This case study explains the history and product development of Cadbury World; aspects of its operational and marketing functions, as well as providing some key numerical data. It is intended to provide students and other interested parties with a snapshot view of and insight into one of the UKs leading leisure attractions. It is strongly recommended that the case study is used in association with a visit to the attraction.
Cadbury World in Context
Seen as a new venture into the leisure industry when it opened in 1990, Cadbury World began its life principally as a public relations tool, but quickly became a popular half-day venue for people of all ages looking for quality leisure time. The original attraction was very educational and historical-based, with mainly static displays. Over time, Cadbury World has grown to be a family attraction of much bigger dimensions. It has maintained visitor numbers comfortably in excess of half a million annually, and returns a healthy paper profit back into Cadbury UK as well as bringing value to the company in terms of public interface and direct communication to the consumer. The original vision for Cadbury World was to provide a tourist attraction experience and provide an alternative to the demands from the general public denied access to the Bournville factory tour, which ceased due to health and safety practicalities around the time of the merger between Cadbury and Schweppes in 1969.
In setting up Cadbury World, in the face of strict health and safety and hygiene legislation, the vision was to underpin the central message of Cadbury means chocolate means fun with the interpretation of cocoa and Cadburys chocolate both past and present. Responding to these principles, Cadbury World was conceived as a continuation of the message Cadbury means chocolate, means fun, through the interpretation of cocoa and Cadbury chocolate both past and present..
The original vision for Cadbury World developed as follows: To significantly enhance consumers perceptions of Cadbury and develop long term brand loyalty by: ¢ Giving the visitor a memorable enjoyable, and unique Cadbury chocolate experience ¢ Offering high quality and good value for money ¢ Delivering Cadbury values of fun and quality, whilst achieving a break-even cost target for Cadbury Limited (at the time the UK chocolate operation of Cadbury Schweppes plc).
The Early Years
Opened on 14 August 1990, Cadbury Worlds first weeks proved to be successful beyond initial projections and led to a number of operation concerns and issues. Huge queues built up at the start of each day and most visitors came with the expectation of taking part in the resumption of the Bournville factory tour (although it was thought by Cadbury World management that this perception had been overcome in its launch publicity and literature). Free samples were not deemed to be as freely available as the public expected, and prices in the retail shop were more gift shop than factory shop. The teams response to these initial problems were quick and comprehensive: including the immediate introduction of a timed-ticketing system (later a formal pre-booking system), and a greater access gained to a small part of the factory. Free samples gradually became more plentiful and as today are distributed to visitors at intervals throughout the tour.
The prices in Cadbury World took longer to resolve as the Cadbury World gift shop strategy needed to be aligned to serious and real business concerns relating to the threat to some serious and well-established commercial relationships. The belief from retailers in the Birmingham area was that unlike the Cadbury staff shop, the Cadbury World offering was open to the general public and would prove so successful that the it would represent serious competition to those local traders if prices and offers were misaligned with those available from other retailers.
A policy was developed whereby there would be no more than a token reduction in the prices the Cadbury World gift shop charged, compared with prices in normal retail outlets. In reality, where the major retail organisations exerted substantial buying power, they were able to charge well below Cadbury World rates. Eventually, a bargain corner (now called the factory area) was established, the gift shop. The retail offer developed and Cadbury World now has two retail outlets: The Worlds Largest Cadbury Shop and the Essence Emporium offering themed gifts and merchandise, standard retail offerings from the Cadbury brand portfolio and exclusive chocolate novelties hand-crafted in Cadbury Worlds Demonstration Area.
In its early years, due to both visitor comfort and also health and safety provisions, Cadbury Worlds limited capacity required a robust control on the numbers of visitors allowed inside at any one time, as well as their flow and passage through the exhibition. Initially, a system of timed ticket entry was introduced based on a first come first served approach and enabled visitors to have a known time when they would go into the main exhibition.
As popularity for the attraction grew, even this measure proved to be inadequate to the increasing visitor numbers, and queues began to trail outside the main building once more. In March 1993, a reservations system was introduced, whereby visitors could prebook the date and time of their entry into Cadbury World, and eliminated much of the need to queue. From 1993 onwards, all publicity material for Cadbury World emphasised the reservations service and still strongly recommends that the visitor pre-book via the booking office telephone number or via the internet in order to avoid disappointment.
