1920s - Quaker firms forge ahead

Cadbury, Fry and Rowntree

All three of the major manufacturers – Cadbury, Fry and Rowntree – were operated by Quaker families with strong ethical motivations, and they had come together during the first world war to discuss a merger which would keep them safe from takeover by the Swiss chocolate makers. Rowntree was not interested, but Fry and Cadbury amalgamated under the holding company British Cocoa & Chocolate Co Ltd (BC&C) in 1919.

Rowntree was forced into cost reductions, reduced the proportion of the highest grade Guayaquil cocoa beans used in Elect Cocoa, and replaced the Arriba cocoa with the cheaper Accra variety. In 1920 it once again changed the formula of Elect, bringing its flavour closer to that of Cadbury's Bournville and finally turning it into a "Dutched" cocoa to compete directly.

By 1928 the second phase of Fry's new factory at Somerdale came into operation, and Fry's Breakfast Cocoa was finally being made along production lines which could fill tins automatically.

Cadbury's Red Label Drinking Chocolate made a splash in 1938, with a special offer price of a shilling and 4d for a full one pound tin plus one Staffordshireware cup with red lim and fluted finish and saucer.

Churchman's Patent Chocolate was finally withdrawn from sale by BC&C after more than 200 years - still the longest-lasting cocoa brand of all time.

Cadbury, Fry and Rowntree
Cadbury, Fry and Rowntree
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