A Case Study
An overview of Cadbury World, its origins, history and operations
© Cadbury plc, produced by Cadbury World Marketing Team 2009
This case study explains the history and product development of Cadbury World; aspects of its operational and marketing functions, as well as providing some key numerical data. It is intended to provide students and other interested parties with a snapshot view of and insight into one of the UK’s leading leisure attractions. It is strongly recommended that the case study is used in association with a visit to the attraction.
Cadbury World in Context
Seen as a new venture into the leisure industry when it opened in 1990, Cadbury World began its life principally as a public relations tool, but quickly became a popular half-day venue for people of all ages looking for quality leisure time. The original attraction was very educational and historical-based, with mainly static displays. Over time, Cadbury World has grown to be a family attraction of much bigger dimensions. It has maintained visitor numbers comfortably in excess of half a million annually, and returns a healthy paper profit back into Cadbury UK as well as bringing value to the company in terms of public interface and direct communication to the consumer. The original vision for Cadbury World was to provide a tourist attraction experience and provide an alternative to the demands from the general public denied access to the Bournville factory tour, which ceased due to health and safety practicalities around the time of the merger between Cadbury and Schweppes in 1969.
In setting up Cadbury World, in the face of strict health and safety and hygiene legislation, the vision was to underpin the central message of “Cadbury means chocolate means fun” with the interpretation of cocoa and Cadbury’s chocolate both past and present. Responding to these principles, Cadbury World was conceived as a continuation of the message “Cadbury means chocolate, means fun,” through the interpretation of cocoa and Cadbury chocolate both past and present.. 2
The original vision for Cadbury World developed as follows: To significantly enhance consumers’ perceptions of Cadbury and develop long term brand loyalty by: • Giving the visitor a memorable enjoyable, and unique Cadbury chocolate experience • Offering high quality and good value for money • Delivering Cadbury values of fun and quality, whilst achieving a break-even cost target for Cadbury Limited (at the time the UK chocolate operation of Cadbury Schweppes plc).
The Early Years
Opened on 14 August 1990, Cadbury World’s first weeks proved to be successful beyond initial projections and led to a number of operation concerns and issues. Huge queues built up at the start of each day and most visitors came with the expectation of taking part in the resumption of the Bournville factory tour (although it was thought by Cadbury World management that this perception had been overcome in its launch publicity and literature). Free samples were not deemed to be as freely available as the public expected, and prices in the retail shop were more ‘gift shop’ than ‘factory shop’. The team’s response to these initial problems were quick and comprehensive: including the immediate introduction of a timed-ticketing system (later a formal pre-booking system), and a greater access gained to a small part of the factory. Free samples gradually became more plentiful and – as today – are distributed to visitors at intervals throughout the tour. The prices in Cadbury World took longer to resolve as the Cadbury World ‘gift shop’ strategy needed to be aligned to serious and real business concerns relating to the threat to some serious and well-established commercial relationships. The belief from retailers in the Birmingham area was that unlike the Cadbury staff shop, the Cadbury World offering was open to the general public and would prove so successful that the it...