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The History of Cadbury Chocolate

14th of December 2018

This throw-back Thursday, we take a look at how you take an iconic company and create a brand to stand the test of time.

In 1824, John Cadbury, a Quaker, began selling tea, coffee and drinking chocolate in Bull Street, Birmingham. From 1831, he moved into the production of a variety of cocoa and drinking chocolates, sold mostly to the wealthy due to the high costs of production.

In 1905, William Cadbury commissioned the first Cadbury logo. He was travelling in Paris at the time, and chose Georges Auriol to create the design – who also designed the signs for the Paris Metro. The logo features an image of a stylised cocoa tree interwoven with the Cadbury name. This was later registered in 1911, and used on presentation boxes, catalogues, tableware and promotional items. Although we might not recognise the design today, it was used consistently from 1911-1939 and again after the WW2.

A Cadbury script logo, based on the signature of William Cadbury appeared on the transport fleets in 1921. It was quite intricate and fussy to start with, and as such, has been simplified over the years.

In 1928, the ‘Glass and a Half’ symbol began appearing on press and posters, and has since been used on television and wrapper designs. Although it originally featured on Dairy Milk, today, we know it as the face of the company.

At its launch in 1905, Cadbury Dairy Milk started life in a continental style ‘parcel wrap’, with a pale mauve and  red script. The full Dairy Milk range became purple and gold in 1920 – which was around the time the ‘Cadbury Flake’ was launched.

The ‘crumbliest flakiest chocolate’ was born out of a simple observation from a canny Cadbury employee, who noticed that when chocolate moulds were drained, excess chocolate fell off in a stream and created flaky, folded chocolate. The Cadbury Flake started as a Dairy Milk product with see-through paper. The yellow wrapper later appeared in 1959, without the ‘Dairy Milk’ label, and sales later quadrupled in the 70’s with the popularity of the sensual TV commercials which showcased beautiful, bohemian Flake girls enjoying luxurious ‘Flake experiences’.

Today, the Cadbury brand plays on the biggest (and most not-so-secret) secret in advertising; the art of nostalgia. Playing homage to the earliest branding and loyal to its deep, luxurious colour palettes, the Cadbury’s range is as temping as ever.


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