Is This The End of Green and Blacks?

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Has the death knell sounded for Green & Blacks as the Kraft takeover may see it move away from promoting the brand and leaving it to languish before killing it off?  Is Green & Blacks the first casualty of the Kraft takeover?  Today Twitter has been buzzing about the possibility that we may be seeing the beginning of the end for a loved fair trade British brand.

What about a management buyout, you might ask.  Craig Sams, the founder of Green & Black’s, told The Independent (a UK newspaper), “I would love to take [Green & Black’s] back and I know a number inside would also.” He added, “I don’t think Kraft want to sell. I’m not telepathic but the indications are that they want to hang on to Green & Black’s.”  This effectively kills off any possibility for Green & Blacks to leave Kraft.  Trevor Bond, who heads Kraft Foods’ country business in Europe, said, “Green & Black’s is £40m out of a £1bn chocolate business [in the UK]. I would sell more Creme Eggs.”

What happened to change Green and Blacks from the darling in the portfolio to the black sheep?  The FT reports that “growth has decelerated sharply from the annual levels of about 70 per cent in 2005” although they have already rejected attempts for the brand to extricate itself.  Rumours of a possible Management Buy Out (MBO) by G&B bosses first surfaced back in the summer, when Cadbury’s chief strategy officer, Mark Reckitt, quit Cadbury as part of the executive brain-drain in the wake of the Kraft takeover. Reckitt promptly joined G&B on a consultancy basis, working for them one day a week.

I wouldn’t because in killing off a loved high-street brand that fought its way there through education and an ethical stance is a sure way to see more protests over the use of palm oil in their chocolate among other things.  Green & Blacks produces products from chocolate bars to ice cream and cookies.  Its diversified portfolio goes beyond chocolate but what it brings to any business is *ethical validity*.

One reason *I* think Kraft may want to keep Green and Blacks is to bolster its street cred with the ethical shopper.  By associating itself with such a well-loved, trusted, strongly ethical brand as G&B, Kraft are trying to position themselves as champions of ethical chocolate production.  Despite being part of Cadbury’s G&B continued getting beans from their own suppliers and Cadbury’s used Green & Blacks to help them transition to a certain extent to their current fair trade chocolate by lending credibility to the move.

As I eat another caramel button from what may be the last bag I am able to buy made in the UK, and may be the last bag I buy as a result, I wonder whether Kraft realised that it was harming its image and that “selling more crème eggs” was never going to fix the damage they did.  Body Shop was big and strong enough to help L’Oreal but they also didn’t lie during the takeover.

I can’t imagine a Cadbury/Kraft PR will read this, nor do I think they’ll care as I am not the FT, The Times or the Independent but let’s send a message to Kraft.  Leave a comment about what you love about Green & Blacks and show them that the love for that brand is stronger than they can imagine.  Also “like” Green & Blacks on Facebook and follow them on twitterLET’S SHOW THEM WE CARE!

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About Judith Lewis

Editor and chief blogger at Mostly About Chocolate. Expert SEO. Judge at the Academy of Chocolate Awards, International Chocolate Awards and UK Search Awards.

66 Responses to Is This The End of Green and Blacks?

  1. hoopie says:

    i went off the body shop, when l’oreal took over and Cadbury’s recently over the Kraft takeover and loss of jobs.

    It will be sad to see the loss of green and black’s as it is nice to be able to buy ethical chocolate on the high street and is a quirky yet obtainable brand for all.

    already like them on facebook

    • JudithLewis says:

      I really want G&B to survive and thrive. I love the brand and it is full of some of the nicest, best people. I hope it stays going!

  2. Hattiebluebell says:

    I love Green and Blacks chocolate and really hope Kraft retains the brand. It’s so important to have a British fair trade organic brand so visable on our supermarket shelves. The quality of the chocolate is far superior to other mainstream chocolate on the high street, and it’s a desirable product either as a treat for oneself, or as a dinner party gift. Green and Blacks is always a pleasure and I certainly would be sorry to see them disappear

    • JudithLewis says:

      I certainly don’t want to see them go and I hope Kraft don’t kill it off through lack of investment and development. I hope they keep G&B and give them some love!

  3. Charlotte Evans says:

    Green and Blacks chocolate is one of the most beautiful around! I’d be so gutted to see them go!

  4. Debbie Gillespie says:

    I do hope Kraft retains the Green & Black brand. Their chocolate is fantastic – I love the fact that its a fair trade product.

  5. @Gblackwell86 says:

    I LOVE green and black’s there’s an awesome range of flavours, reasonably priced and ethical. Let’s make a stand and stop Kraft killing of everything British.

