Creme Egg on their face? Sales of Cadbury favourite drop after controversial recipe change

Emma Haslett
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Cadbury's Celebrate Creme Egg Season In Covent Garden With The Goo Games
Splat: sales slid by £10m, the report suggested (Source: Getty)

It was the recipe change that provoked egg-sasperation among British consumers.

A year ago today, confectionery fans across the UK were left shell-shocked, after Cadbury announced a changes the recipe of its much-loved Creme Eggs, abandoning its Dairy Milk recipe for the chocolate shell.

"It's no longer Dairy Milk," a spokesman admitted at the time.

"It is similar, but not exactly Dairy Milk."

But now new research has suggested the recipe change was no yolk to consumers, after sales of Creme Eggs fell by more than £10m in 2015.

The research, by analysts IRI for trade bible The Grocer, found the confectionery's market share narrowed from 42 per cent to 40 per cent.

To be fair, it wasn't just Creme Egg which suffered: collectively, brands suffered a 2.6 per cent decline in Easter confectionery sales, according to Kantar.

A Cadbury spokesman defended the recipe: "The fundamentals of the Cadbury Creme Egg remain exactly the same as the original in 1971 recipe with delicious Cadbury chocolate and a unique gooey creme filling. In fact, only six out of 45 years of gooey history saw the shell made with Cadbury Dairy Milk.

"Cadbury remains the number one treat at Easter. The Easter 'season' changes every year depending on when Easter falls. It was two weeks shorter in 2015 than 2014 so it’s hard to compare like for like. This is why most of the big chocolate brands show a fall in revenue for 2015 against 2014. We are proud to be the nation’s favourite at Easter and we will continue to strengthen our position by investing in power brands and launching new seasonal products."

And this year isn't an easy one to regain ground, either: with just 11 weeks between Christmas and Easter, this is the shortest window for confectioners to drum up hype around the holiday since 2008. The Easter bunny had better hop to it...

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