Cadbury comes under fire for 'Unity' chocolate bar designed to promote diversity in India

Cadbury created a four-in-one chocolate bar to "unite" India [Photo: Cadbury]
Cadbury created a four-in-one chocolate bar to "unite" India [Photo: Cadbury]

This is an updated version of a piece previously published on 23 August 2019.

Cadbury has come under fire for its four-in-one chocolate ‘Unity’ bar, which was designed to promote diversity in India.

The marketing stunt has faced widespread backlash online with social media users mocking the chocolate giant for “solving racism” with its latest launch.

One Twitter user wrote: “*wipes hands off* and that’s the end of racism.”

“Congratulations to Cadbury for solving racism,” another sarcastically tweeted.

A third added, “This is as absurd as Kendall Jenner fighting police brutality with a Pepsi.”

Cadbury launches four-in-one ‘diversity’ bar

In a bid to promote diversity in India on Independence Day (August 15), Cadbury created a four-in-one chocolate ‘Unity’ bar.

The limited edition treat is designed to unite “people of different castes, creed, languages, regions and religions” represented through the mix of dark, blended, milk and white chocolate.

Taking to Instagram to share the news, Cadbury wrote: “This Independence Day, let's celebrate a country that stands united in its diversity. Presenting the Cadbury Unity Bar, India's first chocolate with dark, blended, milk and white chocolate all under one wrap.”

The post soon amassed over 7,000 likes with most social media followers taking to the platform to praise the chocolate giant’s latest move.

“Forget just India’s unity,” one commented. “This thing should unite people all over the world!”

Another added, “Don't make it for a limited time period. Make it a forever thing Cadbury.”

“Absolutely fantastic ad!” a third wrote.

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Cadbury teamed up with Indian PR agency, Ogilvy, on the project to mark Indian Independence Day.

The iconic purple packaging also underwent a redesign and features an illustration of Indian citizens from various religious and cultural backgrounds holding hands.

Explaining the concept, the Ogilvy website states: “India is a diverse country, with people of different castes, creed, languages, regions, religions.”

“Everyone living together, but not always with love. Cadbury Dairy Milk, which is loved by everyone, wanted to send a powerful message of unity,” the PR agency continued. “So we worked with the brand to create the Unity Bar: India’s first chocolate made of dark, blended, milk and white chocolate - all united in one bar.”

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Further pushing the message, the chocolate bar even featured on the front page of the Economic Times in India with the headline printed in several different languages.

In Mumbai, the paper ran with a Kannada headline while the Bengaluru edition boasted a Marathi headline.

One Twitter user took to the social media platform to praise the campaign alongside a photograph of the front page spread.

“Whoa!! Well done, Cadbury's (and Ogilvy), using a Kannada headline in the Mumbai edition, Telugu headline in the Delhi edition and a Marathi headline in the Bengaluru edition,” he wrote. “Point made beautifully! Lovely idea that turns our usual Hindi-centric advertising on its head.”

The tweet received over 8,000 likes with fellow users rushing to comment.

“Yes, we all speak chocolate,” one commented.

Another added: “Take a bow Cadbury and Ogilvy.”

The chocolate bar became available on Indian retail site Flipkart but promptly sold out due to high demand.

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