Cadbury is to sell Polish leading confectionary brand E. Wedel
On 19 January 2010 it was announced that Kraft Foods has finally settled the deal to buy the British confectioner Cadbury for $19.6 billion. As both Kraft Foods (with brands like: Milka, Alpen Gold, Prince Polo, Toblerone) and Cadbury (with strong local brand: Wedel) are the top confectioners in the Polish market – the merger could easily lead to total monopoly. Therefore, the European Commission allowed Kraft Foods for the take-over of Cadbury under one condition: it has to divests of E.Wedel company in Poland. Wedel brand is a traditional confectionary brand with a long history dating back to 1851 when Karol Ernest Wedel founded the company. Nowadays it enjoys the status of the Polish “flagship” brand with very high awareness and loyalty. One of the key products sold under Wedel brand is Ptasie Mleczko [literally: Bird’s Milk] – a chocolate bar with a marshmallow centre which is often the focus of Wedel’s big advertising campaigns I described here some time ago. Incidentally, Kraft Foods launched a rival product to Ptasie Mleczko a few years ago under the umbrella of its Milka brand called Alpejskie Mleczko [Alpine Milk] which resembles both the look and taste of Wedel’s product.
Currently Wedel runs a major TV campaign of Ptasie Mleczko with a new outstanding TV spot conceived by Saatchi & Saatchi Warsaw displaying a bunch of penguins enjoying a jet flight…
In 2009 Wedel introduced a revised logo and a new marketing strategy which unfortunatelly made Wedel’s communication mirror Cadbury’s to such an extent that at certain point Wedel aired a TV commercial with the dogs in the Lamorghini car that was originally produced for Cadbury’s Dairy Milk by Saatchi & Saatchi Australia. However in Poland that spot was adapted with new Polish soundtrack and a special website with a user-generated content competition to make it look like it was actually made for Wedel brand.
As you can see, that spot opens with a billboard saying “Fabryka Przyjemności przedstawia” which means Factory of Pleasure presents… and obviously it’s a Polish adaptation of Cadbury’s famous A GLASS and a HALF FULL PRODUCTION. It is also noticeable that Wedel’s dominating navy blue color is slowly turning into shades of Cadbury’s purple. This is also visible in Wedel’s latest TV campaign that launches a new type of chocolate that has two different flavours of filling: wild strawberry and blackberry – both in one bar of chocolate.
Now we are looking forward to find out who is going to show interest in purchasing Wedel from Cadbury. The names that pop up in press speculations are: Nestle (but it used to have a local Polish chocolate brand Goplana in the past and it didn’t work out well…) and Jutrzenka S.A. (a local Polish company with a slightly different portfolio of sweets and chocolate bars). I am also eager to see how the new owner of Wedel tackles the brand’s communication strategy after it has been shifted to match Cadbury’s.