Whilst the reservations system had an immediate benefit, around 30% of admissions on a busy day would consist of visitors rolling-up (as awareness of the need to pre-book increased, the number of roll-ups has fallen to a more manageable of no more than 20% during peak periods). Indeed, during school holidays and bank holidays, it is not unknown for a visitor arriving at 10am without reservation to sometimes have to wait four hours before being admitted into the main exhibition.
Essence Launch, 2005
During these peak times, this allows the visitor to reverse their visit and visit the Essence and Bournville Experience zones (accessed separately from the main building), enjoy any complimentary entertainments, utilize the outdoor play area for those visitors with children, or pick up a map from reception and take a walking tour of places of interest in the Bournville area.
Within the main exhibition itself, the smoothing of the visitor flow has been a key consideration in the development of Cadbury Worlds features and shows with the introduction of new or updated sets in a process of continuous improvement to meet demands. Visitors are admitted to the exhibition at a maximum rate of 80 individuals at intervals of every 10 minutes. Thus, certain presentations such as The Cadbury Story and the following set: Making Chocolate, will accommodate up to 80 people seated, and last no longer than ten minutes including the audiences entry to, and exit from, each set.
The Cadabra ride is also carefully timed, to allow for an average of three passengers in each of the 12 cars (plus wheelchair-adapted car), and a circuit taking in the region of 5.5 minutes. All of this is careful orchestrated to ensure a steady and constant flow through the exhibition. On busy days, the delay from the slightest technical hitch on Cadabra is very difficult to recover, and this, with the queue of ticket holders in reception, is the main source of queuing nowadays in Cadbury World.
Ongoing Development & Continuous Improvement
Early improvements to Cadbury World were more reactive, addressing the issues raised by a new product from a company whose traditional expertise was not in the leisure industry. As time progressed, and as would be expected from a business unit whose parent company is a leading consumer brand, improvements became more proactive as the needs of the visitor changed and were driven more by a desire to offer the same service any visitor or leisure attraction would adopt. The first significant development occurred in 1993 when parts of the exhibition were moved up onto the ground floor of the East Cocoa Block, and renamed The Cadbury Collection.
Finally, some Cadbury-sponsored outdoor play equipment was recovered from the now defunct National Garden Festival of Wales in Ebbw Vale and used to expand the play facility. Early feedback indicated that Cadbury World was surprisingly adult in appeal, and, during 1993, plans were laid to create the first exhibition feature aimed specifically at younger children, up to age 10. The Fantasy Factory was opened in March 1994, to provide a childs eye view of the production of liquid chocolate, from bean to bar, using interactive techniques, and, with the mirror room, to provide a grand finale. The Fantasy Factory, circa 1995 (removed 2000)
In 1995, the child appeal was further increased by the installation of the Astros Set from the TV commercial that launched the brand in the UK, and then in 1997 with the opening of Cadabra, a Magical Cadbury Journey on specially constructed beanmobiles through various lands and scenes populated by the Cadbury World mascot the Chucklebean With the launch of Cadbury Land in July 2000, in a separate building to the rear of the site, and the complete replacement of the play area with a state-of-the-art themed play area, Cadbury World had achieved a shift in appeal to encompass the entire age range from 090 and beyond. Feedback from visitors in 2001 indicated that the attraction had shifted from a very adult profile, to a strong child profile. The improvements made to the attraction since 2001 have been of more adult interest in order to re-address this balance, whilst more recent additions and improvements have attempted to be cross-generational.
Attraction Structure Spring 2009
Cadbury World is now divided into 14 distinct and separate zones each dealing with a unique aspect of the history of cocoa and chocolate, the origins of the Cadbury business and the vision of its founding fathers, the production of chocolate and popular Cadbury brands, or just fully immersing the visitor in a truly chocolatey experience. Each zone broadly follows on from the previous one to give a logical and consistent story for the visitors self-guided journey. On entry to the main exhibition, the story of cocoa begins, in the jungles of Central America, in the area now known as Mexico.
The Aztec Jungle zone was re-laid in January 2005, to incorporate water features and a more detailed explanation of the culture and beliefs of the various peoples who lived there up to the time of the Spanish conquest. Moving on, the visitor goes into the Journey to Europe Zone describing the way that the taste for cocoa and chocolate eventually made its way to high society in England in Cromwellian times. This zone leads into the last remaining set from 1990, now known as Bull Street Zone, covering regency London and the earliest days of John Cadburys business in Birmingham in the 1820s in a re-creation of Victorian Birmingham.
