My desk here at the BBC America office is decked out with Cadbury Roses, Cadbury Flake Bars, and a Cadbury chocolate bar simply called “Dairy Milk,” but days like this could be numbered.
Hershey’s has a licensing agreement to manufacture Cadbury in the U.S., and they aren’t keen on the British version being sold stateside. They’ve asked U.S. retailers, and distributors, to refrain from selling their British counterpart, which includes all British Cadbury products, as well as Toffee Crisps, Yorkie Bars, and Maltesers.
The packaging may have a closeness in design, but for chocolate lovers there’s no confusion between the two brands, with fans saying there’s a distinct difference in taste. The list of ingredients and recipes are different: For example, Cadbury’s first ingredient on the Dairy Milk bar is milk, and Hershey’s equivalent to the same bar lists sugar, reports The New York Times.
Let’s Buy British Imports, a national distributor, has agreed to discontinue importing and distributing the Cadbury chocolates, after being sued by Hershey’s, settling out of court. Other popular stores like New York City’s Tea and Sympathy has also agreed to the ban after receiving a cease and desist letter from Hershey’s.
Hershey’s argument is that the chocolates being imported are not meant for resale, and they want to protect their brand. A Hershey’s spokesman, Jeff Beckham, wrote to the NYT via email, saying, “It is important for Hershey to protect its trademark rights and to prevent consumers from being confused or misled when they see a product name or product package that is confusingly similar to a Hershey name or trade dress.”
Tea and Sympathy’s argument is that the British chocolate is just better, with owner Nicky Perry asking the NYT reporter, “Have you tried Hershey’s chocolate?”
She answered her own question, saying, “I would never sell it in my store.”
Myers of Keswick, also in NYC, posted a Facebook update in hopes of calming their customers, saying, “We have not been contacted by Hershey’s directly. No one has reached out to us to tell us that we are ‘not allowed’ to bring in Cadbury’s. Until we are told otherwise, we will continue to do so.”
Amazon.com is a great resource for British treats, including a long list of Cadbury products. There hasn’t been any mention regarding online sales.
U.S. retailers aren’t the only ones feeling the pain:
So hang on. There will be no more real actual Cadbury’s chocolate allowed in the US? NOOOO! http://t.co/XSHfzlH7FQ
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) January 26, 2015
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