The announcement came shortly after the brand received criticism from UK Prime Minister Theresa May for dropping the word Easter from the name of its annual Easter egg hunt.
Two of the lines can produce 1.2 million 110g Cadbury Dairy Milk bars each day at eight tons per hour. The other two will be used to manufacture assortments including Cadbury Roses and Heroes.
Mondelēz claims the $93m investment is aimed at increasing the factory’s competitiveness with other manufacturing plants in Europe, and retaining the majority of Cadbury Dairy Milk and Cadbury chocolate production in the UK.
“Previously it cost three times more for us to make a chocolate bar here in Bournville than it did in Germany. That wasn’t sustainable,” the president of Northern Europe at Mondelēz, Glenn Caton, said in a statement.
So far, Mondelēz has invested £200m ($250m) in its manufacturing operations and R&D facilities across Britain, Caton said. The current Bournville site has a total of 21 lines which manufacture products such as Giant Buttons, Wispa, Easter egg shells, Caramel nibbles and Caramel eggs.
In addition, the company added it remains confident it is “well-placed to manage any potential changes in the future with regards to Brexit, without significant disruption.”
“Mondelēz will change and adapt to the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU. The UK will remain the home of chocolate manufacturing.”
Previous job losses
Mondelēz confirmed with ConfectioneryNews the $93m investment started in 2014 to update older lines at Bournville and led to 200 job losses.
“As part of the investment, Mondelēz entered into consultation with colleagues and their representatives to agree jointly how best to make Bournville competitive for the future,” the company said.
“This consultation concluded with a number of colleagues choosing to leave Mondelēz as part of a voluntary redundancy program.”
Roundie won’t be made in the UK
Following the investment in the Cadbury production lines in the UK, Mondelēz has introduced a biscuit line under the brand, Cadbury Roundie, across the country.
However, the product will be made at the company’s “wafer center” in the Czech Republic instead of its Bournville plant, Mondelēz’s external affairs manager of Northern Europe, Gemma Pryor, said.
Cadbury Roundie was created to deliver a “multi-textural snacking experience” and is available in single and multipack formats.
“[Cadbury Roundie] is already enjoyed by Cadbury consumers in Australia and our preview testing has indicated that this launch will attract new shoppers who are looking for a tasty treat for themselves,” Pryor said.
Cadbury remains the number one chocolate confectionery brand in terms of market share in the UK, followed by Galaxy and Dove owned by Mars, Maltesers and Nestlé’s KitKat, the latest Euromonitor data showed.