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Cadbury Dairy Milk

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Cadbury Dairy Milk
Logo (2020-)
A Dairy Milk Caramel bar in its foil wrapper
Product typeConfectionery
CountryBirmingham, United Kingdom
IntroducedJune 1905; 119 years ago (1905-06)
Related brandsList of Cadbury products

Cadbury Dairy Milk is a British brand of milk chocolate manufactured by Cadbury. It was introduced in the United Kingdom in June 1905 and now consists of a number of products. Every product in the Dairy Milk line is made with exclusively milk chocolate. In 1928, Cadbury's introduced the "glass and a half" slogan to accompany the Dairy Milk chocolate bar, to advertise the bar's higher milk content.[1]

The bar was developed by George Cadbury Jr, and by 1914 it had become the company's best-selling product.[2] A century on it has retained its position as a market leader in the UK where it was ranked the best-selling chocolate bar 2014.[3] It is manufactured and distributed by the Hershey Company in the United States under licence from Cadbury, with a recipe that differs from the UK version.[4] The chocolate is now available in many countries, including China, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and Bangladesh.


Cadbury chocolate bars (Dairy Milk back of tray), circa 1910
Dairy Milk sold at Heathrow Airport

In June 1905, in Birmingham, England, George Cadbury Jr made Cadbury's first Dairy Milk bar, with a higher proportion of milk than previous chocolate bars; by 1914, it would become the company's best-selling product.[2] Through its development, the bar was variously called 'Highland Milk', 'Jersey' and 'Dairy Maid'.[2][5] Accounts on the origin of the Dairy Milk name differ; it has been suggested that the name change came about on the advice of a shopkeeper in Plymouth, but Cadbury maintains that a customer's daughter came up with the name.[2][5]

Fruit and Nut was introduced as part of the Dairy Milk line in 1926, soon followed by Whole Nut in 1930. By that point, Cadbury's was the brand leader in the United Kingdom.[6] Almost a century on it has retained this position, with Dairy Milk ranking as the best-selling chocolate bar in the UK in 2014.[3] In 2020, Dairy Milk was the second most popular snack overall in the UK behind McVitie's Chocolate Digestive biscuits.[7]

In 1928, Cadbury's introduced the "glass and a half" slogan to accompany the Dairy Milk bar, to advertise the bar's higher milk content.[1] In the early 2010s, Cadbury made the decision to change the shape of the bar chunks to a more circular shape which also reduced the weight.[8]

In 2003, Cadbury expanded the Dairy Milk brand range of new flavours and variants. Cadbury Dairy Milk was then the largest product range in Cadbury's portfolio in the brand’s history. The new products launched were: Biscuit, Crunchie Bits, Bubbly, Mint Chips, Turkish, Crispies and the then recently introduced Wafer and Orange Chips, whilst Cadbury's Caramel bar was also relaunched under the Dairy Milk brand.[9]

In 2005, Cadbury celebrated the Centenary 100th Anniversary of Cadbury Dairy Milk. special limited edition bars in reproduced original 1905 packaging was launched.[10]

Also in 2005 Cadbury buried a time capsule at the Bournville factory in the Midlands. On the company's website, Cadbury stated, "We're going to bury a Time Capsule that won't be opened until Cadbury Dairy Milk is 200 years young. But, we need your help in deciding what we should leave for future generations."[11]

In 2012, Cadbury won a trademark dispute in the United Kingdom for the distinctive purple colour (Pantone 2685C) of its chocolate bar wrappers,[12] a colour originally introduced in 1914, as a tribute to Queen Victoria.[13] In October 2013, however, an appeal by Nestlé successfully challenged Cadbury's claim to the colour.[14]

In July 2018, Cadbury announced it would launch a new Dairy Milk version with 30% less sugar. The chief nutritionist of Public Health England, Alison Tedstone, said she was "pleased that Mondelez is the latest … name" to offer "healthier" products.[15]

On 8 January 2024, Mondelez International announced plans to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Cadbury.[16] As part of the celebrations, seven retro limited edition packaging designs of Cadbury Dairy Milk bars were relaunched from 1915, 1940, 1961, 1980, 1993, 2003 and 2024.[17]


