Cadbury is to get rid of palm oil from its chocolates following a public outcry over its inclusion.
The firm started using palm oil recently as part of a cost-cutting exercise which also saw the 150g and 250g bars shed about 20 percent of their weight.
Replacing a portion of the cocoa butter ingredient with palm oil raised the ire of consumers, both over the taste and the source.
Environmentalists called for a boycott over concerns palm oil production damaged rainforests. Auckland Zoo pulled Cadbury’s products from its shelves because diminishing rainforests threatened orang-utans and Green MP Sue Kedgley urged shoppers to send a message through their selection.
Cadbury New Zealand managing director Matthew Oldham said the decision to bring back the old recipe was a direct response to consumer feedback.
“At the time, we genuinely believed we were making the right decision, for the right reasons. But we got it wrong. Now we’re putting things right as soon as we possibly can, and hope Kiwis will forgive us.”
Cadbury had purchased only certified sustainable palm oil, but regardless, the public had spoken, he said.
Production of the cocoa-butter-only chocolate will resume in a few weeks.
Cadbury said the price would not be affected by the move.
Meanwhile, Mars New Zealand, whose products include Snickers, Mars, Twix, Skittles and M&Ms, announced it would be following Cadbury’s lead and downsizing, the Southland Times reported.
Mars bars will drop from 60 grams to 53g and Twix from 58g to 53.
Bags of M&Ms are shrinking from 250g to 200g, Pods from 280g to 160g and Maltesers bags from 165g to 140g.
Cost increases and the spread of obesity were blamed for the shift.
“But we’re not going to hide behind the obesity issue and claim that’s the reason we’re doing this,” manager Gerry Lynch said.
“There is a financial aspect to this where we can only absorb costs for so long before we have to pass them on.”