Since 2001, the Cadbury Story Zone and Making Chocolate Zone, have controlled the visitorflow within the exhibition with automatic doors. Updated to include subtitles, these visually compelling Zones tell the story of the origins of the Cadbury business, the Factory in a Garden and the Quaker principles important to the development of the company, and the manufacturing processes involved in producing Cadbury chocolate. The Making Chocolate Zone is multi-sensory experience and was one of the first of its kind in the UK leisure industry. Exiting Making Chocolate, the visitor moves into the Manufacturing Zone (originally created in 2000) where they can select from a series of consoles various stories relating to the manufacturing of seven popular brands within the Cadbury product portfolio.
Walking up stairs (or accessing via the lift provided), the visitor stops off for their first souvenir photograph opportunity next to an over-sized version of the Cadbury World Chucklebean mascot before moving through a time tunnel (constructed 2005) to commemorate the 100 years of Cadbury Dairy Milk. Moving onto the Packaging Plant Zone, subject to scheduling, the visitor gets to see a snapshot of the real Bournville factory in operation as various Cadbury Dairy Milk products move their way along the conveyor belt on their journey to the outside world.
The visitor then makes their way to the Cadbara Zone (updated in 2008) consistently voted as being one of the most popular Zones and a second souvenir photograph opportunity Downstairs, the visitor has the chance to purchase their first two photographs before seeing a replica of a water well and learning more about Cadburys Ghana Well programme. Visitors often toss spare change into the replica well and to date, have helped Cadbury World to construct 15 wells to help improve the lives of the Ghanaian cocoa farming community (for more details on the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership, Cadbury Corporate Social Responsibility, Fair-trade and a case study on the Ghana Wells Programme, please visit www.cadbury.com)
Since mid-2004, the Demonstration Area Zone has allowed visitors to see how chocolate was made before mass-manufacturing methods were introduced. Here, the visitor can write their name in liquid chocolate and watch as skilled Cadbury World Chocolatiers hand-craft novelties which can be purchased later in the tour. As part of the programme of continuous improvement, in the summer of 2009, the next three sets comprising of the Happiness Room (2005), Coronation Street (built in 1996 and showcasing Cadburys ten-year sponsorship of ITVs flagship drama), and the Advertising Room (constructed in 2001) will be replaced by the Advertising Avenue Zone.
Advertising Avenue will give the visitor the opportunity to walk through a chronologically-themed lifesized street of chocolate houses, lampposts and trees as they enjoy the history of Cadburys advertising past from posters through to interactively-selected television commercials. In 2006, the Purple Planet Zone gave visitors the opportunity to participate in a uniquely interactive chocolate environment. Purple Planet allows the opportunity to play in chocolate rain, grow and care for a cocoa bean tree, and chase a Cadbury Creme Egg. Recent 2009 updates to Purple Planet see the inclusion of Magic Planet a touch-screen information terminal with content projected through an illuminated globe which provides an overview of Cadbury operations around the world and Mould Me, a capture of the visitors image digitally transformed to give the appearance of the visitor sculptured in chocolate. This provides the visitor with their third souvenir photograph opportunity which can be purchased at a later stage.
Exiting the main exhibition into the Worlds Biggest Cadbury Shop Zone, the visitor is presented with various retail offerings, merchandise and exclusive Cadbury World merchandise. In Spring 2009, various aspects of the shop were updated with specialised display units relating to Cadbury UKs Power Brands including Cadbury Dairy Milk, Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramel, Cadbury Milk Tray, and Bassetts Liquorice Allsorts and Jelly Babies. Upon leaving the Worlds Biggest Cadbury Shop, the visitor has the choice of either purchasing refreshments from Caf Cadbury (a 240-seat visitor restaurant offering a selection of both hot and cold meals and snacks) or walking outside of the main building and following the yellow painted footsteps to the final two zones.
The Essence Zone (constructed in 2005 and replacing Cadburyland) tells the story of the magical creation of Cadbury Dairy Milk before allowing the visitor to create their own confectionery concoction in a tub of liquid chocolate. Opened in 2007, The Bournville Experience Zone replaced the Cadbury Collection Museum and presents the unique creation of Bournville village through a series of models, multi-media view ports and videos as well as memorabilia from Cadburys past including John Cadburys original pestle and mortar used in his shop to create cocoa based concoctions in the early nineteenth century. With ample free parking space, an outdoor catering kiosk, the childrens play area, the Cadbury No. 14 train and a picnic area the grounds of Cadbury World offer the visitor plenty to see and do (with easy access to Bournville village) whilst they wait for their entry into the main exhibition or enjoy any complimentary entertainments.