Cadbury Dairy Milk Bubbly

The original Dairy Milk bar ("with a glass and a half of fresh milk") was launched in 1905.[18]

There are various bars, including: Caramel; Fruit & Nut, a bar with raisins and almonds; Whole Nut, with hazelnuts; Dairy Milk Silk, launched in India, in 2010;[19] Dairy Milk Ritz, a bar with salty Ritz crackers, launched in the United Kingdom in 2014; and Dairy Milk with LU biscuits. There is also Dairy Milk Oreo, a bar with an Oreo filling, also made as a mint flavoured bar .The 1970s television advertising campaign for the "Whole Nut" featured a series of commercials with the tag line "Nuts, whole hazelnuts. Ooh! Cadbury's taken them and they cover them in chocolate".[20][21]

A Vegemite flavoured bar, which consists of milk chocolate, caramel, and Vegemite (5%), was launched in Australia in 2015.[22]

In 1986, the glass and a half symbol appeared on the front of the Irish Dairy Milk wrapper.[citation needed]

Ingredients and tastes for local markets


According to a 2007 report in The New York Times, a British bar contained (in order) milk, sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, vegetable fat and emulsifiers, whilst the American version manufactured by Hershey started its list of ingredients with sugar. It also listed lactose, emulsifier soy lecithin, and "natural and artificial flavorings".[4] Cadbury supplied its chocolate crumb to Hershey, which then added cocoa butter during processing.[4] According to its spokesman, Cadbury tries to adapt the taste of the product to that which local consumers are accustomed, meaning it is more akin to a Hershey bar for the US market.[4]



Pre–2007 advertising


Cadbury's Fruit & Nut was advertised in a popular 1970s television advertisement that featured humourist Frank Muir singing "Everyone's a fruit and nutcase" to the tune of "Danse des mirlitons" from Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker.[23][24]

In Ireland, Cadbury Dairy Milk used the jingle "The Perfect Word For Chocolate" from 1986 to 1988. Between 1989 and 1996, the popular jingle "The Choice Is Yours The Taste Is Cadbury" with the slogan "Mysteries of Love" was a well-known advertisement.[25] The song "Show Me Heaven" was used in a 1996 advert, with the jingle "Tastes Like Heaven".

A museum display of tins of Cadbury's Dairy Milk chocolate

Cadbury has always tried to keep a strong association with milk, with slogans such as "a glass and a half of full cream milk in every half pound" and advertisements that feature a glass of milk pouring out and forming the bar.

In 2004, Cadbury started a series of television advertisements in the United Kingdom and Ireland featuring a human and an animal (representing the human's happiness) debating whether to eat one of a range of included bars.

Glass and a Half Full Productions (2007–2011)


In 2007, Cadbury launched a new advertising campaign entitled Gorilla, from a new in-house production company called "Glass And A Half Full Productions".[26] The advert was premièred during the season finale of Big Brother 2007, and consists of a gorilla at a drum kit, drumming along to the Phil Collins song "In the Air Tonight".[27] The advert has over twenty million views on YouTube, and put the Phil Collins song back into the UK charts.

On 28 March 2008, the second Dairy Milk advert produced by Glass and a Half Full Productions aired. The ad, entitled 'Trucks' features several trucks at night on an empty runway at an airport racing to the tune of Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now".[28] The ad campaign ran at the same time as the problems at Heathrow Terminal 5 with baggage handling; in the advert baggage was scattered across the runway.[29]

On 5 September 2008, the Gorilla advert was relaunched with a new soundtrack – Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" – a reference to online mash-ups of the commercial. Similarly, a version of the truck advert appeared, using Bon Jovi's song "Livin' on a Prayer". Both remakes premiered once again during the finale of Big Brother 2008.[30]

In January 2009, 'Eyebrows', the third advert in the series, was released, of two children moving their eyebrows up and down rapidly to the song "Don't Stop the Rock" by Freestyle. The ad starred Bradley Ford and Leah McArdle.[31]

In April 2010, a fourth advert aired, entitled 'Chocolate Charmer', containing a scientist mixing milk and chocolate to make a dairy milk bar to the tune of "The Only One I Know" by The Charlatans.[citation needed]

