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Product Life Cycle Of Cadbury Dairy Milk

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Marketing
Wordcount: 1363 words Published: 21st Sep 2021

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Cadbury chocolates was started in Birmingham in 1824 by John Cadbury. Chocolate in those days was a very elitist product. Cadbury Dairy Milk came up with the mix of milk and chocolate tray which is pretty much how the product still is. There has been no drastic change in the recipe of the product but the packaging and the representation and prominence of the ‘glass and half of milk’ logo has changed over a period of time.

Cadbury India began its operations in 1948 by importing chocolates and then re-packing them before distribution in the Indian market. Today, Cadbury has five company-owned manufacturing facilities at Thane, Induri (Pune) and Malanpur (Gwalior), Bangalore and Baddi (Himachal Pradesh) and 4 sales offices (New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkota and Chennai). Its corporate office is in Mumbai.Worldwide, (http://www.iloveindia.com/economy-of-india/top-50-companies/cadbury-india.html)

A Timeline:

  • 1904  A new recipe is perfected by George Cadbury for milk chocolate.
  • 1905  Cadbury launches Dairy Milk onto the market – a new milk chocolate that contains far more milk than anything previously tasted and with a unique creamy taste.
  • 1913  Dairy Milk becomes Cadbury’s best selling line.
  • Mid 1920s  Dairy Milk becomes UK brand leader – a position it still enjoys today.
  • 1928  Fruit & Nut is introduced as a variation of Dairy Milk. The “glass and a half” advertising slogan is introduced.
  • 1933  WholeNut is added to the Dairy Milk family.
  • 1948  Cadbury Dairy Milk is sold in India
  • 1998  Dairy Milk is re-launched with the new and modern pack design, but its recipe and unique taste are still very similar to the original recipe.
  • 2005  Cadbury Dairy Milk celebrates its 100th birthday. (http://www.innovation.cadbury.com/allaboutus/ourbrands/featurebrands/Pages/CadburyDairyMilk2.aspx?TabIndex=1)

Brand Identity : Kapferer’s model

Stage in the Product Life Cycle

Cadbury Dairy Milk is in the maturity stage of the product Life cycle. It currently has a market share of 70% in the chocolate market and is way ahead of its competitors. There is a high degree of brand awareness. The colour purple and the ‘glass and half full’ logo is amongst the most recognised logos and the association of the two with Cadbury Dairy Milk is synonymous.

Market Scenario/Challenges

According to AC Nielson study of 2007:

Facts & Figures

The Indian Chocolate market is estimated to beat around 1500crores.

It is growing at the rate of 18-20% per annum

With 72% of the market share in India, Cadbury is the market leader.


The 2 main competitors in the Indian market that Cadbury faces any competition from are Nestle and Amul.

There are several new and local brands like Candico, Sweet World etc. which are trying to make its presence felt.

Consumer Trends

The Mithaai or sweet has been the tradition in India so far. Chocolates are noow trying to break into that league and hence faces stiff competition more from this product category than its immediate competitors.

Chocolates are more of an impulse buy.

Consumers are preferring chocolates to Mithaai because of proper packaging, longer shelf life, mid-range pricing and convenience.

Consumers have started showing interest in not just milk chocolates but other varieties like Dark Chocolate etc.

One of the major challenges that Cadbury Dairy Milk faces is a decline in sales due to new variants being introduced in the market by other brands which could result in the product moving from maturity to decline stage. Another major challenge comes from a different product category altogether which is the Indian Sweets or Mithaai.

Steps taken by brand at each stage- at a communication and product level


Cadbury Dairy Milk advertising has always depicted a rich tapestry of human emotions and relationships. In the 1980s, it was positioned as ‘the perfect expression of love’, captured in memorable copy: ‘sometimes Cadbury can say it better than words’. During the early1990s, Cadbury Dairy Milk emphasised its international identity, communicating that it was the ‘real taste of chocolate’. In 1994 came the path-breaking ‘real taste of life’ campaign. The ad featuring a woman running on the cricket field celebrating the victory is still strongly etched in our mind even today. This campaign created a dramatic shift in the way chocolates were perceived. Cadbury Dairy Milk has increasingly become trapped as a reward or bribe for children and this campaign unshackled the brand by re-positioning it to the ‘free-child’ in every adult. Cadbury Dairy Milk redefined itself as the perfect expression of spontaneous, shared good feelings, providing the ‘real taste of life’ experience. The strategy paid off: Brand Cadbury grew by over 50% in sales volumes. (Super brands)

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Then in 1998, the next stage of growth for the brand dealt with popularising consumption in a social context, especially in more traditional settings like weddings. With the campaign ‘Khaanein waallon ko khaanein ka bahana chahiye’ featuring Cyrus Broacha, Cadbury Dairy Milk aimed to substantially increase penetration levels. The campaign was launched in tandem with the award winning ‘Kuchh khaas hai…’campaign and the media strategy was to let the two co-exist towards a common vision: ‘A Cadbury in every pocket’. The brand penetrated into smaller towns and sales volumes grew by 40% (Source: Internal Sales Data). (Super brands)

Crisis Management

The worm controversy resulted in Cadbury’s brand image taking a beating. They had to recall a batch of chocolates. Instead of taking any short term measures, Cadbury used this opportunity to take action and rebuild the trust of people. They launched a project ‘Vishwas’ which educated retailers and wholesalers on storage and other aspects apart from educating consumers.

The other major step was to change the packaging. The company’s repackaging exercise, which used a combination of packaging technologies, was unprecedented in the category. With the redesigned packaging in place, the company decided to communicate the measures it had taken to safeguard quality standards. To add credibility to its pitch, Cadbury took recourse to Amitabh Bachchan’s deep baritone. This was the first time that a celebrity was used to endorse Cadbury Dairy Milk. The commercial did wonders to consumer confidence.

A series of ads with Bachchan including “Pappu Paas ho Gaya” to “Miss Palampur” brought back the lost credibility of the people. With Bachchan they also launched their new positioning of “Kuch Meetha Ho Jaaye” bringing in the tradition of celebrating a joyous occasion in India with sweets and now Cadbury Dairy Milk in particular.


The focus for a period shifted to taking the concept of “Kuch Meetha Ho Jaaye” further. The “Pehli Tareekh Hai” campaigns talked about the importance of having Dairy Milk and celebrating on getting your pay on pay-day. The ads had a very retro-feel to it and did click with the audience. But, it is the recent string of “Shubh Aarambh” ads that have brought back the old charm of Cadbury Dairy Milk with its very interesting insight of mixing the traditional with the new age.


Cadbury Dairy Milk has adapted itself to the Indian market quite impressively. From making a sweet eating nation to switch to chocolates to becoming the market leader, Cadbury Dairy Milk has done it all because of the emotional connect it established with the consumers. Its communication also always focused on the emotional aspects and feelings of life apart from spontaneity. Its communication has always showcased its values and personality. In my opinion, the ‘Kuch Meetha Ho Jaaye” concept is a goldmine which can be used in a variety of ways in a country like India.”


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