Philadelphia-based chocolate giant Hershey has all but lost the war in trying to separate Irish people in the US from their favorite chocolate.
With many small shops across the US brazenly flouting the ban by importing and selling the original Cadbury chocolate instead of the Hershey’s imitation, the company has admitted it will not be able to bring every small vendor selling Irish Cadbury chocolate to court.
They are, however, still refusing to completely back down and are targeting bigger importers, despite the huge amounts of bad publicity that continues to pour in after the cruel ban placed on Irish and British people craving a taste of home.
In January 2015, Hershey won a court case against two major importers, Posh Nosh and Let’s Buy British (LBB), and it was feared that the win for the business would result in a loss for all US-based Irish chocoholics, completely cutting off the stream of original Cadbury chocolate to the country.
Hershey bought the rights to the Cadbury name in the US in 1988 and took out the case for a complete ban wishing to look after their business interests and ensure that no other Cadbury chocolate was available to compete with their own attempts.
The move has not proven popular, or indeed, successful, as outrage and defiance from Irish ex-pats has resulted in the continued appearance of Irish Cadbury chocolate on the shelves of certain niche shops. Many believe that the ban has only moved to further highlight the difference between the original and Hershey’s Cadbury chocolate and the massive dislike for the latter.
“It is not realistic from a resources perspective to monitor every single retailer. We have focused on large importers,” said a Hersey spokesperson of their continued struggle to tell people what they can eat and what they can’t.
“We had cases last year against two importers – Posh Nosh and Let’s Buy British (LBB) – who were both importing confectionery products from the UK that were not intended for sale in the United States and infringe on the Hershey Company’s brand trademark rights and trade dress.”
Despite the apparent outright ban, many stores who pride themselves on their original Cadbury stock are still finding ways to continue importing it into the country.
One such store is Tea and Sympathy in Manhattan who proudly advertise their defiance.
“I called my supplier and they said they could not sell me Cadbury’s,” owner Nicky Perry told The Telegraph.
“Even if Americans would rather buy Hershey’s, there has been so much negative publicity and their stock went down.
“I am still getting my Cadbury’s. They will have to come and arrest me. All they are doing is making people aware that our chocolate is far better. They will never be able to stop it, people here are absolutely determined.
“It’s like that game where there are five rubbish bins and four lids and every time they slam the lid down, somebody pops up out of another bin.”
Just arrived!! pic.twitter.com/n8e6WFvBXE
— Tea & Sympathy (@TeaAndSympathy) October 23, 2015
Just around the corner from Tea and Sympathy is yet another British store unashamedly displaying Cadbury chocolate not made by Hershey in their front window.
Jennifer Myers, the owner of Myers of Keswick, said they were able to get away with continuing to sell the chocolate as a smaller store because the US chocolate company would be reluctant to pay attention or to bring them to court.
“They were going for wholesalers rather than mom and pop stores like ours,” she said.
“We are still selling Cadbury’s. Barely a day goes by without people coming into the shop and asking if it is the real thing.
“It created a real buzz. People were saying how can they do this, it really brought out people’s feelings.”
The blatant selling of Cadbury chocolate is not confined to New York alone, however.
Kazimierz European Market in New England is also flagrantly advertising the fact on their website.
“I am still selling Cadbury because it is delicious,” said Danielle Moura, the proprietor.
Subtlety may be required if these stores wish to continue, however, as Hershey’s chocolate are still attempting to shut down smaller services. In March 2015, they put an abrupt end to the enterprise of a British couple who established the “British Chocolate Club”, a service that mailed a monthly supply of eight or 15 chocolate bars to the Cadbury-deprived British citizens in the US.
The US company found that the British Chocolate Club was still in violation of US law and their customers were once again plunged into a chocolate-less existence.
The main cause of concern and complaint for many chocolate connoisseurs in the US is the manner in which Hershey’s attempt to make their milk chocolate. Although the first ingredient in the product in Ireland is milk, sugar takes its place in the US version, creating a large and unfavorable difference in the taste.
Hershey's ain't got nothing on Cadbury's
— goose (@liliangoose) January 7, 2016
Hershey's has been ruined for me since I've had Cadbury. ��
— nah (@1DHipstaPlease) January 6, 2016
I tried Cadbury chocolate 2 days ago and it makes Hershey's chocolate taste like trash m.
— |-/ (@localcliffxrd) December 22, 2015
Milk chocolate has been a point of pride for Ireland for quite some time and the New York Times recently agreed, stating that Ireland really was one of the best places in the world to find silky smooth milk chocolate.