Chocolate lovers will have to wait a little longer to find out if beloved Kiwi sweets like Pineapple Lumps or Jaffas will continue to be made in New Zealand.
The lollies’ fates have been up in the air since Cadbury confirmed last month that its New Zealand factory in Dunedin will close early next year, axing over 350 jobs.
A working group has been formed to find another manufacturer for the uniquely Kiwi products that Cadbury makes.
But so far that group has not come to any decisions. One possibility is that the sweets will be made by a Cadbury factory in Australia, like a number of other products.
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Another possibility is that a New Zealand manufacturer or investor will be found, either to start a new operation in Dunedin or to take on the work elsewhere.
Rainbow Confectionery in Oamaru – where the first Pineapple Lumps were made under the Regina brand – has not said whether it will take on the Cadbury legacy, but has indicated it will offer jobs to Cadbury staff.
Jake Hatton, a spokesman for Cadbury’s owner Mondelez International, said the working group would meet again next month.
“The initial meeting was a constructive discussion on how the group can work together to try and identify a local manufacturer that can continue to make iconic Kiwi brands like Pineapple Lumps, Buzz Bar and Jaffas in New Zealand.”
There were a number of considerations including specialist machinery, he said.
Dunedin has had a chocolate factory since 1884. About 70 per cent of what Cadbury was produced was exported, mainly to Australia including chocolate crumb.
It plans to keep its popular Cadbury World tourist attraction open but is not expected to keep its dominant central city site in its entirety.
In a statement, Cadbury said it would work with locals to “help find a buyer that will develop the site in a way that supports the community and economy”.
About 130 staff are expected to be retained in New Zealand.