Cadbury World first opened its doors to the public in 1990. Opened among the Cadbury factory and the model village that is Bournville it is devoted to the story of chocolate and the history of the brand that is now part of the modern day culture.
Cadbury World is a cultural space because it’s based in a city where ‘’Cadbury means chocolate means fun’’ brings in the history of Cadbury past and present. It explains how the model village of Bournville was built for the employees of Cadbury and how they paved the way for better working conditions for their employees that filtered out across the UK in due course. It tells the story of chocolate in the UK and how it has become part of Britain’s culture, the home of Cadbury.
I visited Cadbury World on Monday 18th March 2012 as part of my ethnography research into how this place is a culture space. Across the 14 zones that I visited I learned more about Cadbury and how they deserve place in the culture history books, one for the improvement of working conditions and bringing the nation the well-loved chocolate brand.
I loved learning about John Cadbury and his first shop that opened on Bull Street, Birmingham to how they built what we know Cadbury to be. When observing other people throughout the tour I realised that there where many schools tours in operation that day. While queuing for the Essence part of the tour that explains the ‘’glass and a half full’’ logo I got talking to one of the teachers who wants to remain unidentifiable.
He said the visit was as much for him as the students. He explained that he wanted the children to know about how Cadbury was more than just chocolate but a place that brought about culture and change in Britain. Also observing parents with children the smiles and expressions on their faces let me see the impact that Cadbury World had on these people. It is place of culture, a place of fun, a place of history and a place that opens your eyes.
Observing of the advertising avenue it is easy to see how Cadbury’s advertisements have become as much as culture as they have. The zone shows the most famous advertising campaigns as you walk through a chocolate street of houses. You then enter a space where you can see all the television commercials from glass and half full productions that are as popular as the brand itself. Take the gorilla add for dairy milk that is simple yet has become the nation’s favorite Cadbury ad.
Emma Robertson author of Chocolate, Women and Empire: a Social and Cultural History agrees that chocolate ‘has been invested with specific cultural meanings which are in part connected to … conditions of production’. This quote just proves to me more that Cadbury World is a cultural space as it celebrates the history of a company started out in the streets of Birmingham and became the culture icon that it is today.