Mondelez International To Give Cadbury World a $3 million Upgrade

Cadbury World owners, Mondelez International, are looking to revamp their Dunedin tourist attraction. They have released a series of plans that will look at upgrading the attraction, with plans still being in the concept development stage, and with no final decision having been made.

According to Mondelez International, the initial feedback from both the community and the stakeholders has been largely positive. Part of the potential re-development would include expanding the current Cadbury World into the factory’s old manufacturing building—a site five times as big as the present site. Mondelez International’s spokesperson Jake Hatton described the old building as “amazing” and said they are “keen to maintain the weathered, industrial look” so visitors can “see and feel the history of the site as they engage in the new attractions.”

The redevelopments will cost $3 million dollars, and, according to Mondelez International Plant Manager Judith Mair, “$1 million has already been invested with local suppliers in the structural refurbishing of the Old Dairy building”.

The Cadbury factory announced that it would be closing in February this year, taking many by surprise. Mondelez cited increased costs and distance to market as reasons why it was not possible to continue production in Dunedin, even though the factory was still making a profit. The factory was Dunedin’s fourth largest employer. The closure, which will happen by early 2018, marks the end of a 90-year manufacturing presence in New Zealand, and resulted in at least 360 job redundancies. The manufacturing site will be moved to Australia. However, Mondelez International maintained that it is still committed to the Cadbury World attraction, as it attracts around 110, 000 visitors a year.

Currently, Cadbury World employs 35 workers on a permanent part-time basis. It is hoped that the new developments will help create more jobs—it has been proposed that these jobs would first be offered to those who had been made redundant by the factory closure, but how many jobs will be created remains unclear. Mair remains confident that the “redevelopments can be a meaningful legacy in Dunedin,” as the attraction plays a key part in the growing tourism sector and it is estimated annual visitor rates will be boosted to 180,000.

While the potential boost to the tourism sector is a good thing, the effect of the factory’s closure to Dunedin’s economy, through lost jobs and the flow-on effects to the community, cannot be ignored. Whether the redevelopments will help buffer this impact remains to be seen.

In light of this and other recent controversies associated with Cadbury, such as being bought by Kraft Foods, their use of palm oil, and a reduction in the size of their products, it begs the question: will people still want to partake in the Cadbury Magic and flock to Cadbury World like Mondelez hopes?

This article first appeared in Issue 9, 2017.
Posted 10:36am Sunday 30th April 2017 by Zahra Shahtahmasebi.