Cadbury World is generally open between 315 and 325 days each year which tends to be every day from early February through to early November, and four or five days a week outside that time. It is necessary for there to be complete closure to the visitor from New Years Eve through to the third week in January, in which time major installations, refurbishment and renovations take place. Originally, Cadbury World opened every day except Christmas Day, for the same length of time each day.
However, experience of the natural patterns of business, and the waste of opening on a day when variable costs are likely to outweigh the marginal revenue from visitor attendance, has led to a distinctive schedule of opening times. At the quietest (offpeak) times, Cadbury World opens at 10.a.m. and ceases admissions at 3 p.m., or often 4 p.m., allowing the final visitors the opportunity to view the exhibition at their leisure, and browse the shop. Generally, closing time will be about 2 hours after the last admission. Average dwell time on site at Cadbury World is 3.5 hours currently. On busier days, particularly during the school holidays, opening hours are extended up to a maximum admission span of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The visitors are admitted at the maximum rate of 80 every ten minutes, which allows in excess of 3000 visitors. (For up-to-date information on Cadbury Worlds opening times please visit www.cadburyworld.co.uk)
Cadbury World & Education
Cadbury World is a company committed to education. Tracing back to 1879 and the move to Bournville, George Cadbury introduced the first employee and community education programme. Cadbury World has maintained this same enthusiasm and commitment to education to the present day. Whilst touring Cadbury World you will discover the history and heritage of the company and learn how it developed from a small Birmingham based business into a global company. Cadbury World feels that it is important to teach the young people of today about business and the way in which we operate. With the information we provide through visuals and exhibitions, we hope that it will give them a good understanding, which will then prepare them for the readily awaiting world of work.
One of the first attractions to be awarded the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge from the Council of Learning (www.lotcqualitybadge.org.uk), Cadbury Worlds Education offers have gone from strength to strength. Cadbury World is committed to the education of young people and has tailor-made packages to support the education needs from Key Stage 1 through to Key Stage 5 and beyond. Educators can bring their students for a standard visit around the exhibition complimenting this with downloadable workbooks, or can attend one of a series of talks from Aztecs to Victorians aimed at a Primary-level audience through to talks supporting various GCSE subjects national curriculum. Indeed, education talks have proved so successful over recent years that a second purpose-built education room was opening in January 2009 to accommodate growing demand. 9
Over the years, Cadbury World has won a number of industry-recognised awards from its offers, its services, through to its marketing and advertising campaigns. Recent awards and nominations include: 2008 (Finalist & Highly Commended) Access for All Category, Excellence in Tourism Awards 2008 (Bronze Winner) Gordon Radio Campaign, created by BIG, Cream Awards 2008 (Winner) You Cant Eat the Exhibits in a Zoo print campaign, created by Big, Roses Award 2008 (Runner Up) Recognition of Disability Facilities, Group Travel Awards 2007 (Finalist) Group Leisure Awards
Marketing Cadbury World
In the early 1960s, Professor Neil Borden at Harvard Business School identified a number of company performance actions that can influence the consumer decision to purchase goods or services. Borden suggested that all those actions of the company represented a Marketing Mix. Professor E. Jerome McCarthy, also at the Harvard Business School in the early 1960s, suggested that the Marketing Mix contained 4 elements: product, price, place and promotion, (Wikipedia). The 4 ps are good place to start when looking at any marketing strategy and its effectiveness. Overtime, the main concept of the 4 ps has developed to become the 7ps (with the inclusion of Process, Physical Evidence, and People).
As techniques and technology develops, even these 7 ps have been deemed too restrictive in terms of marketing analysis and now some commentators have even point to a recently devised Web 4.2 (the new 4 Ps) including Personalisation, Participation, Peer-to-Peer, and Predictive Modelling. Whilst not giving a comprehensive overview into Cadbury Worlds marketing strategy, broadly in-line with the relevant Ps of the marketing mix, the below gives an insight into the way Cadbury World goes about talking to visitors, potential visitors and generating awareness for its products and services.
As a leading tourist attraction, Cadbury World operates in a service industry and is almost unique in being owned by a major manufacturer. The product that Cadbury World delivers is a memorable, exciting and great day out; whereas for the main Cadbury business, the product delivered is chocolate, candy, gum brands and drinking chocolate products. The actual product Cadbury World delivers has been built up over nearly 20 years. As discussed in previous sections, it has changed, developed and evolved overtime. Whilst being intrinsically-linked to the main Cadbury business; Cadbury World as a profit-making business unit would not survive if it wasnt for the desire to offer a quality day out.