and a half' symbol is introduced
It was originally used in 1928 in the press and on posters, but since then, it’s been in TV ads and on wrapper designs. Initially only used on Cadbury Dairy Milk, it’s become the face of the company.
Investment begins in Cadbury Dairy Milk ads
Cadbury Dairy Milk first hit the shelves in 1905, but it was only 1928 that Cadbury advertised its high milk content. From 1928, a series of poster campaigns using the iconic 'glass and a half’ measure of milk appeared.
Flake is launched in South Africa
A Cadbury employee noticed that, when the excess from chocolate moulds was drained off, it fell in a stream and created a delicious, light, flaky, folded chocolate. Flake, the 'crumbliest flakiest chocolate’—first developed in the UK in 1920—launched locally in 1928.
The original Cadbury factory is completed in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
With the factory completed, the first moulded chocolate slabs started to roll off the production lines. The first chocolates produced where ½ lb, ¼ lb, and 2 oz Milk, Nut Milk, Milk Fruit, Nut Brazil, Fruit & Nut and Bournville.
The factory expands.
The factory expansion included a new laboratory and an engineer's office. At this time the factory also started producing the highly successful Flake and Lunch Bar chocolates, which would soon become two of South Africa's favourites.
Crunchie is launched
Originally developed in the UK in the 1920s, Crunchie was launched in South Africa in 1960.
Lunch Bar is launched
A delicious local favourite, Cadbury developed and launched the Lunch Bar in the 1960s as a fill-me-up sweet snack that offers MUCH, MUCH MORE!
The factory continued to grow throughout the 1960’s, leading to improvements in productivity.
Chomp is launched
Chomp, perhaps South Africa’s most iconic chocolate, was created in the early 1970s and remains one of South Africa’s favourite snacks.
A new landmark.
The 1970’s saw the need for further expansion. A new Raw Materials store and more crumb silos where added. The silos became a landmark in the area until the late 90’s.
Snacker is launched
Leading the way in innovation, Cadbury launched Snacker in 1980 as one of South Africa’s first mainstream cereal bars and was way ahead of the health trends that followed.
Innovation and Equality.
In the 80s, limited access to international technology forced Cadbury to adopt a culture of pioneering innovation. At the same time, the embedded culture of equality at Cadbury meant that people of all races where able to secure first-line management positions, creating equal opportunity for all.
Tempo is launched
Launched in 1983, Tempo is another uniquely South African favourite featuring an equally unique tagline: ‘Tempo: you can feel it in your feet!’
Astros is launched
Astros was created to delight a new generation of South African consumers. It launched in South Africa in 1995 and quickly joined the ranks of Cadbury’s best loved brands.
P.S. is launched
P.S. was created and launched in South Africa as the first messaging bar where people could use the delicious layers of wafer and Cadbury Caramilk chocolate to say what they meant.
Tumbles is introduced
Tumbles was launched in a bright yellow pack and was soon relaunched in the iconic Cadbury purple.
The Cadbury Dairy Milk Gorilla advert premieres
Arguably the first ever viral TV ad, ‘Gorilla’ showed the iconic primate enthusiastically playing the drums on the Phil Collins song 'In the Air Tonight’.
The Cadbury Dairy Milk Bubbly is launched
Floating cows and a burst of bubbles introduced the launch of Cadbury Dairy Milk Bubbly in August 2012.
The Cadbury Dairy Milk new look is launched
In June 2013, Cadbury Dairy Milk introduced the new Cadbury Dairy Milk packaging, helping drive the essence of joy. New icons representing each flavour of the Cadbury Dairy Milk range come to life in a fresh and fun way.
Marvellous Creations is launched
Launched in 2015, Marvellous Creations breaks the mould with its unique shaped blocks and out-of-the-ordinary unique ingredients. They feature Black Forest Jellies, Popping Candy and Astros covered in delicious Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate. This is an ideal family sharing treat!