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Chocolate Consumers Feeing Guilty - Cadbury Case Study

Essay by   •  December 4, 2012  •  Case Study  •  2,207 Words (9 Pages)  •  1,687 Views

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.0 Introduction

1.1 Purpose

The purpose of this report is to analyze "why chocolate consumers feel guilty for wrong reasons" and support the study with relevant examples, marketing theories, evidences and its actions relating to the fair-trading. Also, in this report, I will be talking about the business ethics and about the Corporate Social Responsibility of every organization.

1.2 Company Overview

Cadbury was established by John Cadbury, one of the ten children of Richard Tapper Cadbury. In 1824, he opened a small grocery store in 93, Bull Street, Birmingham. Among the many things he sold at his store, he also sold cocoa and drinking chocolate using his pestle and mortar. He was soon able to establish himself as one of the top cocoa and drinking chocolate traders in Birmingham. After John's death, the company had become a Private Limited Company under George Cadbury. With their tradition sustained on to this day, Cadbury products are a huge success with Kiwis universally.

1.3 Overview of the Case Study

In 2009, Cadbury faced the biggest crisis. It was brought into public's notice that palm oil was substituted in the chocolate instead of cocoa butter. Other organizations were using palm oil as an ingredient too. Cadbury used only certified sustainable palm oil and this ingredient as a cost-cutting exercise to minimize pricing levels for its consumers. However, the company faced the public outcry and, therefore, the company had to withdraw the steps taken. In no less than three months, Cadbury caved into the conservationists' demand and reserved their palm oil policy. This is a very good example of 'green' and 'ethical' issues being brought to light and compel a company as big and Cadbury to withdraw and overturn a decision due to pressure put on by the customer outcry.

2.0 Chocolate Consumption

Chocolate is the most craved food in the world and has long been thought of as a pleasurable, hedonistic comfort food (Hill, Weaver, & Blundell, 1991; Rodin, Mancuso, Granger, & Nelbach, 1991; Rozin, Levin, & Stoess, 1991). According to some models of disordered eating, when one has a craving towards chocolate and ambivalence about eating it, the craver may decide to abstain from consuming chocolate, even with the craving will eventually overwhelm the craver until that person experiences a breakdown of their efforts to diet in order to manage or lose weight (Cartwright & Stritzke, 2008). It has scientifically been proven that chocolate improves the endorphin production in the body and is known as a good anti-depressant.

It is fairly possible for people to have chocolate cravings because of the way producers decide to market it. Marketing plays a vital role in the sales of chocolate. Chocolate commercials are very eye-willing and catchy and it motivates the buyer to purchase in good amounts. Use of attractive materials and people in the advertisements, like, celebrities, Disney characters, purity certificate and other relevant evidences help in the chocolate sales. Additionally, chocolates have become an important part of our lives. For example, every happy or a religious occasion we need chocolates, like during Easter, Ramadan, Valentines' Day, Halloween, Christmas, birthdays etc. and also in our daily lives as we need a sweet dish with every meal and it has proved to become a main constituent of everything.

Cadbury, on the other hand, realized that chocolate consumers are increasing and decided to substitute cocoa butter with palm oil to have a balance between consumers' spending on chocolate but it turned out to be the opposite. The public didn't really appreciate it and there was an outcry so the company had to step back and withdraw its products from the market. As a result, the company had to suffer huge loss. Due to the negative reputation in the market, Cadbury lost all its customers. In no less than three months, Cadbury returned in the market with new products and with a certified Fair-Trade logo. Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand Executive Director Steve Knapp says, "From today, lovers of Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate will be able to make their purchase in the knowledge that they are supporting a brighter future for very small scale cocoa farmers, their families and their villages."

3.0 Relevance of Self Concept to Marketing

Every person has a unique personality with individual and traits and characteristics and that is what differentiates one person from another. Everybody's attitude, value of life, characteristics, lifestyle, expectations, tastes and preferences change due to factors such as society, age, surroundings, needs, wants etc. Self concept is an important part of marketing but it has been surpassed by various other psychological factors. Consumers often choose products that suit their personality or their lifestyle. In most cases, it also depends on a consumer's purchasing power. For example, people with high income would prefer going for a costlier brand product and people with low income would just go with the basic things that fulfills their need.

For a marketer, full understanding of self concept and marketing helps them to develop more effective marketing strategies by knowing consumer behavior and their attitude towards a product they respond to when offered in the market. Marketers often tend to search for a connection between their products and lifestyle groups. One best example of the marketing trend that the businesses are targeting on which was also seen in the case study: Consumers who worry concerning the environment, desires product to be produced in a sustainable way, and spend money to progress their personal development and prospective. In several categories, particularly food processing, companies targeting time-constrained consumers need to be alert that these very same consumers seek the illusion that they are not working within time constraints. The food processing industry has a name for those who seek both ease and some involvement in the cooking process in the convenience involvement sector. As it was seen in the Cadbury's case study, addition of palm oil was rather opposed by the customers and there was a public outcry regarding the issue. As a result, Cadbury had to withdraw its products from the market ad had lost its reputation in the market. After a few months, Cadbury collaborated with Fair Trade and used cocoa oil instead of palm oil with a certified mark on all its products. Through this, Cadbury made a comeback in the market and gained back its reputation and the customers

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