In April 2011, a fifth advert aired, known as 'Charity Shop' or 'Dancing Clothes', featuring dancing clothes at a charity shop to the tune of "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off" by Jermaine Stewart.[citation needed]

Glass and a Half Full Records


A new 'record label' was launched as part of the Glass and a Half Full Productions campaign. The first song released was Zingolo featuring Tinny, to promote Fairtrade Dairy Milk. A full music video was made incorporating the 60-second ads, as well as a Facebook page.[citation needed]

Joyville (2012–2014)


The 2012–2014 Joyville campaign focused on an 'organisation made to bring joy to people'. Chocolate fountains were put in shopping centres such as Westfield London and the first ad focused on the relaunch of Dairy Milk Bubbly. During the campaign in 2012, Cadbury Dairy Milk was launched in new flavours such as Toffee Popcorn, Golden Biscuit Crunch (an exclusive to Sainsbury's), Nutty Caramel and also Cadbury Dairy Milk with Oreo. Along with the new flavours, Cadbury also launched two new Bubbly bars including a mini version and a Mint Bubbly.[citation needed] Cadbury has also launched Crispello and, most recently,[when?] launched "Marvellous Creations" in the UK.

In addition, Cadbury also brought the Joyville concept into Asia, where Singapore bloggers were invited to join in the campaign in 2013.[32]

Free The Joy (2014)


In 2014, Joyville was replaced with the "Free The Joy" campaign. The song in a television advert is "Yes Sir, I Can Boogie" by Baccara.[33] A new design was launched for Dairy Milk (and its variants) inviting consumers to scan an on-pack QR code and visit a website featuring "Free The Joy" moments.

Marketing in India

Cadburys Chocolate in refrigerated display at a store in Coimbatore, India

Initially, the company had appointed Amitabh Bachchan as the brand ambassador in 2004.[34] However, the brand soon faced a significant backlash, with worms being spotted in a few of the chocolate bars.[35] With its new campaigns, the company recovered again, with increased sales.[36] One campaign that promoted the product by using the country's love for cricket was successful.[37] The advert was noted to be the best advertisement made in India by The Times of India.[38]

Another famous campaign hosted by the company in the past was the 'Shubh Aarambh' Campaign. This campaign made use of the traditional practice of Indian households of having something sweet before every auspicious occasion. This campaign was successful, and positioned Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolates as part of a family name.[39] Cadbury today[when?] holds 70% of the market share of the chocolate industry in the country.[40]

Grey imports in U.S.


In 2015, Hershey's blocked imports of overseas-made Cadbury chocolate and other confectionery to the US that infringed on its trademark licensing in a settlement with a grey importer.[41] British Dairy Milk has been blind taste-tested as providing a creamier taste and texture, with the Hershey's-made chocolate reportedly leaving a less pleasing coating on the tongue and a somewhat stale aftertaste.[41]



Cadbury was fined £1 million in July 2007 due to its products having been found to have been at risk of infection with salmonella (at a factory in Marlbrook, Herefordshire, England). It spent a further £30 million decontaminating the factory.[42]

On 14 September 2007, Cadbury Schweppes investigated a manufacturing error over allergy warnings, recalling for the second time in two years thousands of chocolate bars. A printing mistake at the Keynsham factory resulted in the omission of nut allergy labels from 250g Dairy Milk Double Chocolate bars.[citation needed]

The 2008 Chinese milk scandal affected Cadbury, when much of the Cadbury Dairy Milk manufactured in mainland China was tainted with melamine. Although it can be safely used in plastic manufacturing, melamine is toxic, particularly to infants.[43]

In 2003 worms were found in some of the chocolate bars in India.[44]

