Sales of Cadbury chocolate products have dropped dramatically in the wake of the controversial product recall sparked by a salmonella scare last month, a new report has shown.
The full scale of the damage to the company’s balance sheet could be revealed this week when Cadbury unveils its interim results. Trade magazine The Grocer said that a source at one major supermarket, which did not wish to be identified, reported that its sales of Cadbury chocolate had fallen by 25 per cent since the recall at the end of June.
The source said: "It is down to the way it has been handled – people do not trust the brand any more. The week the salmonella story broke there was a huge drop in sales and it has pretty much remained at that level."
Hot weather has had some impact on the popularity of chocolate in general – with Nestle sales down about 10 per cent – but the far greater fall in Cadbury sale is seen as a clear indicator of a lack of consumer confidence.
That drop-off in sales appears equally to have been witnessed in Scottish supermarkets.
Following news of the scare, Brand Index, which monitors the reputation of hundreds of organisations on a daily basis, compiled a "brand score" for Cadbury based on the responses of those polled to a number of questions about how the company is perceived. In the days before the salmonella scare broke, Cadbury enjoyed a score of 44, but within two weeks that fell to just 22.