  6. Choclette says:

    I’ve been buying Green & Black’s since they first started and am a huge fan. I wasn’t too keen on the Cadbury’s buy out and certainly not on the Kraft one. Craig Sam has got a bit of a cheek saying he’d like to buy G&B back – why did he sell it in the first place? But I would love it to become an independent UK company again.

    • JudithLewis says:

      I think I understand why he sold to Cadbury. What we’re forgetting is that pre-Cadbury you had to hunt for G&B chocolate. Now that it is everywhere it’s easy to forget how hard it used to be to find 🙂

  7. coversnail says:

    Its kind of a weird situation, I really like Green and Blacks and their ethical message, but them being a part of Cadburys/Kraft kind of ruins the point as there are a lot of decidedly unethical practises from the parent company.

    Would like to see them become independant if possible, but definitley don’t want them to disappear, seem ludicriuos that they could, they’re everywhere!

    • JudithLewis says:

      I think Cadbury’s used them to help lend credibility to their fair trade message when they went fair trade. I love G&B and I want it to stay. Boo to Kraft and their creme egg-centricity!

  8. Joanne says:

    I love Green & Blacks. They are authentic, fair trade, ethical and make the best chocolate in the world. I’d be absolutely gutted if I wasn’t to be able to get my Green & Blacks chocolate fix every day. You can keep all your cheap, fun size and kid orientated chocolate bars. I want to eat something for grown ups…to spoil myself, for it to contain natural ingredients and to have a clear conscience while I’m doing it.

  9. Lebeeuk says:

    It would be such a shame to lose Green & Blacks, it’s such a deliciously classy chocolate & it’s the one thing I have to take to Tunisia with me when visiting my sister, her friend absolutely adores it!

  10. peanutmum11 says:

    I love the quality of Green and Blacks chocolate, if I’m going to eat calories I want quality, and choice of interesting flavours. That is how it benefits me but the ethical side is how the producers from the field gain benefits.
    Why do we seem to loose the quality in favour of rubbish and profit?

  11. nippynoodles1985 says:

    Green and Black’s is an icon like Big Ben or The Angel of the North everyone knows where to get it and it is complete quality if it dissapears it would be like removing the icons that sy this is England we are quality, smooth and tasty!!!!! Dont go anywhere G&B WE LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!

  12. Jax Li says:

    I hope this isn’t the end of Green & Black’s i adore their chocolate, their Espresso chocolate is my favourite and i have never found anything that comes near it for the strength of flavour.

  13. lily2190 says:

    Please don’t scrap G&B!!! It is gorgeously delicious and promotes an ethical message too! As people have said before I would be so happy to hear they have become an independent company! So much better than the overly sweet, overpriced rubbish you get now!

  14. holly100 says:

    they would be fools to scrap Green & Blacks – it epitomises 100% fairtrade with the best tasting chocolate

  15. Oldhamborn says:

    I love green and blacks because it is the best thing since sliced bread and a famous British institution.

  16. Alison says:

    I really hope they do not scrap Green and Blacks, its lovely chocolate and tasty. I would miss it

  17. TheKiss says:

    The best tasting Choc out there! Please keep Green and Blacks.

  18. Lakshmi says:

    Green & Blacks is one of the best ranges of chocolate at the market right now. Not only does it taste sublime, but it is ethical as well. Kraft, don’t you dare do away with it.

  19. Feefeegabor says:

    I love Green & Blacks – there’s no taste like their Dark Chocolate. Please keep it going!

  20. Lora says:

    They need to stay for their butterscotch bar alone! It’s wonderful to be able to buy reasonably priced, high quality, ethical chocolate in supermarkets, and Green & Blacks also offer the most unique range of chocolate on the shelf. If would be a sad day if Kraft killed them off and I think it would reflect very badly on them.

  21. mummy24 says:

    oh no i love green and blacks, def dont want it to go

  22. flyingdutchman says:

    Say it isn’t so! I’ve my black armband ready if Green & Blacks are put to rest. I love their chocolate, as it offers quality at a reasonable price. If Kraft sound the death knell for this much loved sweet then it’ll melt the hearts of many. :'(

  23. watsoa says:

    Kraft would be crazy to scrap Green and Blacks – it is among the best chocolates available in the UK and would be sorely missed.

  24. philiboy says:

    Green & Blacks – Britishness in foil. I’ll row to brussels and barrack the EEC – this can’t be allowed to happen

  25. Kelly says:

    I love Green and Blacks because it’s the ONLY chocolate I eat !

  26. jools40 says:

    I love creme eggs but Green and Blacks is serious quality chocolate, totally different markets and I’d love to see both continued.

  27. Solange says:

    I love G&B

  28. gavrc says:

    Pah. Cadburys wouldn’t let them go so Kraft aren’t going to. G&B is the best part of their business and they know it.

  29. laura says:

    Its tastes great, and is one of my favourite. I hope Kraft keep it.

