With the United Kingdom scheduled to leave the Europe Union in 2019, one big Brexit question looms: Will there be enough Cadbury chocolate to go around? Cadbury makes a wide range of recognizable, popular chocolate products and baking supplies, including Dairy Milk chocolate bars, Toblerone, and Cadbury Mini Eggs.
So far, no deal has been reached between the UK and the rest of Europe. Hubert Weber, president of Mondelez Europe, a division of Cadbury parent company Mondelez International, told The Times of London on Tuesday that facing a no-deal Brexit, the company is stockpiling everything from confections to baking ingredients to biscuits.
“Like the whole of the food and drink industry in the UK, we would prefer a good deal that allows the free flow of products as that would have less of an impact to the UK consumer,” Weber explained. But he noted difficulties in maintaining any sort of flexible trade policy if there is a hard Brexit, which refers to the UK breaking entirely free of Europe’s single market and customs union. After all, at least one reason voters said yes to Brexit is the idea that the United Kingdom will do well to escape the European Union’s trade regulations and tariffs. Prime Minister Theresa May has said a no-deal Brexit “wouldn’t be the end of the world,” but the possibility of no deal has been linked to an ever-weakening English pound against the American dollar.
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What that means for chocolate fans is a potentially weakened supply chain. “The UK is not self-sufficient in terms of food ingredients, so that could be a challenge,” Weber added. “You can only do so much because of the shelf life of our products.”
Like many British companies facing next year’s Brexit deadline, this isn’t the first time Brexit negotiations have caused Cadbury to reconsider its business strategy. In 2017, the second-largest global confectioner warned consumers that Brexit may cause Cadbury chocolate bars to shrink.