For the past 186 years, the chocolate maker's slabs of confectionery have been stacked flat in boxes at checkouts. But new owner Kraft complains this makes them virtually impossible for shoppers to see. Now, just over a year after the quintessentially English firm was taken over by the American processed-cheese giant, it has spent £6million on new packaging to make the chocolate bars stand erect in their cardboard boxes, the Mail can reveal.
The expensive ‘innovation' is aimed at capturing more impulse purchases. Research showed customers are more likely to succumb to their sweet tooth if they see a complete bar of chocolate rather than just its side.
Kraft is using the cash on a new production line at its factory in Birmingham to repackage bars of Dairy Milk, Whole Nut, and Fruit and Nut. Each cardboard box will be fitted with a spring that prevents the bars from falling over. It also pushes the confectionery forward each time one is removed.
Customers will see the new packs in the first half of next year.
Kraft's UK president Nick Bunker says, "Installation of the new packaging equipment at the famous factory in Bournville will begin in the New Year.
‘Shelf Ready Packaging allows retailers to simply remove the front of the case containing the chocolate bars and put it straight on to the stores' shelves. This will see the bars stacked upright on shelf, ensuring they stand out. Previously, they would have been packed flat - making them harder to find for the shopper."
The substantial investment is likely to raise eyebrows at a time when hundreds of factory workers have spent their festive break worrying about job security.
Earlier this month the American food giant said it would axe 200 jobs. It is seeking the voluntary redundancies in March.
Source: Daily Mail