  30. kemo_2002 says:

    they are soooo nice and have a great after taste

  31. velladabest says:

    beautiful taste, so smooth

  32. jujugaboo says:

    I love Green and Blacks – please don’t go. Kraft are rubbish, my OH was going to go for a job there but they pay peanuts for a big job.

  33. emmabarron says:

    I love Green & Blacks – Proper Chocolate – i would be sad if this was discontinued. It doesn’t compare to Cadbury’s.

  34. JULIELOUISE says:

    i love green & blacks. it was a brand i could rely on. the chocolate was quality, tasted gorgeous and had a wide variety

  35. peter110651 says:

    great chocolate love the taste of the dark 70% Green and Black

  36. ha2el says:

    Green and Black’s chocolate will always be ‘the one’ for me. The brand is consistently my first choice because of the superior flavour and texture. And I have always felt happy about it’s ethical background. Please don’t let it lose it’s credibility.

  37. sereeh says:

    love it because its so silky smooth and rich

  38. kiki_725 says:

    I hate kraft and i am no longer buying their products. how can a company ignore fairtrade? Green and black make amazing products and kraft would be stupid to let the company disappear!

  39. Gilla01 says:

    Really love Green and Black’s chocolate – tastes fantastic.

  40. joeygrey says:

    I tried Green and Black’s for the first time last year, and it was like tasting chocolate for the very first time! I’ll never go back to what I used to think was chocolate 🙂
    Following and tweeted.

  41. Dee says:

    It would be a sad sad day to lose Green & Black’s, having tasted it and discovered the taste of real quality chocolate, I can’t go back to eating other brands that are over-sweet and taste cheap. Keeping all my fingers crossed that G&B’s live long and prosper, we love you.
    xxx

  42. Christopher Bell says:

    It’s crazy!! I hate the fact that G&B is £40m out of a £1b industry. does that mean £40 million is not worth keeping?! Why? And am I mistaken or is not organic and ethically sourced type goods not increasing drastically in sales over the last couple of years and isnt this expected to continue? I love G&B chocolate and I would hunt out every product that is linked to kraft and I would boycott them all. I am but one person and it would make no difference to them but that would be my stand!

  43. ak1065 says:

    Green and Black’s chocolate is good quality, fairtrade and delicious too !!

  44. cathy says:

    all the big monopolies take over the good family started companies, then neglect their background and just think about the money, kraft should not be allowed to this

  45. Bonosfly says:

    I love Green & Blacks chocolate and would be really sad to see it go!

  46. Michelle Williams says:

    Much prefer G&B to main stream brands, their chocolate is much better and not sugary.

  47. diva1977 says:

    I love G&B as you get what you paid for ………..quality without compromise 🙂

  48. Jom049 says:

    I’m horrified, this is a great chocolate and a well known brand name. Who on earth would dream of getting rid of it!

  49. Nicole says:

    I love, no ADORE Green and Blacks chocolate, it just melts in my mouth!

  50. Lo-Lo says:

    Simply the flavour. G&B has a great ‘snap’ as well, a sign of chocolatey perfection!

  51. Cathy MacLennan says:

    Green & Blacks make quality chocolate with an awesome taste and I personally would not like to see anything change or quality be compromised.

  52. emsmiff says:

    How could they possibly get rid of such a high end, quality brand as G&B? It really is one of the best on the market and something we all like to treat ourselves to. As if the majority of G&B fans would buy a Creme Egg insteas……really not likely at all!! Come on Kraft, use your noggin!!!

    • JudithLewis says:

      I agree and really I hope Kraft doesn’t have the opinion that this individual seems to have. So what if it is only 4% of the overal busines – it is a great brand and as they will be able to see in the comments they have passionate fans!

  53. @kohsamuirosie says:

    You could be right- Just bought 2 bars in local suopermarket for £3.00 They have never been on special offer before

    • JudithLewis says:

      I’ve seen G&B on sale before. I was mor etalking about the lack of investment a business worth 4&% of the total business might get.

  54. greyskittles says:

    Would be such a shame to see this brand go, love their chocolate, especially the dark chocolate with orange pieces in it.

  55. sassyesque says:

    I love the Butterscotch one and think it will be a sad day if the company is taken over and closed as it has such great ethical values

  56. Anne-Marie Large says:

    What I love about Green and Blacks is that it’s Fairtrade avaliable at everyday stores – none of that trapsing around different shops to find fairtrade. It’s right there – in most supermarkets!

  57. Ruth Tesdale says:

    Green and Blacks is the one I buy when I want real chocolate with no compromise. I am praying that Kraft respect and retain it quality and authenticity.

  58. A says:

    They didn’t. Green and blacks tastes awful. Taste and ingredients compromised. Without knowing details on ethical trading ingredient sources or how employees now treated. No longer a fan.