Belfast Telegraph

Food giant's chocolate move leaves bitter taste

By Margaret Canning

There are many cultural and culinary differences between the UK and Ireland and America, and many influences which have seeped from one to the other.

Tayto Crisps are a remarkably different-tasting snack on either side of the border, with an accident of history resulting in both bearing the same name.

Cadbury's chocolate is as well loved in the UK as it is in Ireland - though the Irish version tastes a lot different, and is manufactured in Dublin and even packaged differently.

However, the evolution of Cadbury's products in the last few years has been divisive, ever since it was taken over by American food giant Kraft, now trading as Mondelez International in Europe.

The latest controversy has been over the production methods of the beloved Creme Egg. After a consumer outcry, the company had to confess that the Creme Egg's shell was now being made from common or garden Cadbury chocolate, instead of the Dairy Milk chocolate of old.

And their decision to produce a rounded version of the Dairy Milk bar, featuring squares with a rounded finish instead of a straight, flat one, still begs the question: "Why?"

But such vicissitudes are but small Fry's Chocolate Cream when confronted with the latest perfidy - a ban imposed by the US on the import of Cadbury products.

Now there are many forms of confectionery which America does well - and credit where credit is due for inventing the mighty M&M.

And in some circles, American chocolate is nigh-on a badge of cool. And let I be the last person to deny Hershey's Reese's Peanut Butter Cups their rightful place as the only truly effective fix of fat, chocolate and salt.

But there's no question that the soapy taste of most American chocolate is an insult to European palates.

Now the US authorities are getting their own back on decades of European disdain by attempt to clear the streets of UK-made Cadbury - notwithstanding the irony of banning something now manufactured by a US company.

A spokesman for Hershey said Cadbury dealer LBB Imports "was importing products from the UK that were not intended for sale in the United States and infringe on The Hershey Company's brand trademark rights and trade dress".

Hershey manufactures Dairy Milk using a slightly different recipe, but one which traduces the familiar formula.

These chocolate capers can only end in tears - and certainly not Hershey's Kisses.

Belfast Telegraph