Contemporary Dairy Milk design (12g).
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Freddo (sometimes called Freddo Frog) is a brand of chocolate bar currently manufactured by Cadbury. It was invented in 1930 by Harry Melbourne, an 18-year-old moulder employed by MacRobertson's, an Australian confectionery company. It is sold in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and Zimbabwe. In the United Kingdom Freddo is individually sold in a larger 18g form, with a fixed price of 20 pence currently printed on the wrapper.
Each chocolate is shaped like a cartoon frog, standing up and dressed. Though primarily available as solid milk fingers, certain versions of the product have a cream or caramel centered flavouring. These include Dairy Milk, white chocolate, rice crisp, strawberry, peppermint, Crunchie (with bits of Cadbury's 'Crunchie' bar put in), pineapple (Only in 'twin-packs'), "Rainbow Crunch" and "Milky Top" (the top half being white chocolate and the bottom milk chocolate, in the style of Cadbury's "Top Deck" products).
In 1930 the MacRobertson's chocolate company were looking to add a new product to their children's range. Initial designs for a chocolate mouse were rejected, as Harry Melbourne felt that women and children were afraid of mice and would dislike the product. It was instead decided to produce a chocolate frog, branded as "Freddo Frog". There were four varieties available: milk chocolate, white chocolate, half milk/half white, and milk chocolate with peanuts.
Freddo Frogs became part of the Cadbury product range in 1967, when MacRobertson's were sold to Cadbury. In Australia, Freddo Frogs are manufactured in Ringwood, Victoria and Hobart. Since the success of Freddo, an alternative chocolate named Caramello Koala, also made by Cadbury, has been created. Caramello Koala is the only flavour in which the chocolate is not shaped like "Freddo", but shaped like a Koala instead.
Freddo bars were released onto the UK market in 1973 and withdrawn in 1979. After 15 years they were re-launched. In the UK, a caramel filled version is also sold, with a yellow wrapper. This was formerly known as the Taz bar, featuring the Looney Tunes character. They disappeared for several years before returning under the Freddo image.
In June 2006, a scare over possible Salmonella contamination in some Cadbury products in the UK led to the recall of around a million Cadbury chocolate bars, including the standard Freddo. As a result of the contamination Cadbury was fined £1M, and ordered to pay an additional £152,000 in costs.
In 2009, the Freddo chocolate was redesigned in the United Kingdom, featuring a new, glossier Freddo design, and a replacement Dairy Milk logo. The Caramel Freddo also got the redesign. The same year saw the launch of an online animated series, The Adventures of Freddo and the Time Machine, expanding Freddo's character in short narrative stories supported by Flash games. The first series met with enough success to launch a second in 2010, The Adventures of Freddo and the Mystery of Slater Island.
Freddo bars have suffered severely with inflation; the price of the bars has risen 100% from 10p to 20p in the UK over 5 years.[note 1] There have been many campaigns for the return of the Taz Bar which had a different caramel from that of the newer redesigned Freddo caramel.
In 2009 Colin Barnett, the Premier of Western Australia, said that a Freddo frog had "held the whole police system up to ridicule" after a 12 year old boy was charged with receiving stolen goods after he had been given a Freddo stolen from a shop in Northam near Perth. After missing a court date in connection with the matter, the boy, who had no previous convictions, had been arrested and held for several hours in a police cell. The boy's lawyer, Peter Collins from the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia, suggested that the charges were because the boy was Aboriginal, and that the same action would not have been taken against a "non-Aboriginal kid from an affluent Perth suburb with professional parents". Northam police denied this, and said the boy had come to their attention in the past. The charges were subsequently dropped, and an order for legal costs of one thousand Australian dollars was made in the boy's favour. The Freddo itself was not recovered because it had been eaten.
- In 2006, as part of a recall, the price was 10p but by 2011, the price was 20p, where it remains. The price increase was associated with a 50% size increase from12g to18g
- "Cadbury Australia product page for Freddo The Frog". Cadbury.com.au.
- "Freddo The Frog creator dies". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2007-01-29.
- "Cadbury: More Cadbury Chocolate Bars". Cadbury.co.uk.
- "Cadbury recall after health fears". BBC News. 2006-06-23. Retrieved 2010-01-04.
- "Cadbury fined £1m over salmonella". BBC News. 2007-07-16. Retrieved 2010-01-04.
- "Homepage for the Adventures of Freddo". Freddo.com.au.
- Lindgreen, Adam. The Crisis of Food Brands: Sustaining Safe, Innovative and Competitive Food Supply. ISBN 9781409459576.
- "Freddo case 'unfortunate' for police". ABC News. 2009-11-18. Retrieved 2013-06-19.
- "Freddo Frog charge to be withdrawn". WA News. 2009-11-17. Retrieved 2013-06-19.
- "Case dropped against Freddo Frog 'criminal'". news.com.au. 2009-11-18. Retrieved 2013-06-19.
- "Boy, 12, awarded costs for chocolate frog charge". Perth Now. 2009-11-23. Retrieved 2013-06-19.