See also



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  2. ^ a b c d "1905 – Cadbury Dairy Milk is launched". Cadbury. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Top 10 selling chocolate bars in the UK". Wales Online. Retrieved 28 December 2014
  4. ^ a b c d Severson, Kim (11 July 2007). "The World's Best Candy Bars? English, of Course". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  5. ^ a b Berry, Steve; Norman, Phil (2014). A History of Sweets in 50 Wrappers. London: The Friday Project. pp. 28–29. ISBN 9780007575480.
  6. ^ Ascribed to Cadbury plc. (19 January 2010). "A history of Cadbury's sweet success". Times Online. London. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
  7. ^ "McVitie's chocolate digestives voted the most popular snack for people working from home". Wales Online. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
  8. ^ "Cadbury Dairy Milk: why rounded chunks of chocolate taste sweeter". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 September 2021.
  9. ^ "Cadbury Dairy Milk Centenary 1995 to 2004". Cadbury. 15 September 2022. Archived from the original on 28 November 2005. Retrieved 2 November 2005.
  10. ^ "Cadbury Dairy Milk Time Capsule 2105". Cadbury. 20 January 2024. Archived from the original on 28 November 2005. Retrieved 2 November 2005.
  11. ^ "Cadbury Dairy Milk Centenary". Cadbury. 20 January 2024. Archived from the original on 28 November 2005. Retrieved 2 November 2005.
  12. ^ Rebecca Smithers (2 October 2012). "Cadbury hits a purple patch with legal victory to secure trademark | Business". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  13. ^ Finance (1 October 2012). "Cadbury defeats Nestlé in battle for purple wrapper". The Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 12 October 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
  14. ^ "BBC News – Cadbury loses legal fight over use of colour purple". BBC. 4 October 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  15. ^ Wood, Zoe (19 July 2018). "Cadbury to launch Dairy Milk bar with 30% less sugar". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  16. ^ Thomson, Joanna. "Cadbury celebrates 200 years". Talking Retail. Talking Retail. Archived from the original on 8 January 2024. Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  17. ^ "'Retro' chocolate packaging designs celebrate Cadbury's 200th anniversary". Packaging Europe. Packaging Europe. Archived from the original on 16 January 2024. Retrieved 12 January 2024.
  18. ^ Jones, Geoffrey (1984). "Multinational Chocolate: Cadbury Overseas, 1918–39". Business History. 26 (1): 59–76. doi:10.1080/00076798400000004.
  19. ^ "Cadbury launches new variant "Dairy Milk Silk"". fnbnews.com. 30 January 2010. Archived from the original on 15 September 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2024.
  20. ^ TV Commercials of the '70s: Cadbury on YouTube
  21. ^ 1979 Cadburys Whole Nut on YouTube
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  23. ^ "Mo Drake obituary".
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  28. ^ Jasbir Authi (28 March 2008). "News — Birmingham News — New Cadbury advert to be broadcast tonight". Birmingham Mail. Archived from the original on 2 February 2009. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  29. ^ "Water on the brains". BBC News. 28 May 2008. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  30. ^ Sweney, Mark (5 September 2008). "Cadbury brings back gorilla ad with Bonnie Tyler remix". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 28 September 2008.
  31. ^ "Video: Watch Cadbury's 'eyebrow dance'". The Guardian. London. 23 January 2009. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  32. ^ "Spreading the Joy with Cadbury Joyville Bus". Archived from the original on 1 January 2014. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  33. ^ "Cadbury Dairy Milk – Office". TV Ad Music. Archived from the original on 3 August 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  34. ^ "Cadbury ropes in Amitabh as its brand ambassador – The Economic Times". The Economic Times. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  35. ^ "Worms creep out of Cadbury". The Times of India. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  36. ^ Zachariah, Reeba (3 July 2004). "Cadbury recovers from worm shock". Business Standard India. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  37. ^ "Brand Analysis: Cadbury's Dairy Milk : A journey of success". Marketing Brainstorm. 16 February 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  38. ^ "Cadbury Dairy Milk – Top 10 advertisements of all time". The Times of India. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
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  42. ^ Pagnamenta, Robin (15 September 2007). "Cadbury recalls thousands of chocolate bars after error over allergy warning". The Times. Archived from the original on 30 May 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  43. ^ [1] Ruwitch, John (5 October 2008). "Hong Kong finds melamine in two Cadbury products". Reuters. Retrieved 5 October 2008. Reuters
  44. ^ "How Cadbury's won the battle of worms". www.rediff.com.