April 4, 2024

Our blog post highlights ten Indian news articles headlining the occurrence of worms or insects in Cadbury chocolates in India.


Figure 1 Almond month (Cadra cautella) larva – Image courtesy: Todd Gilligan, LepIntercept, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org

Our research on the above subject showed that since 2003, there have been numerous consumer complaints from across India of Cadbury chocolates with worms or insects.

We found the following ten news articles on insect issues in the popular Cadbury chocolate brand between 2003 and 2024, showing that the occurrence of insects in the product has been recurring for over two decades.

In our blog post, we have listed the date, the news article headline, its summary, and the link for readers interested in reading the original article.

News article 1:
October 8, 2003

No worms in chocolates, says Cadbury

The Maharashtra State Food and Drug Administration, acting on consumer complaints of insects in Cadbury chocolates in Mumbai, tested samples from a store and found them infested. However, the manufacturer Cadbury India Limited denied the FDA report, claiming its factory samples were free of infestation.


News article 2:
October 12, 2003

Worms creep out of Cadbury

After the incidence of insects in chocolates in Mumbai, a Nagpur Cadbury retailer checked their refrigerated product stock and found that most of it had become infested with insects.


News article 3:
October 14, 2003

Yet another chocolate with worms!

This article reports on insects in chocolate that a doting grandfather in Mumbai offered his granddaughter on a festive occasion.


News article 4:
October 21, 2003

Choco worm reaches Calcutta

This article reports how recipients of chocolate bars from a Calcutta consumer reported insects in one of the five bars purchased.

This incident was reported soon after the one in Mumbai, which led to publicity about the occurrence of insects in Cadbury chocolates.


News article 5:
October 31, 2003

Worms found in Cadbury Cashew Magic

A Bengaluru girl who received Cadbury Cashew Magic chocolates found insects in the chocolate nuggets.

The State Food Laboratory had confirmed that the product was unfit for human consumption due to insect infestation and fungal development.

As per James Alexander, the chief chemist and public analyst at the Bangalore City Corporation (BCC), its Food Adulteration Unit had earlier received two more insect-infested Cadbury product samples during the month.

He added that the sampling and testing by the BCC indicated that the infestation may be sporadic and could be due to poor packaging, storage, or even ingredient quality.

The BCC officials also opined that chocolates with dry fruits and nuts appeared more susceptible to insect infestation.


News article 6:
May 22, 2013

Cadbury India investigates worm claim

This article says that Cadbury India Limited was investigating a complaint of insect larvae in its product reported on Twitter.


News article 7:
September 2, 2015

Chocolate bar infested with worms – Six-legged surprise in Chocolate Bar Nation

This article reports the presence of a cockroach inside a chocolate bar at Coimbatore


News article 8:
October 12, 2018

Hyderabad: Worm found in Cadbury chocolate

A boy whose father had purchased a fruit and nut chocolate found insect larvae in the bar, but the store where they purchased the chocolate could not respond properly to the boy and his father.


News article 9:
May 25, 2022

Wormy chocolate: Bengaluru man seeks Rs 50 lakh relief for Rs 89 bar

This incident of insects in chocolate pertains to a purchase by a Bangalore consumer in October 2016.

Of the two Cadbury Fruit and Nut Bars he gave to his niece, one had insects that the consumer, Mukesh Kumar Kedia (Kedia), photographed and shared with the manufacturer, Cadbury India Limited (now Mondeleez India Foods Limited).

Not satisfied with Cadbury’s response, Kedia approached the Bangalore Urban District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in October 2016.

When the commission gave its verdict, it said it had no jurisdiction to hear a claim of INR 20 to 50 lakhs claimed by Kedia and directed him to approach the consumer forum in Bangalore.


News article 10:
February 11, 2024

Hyderabad man finds live worm in Dairy Milk Chocolate, Cadbury replies

The latest incident of insects in Daily Milk Chocolate pertains to Robin Zaccheus (Robin) finding a live insect larva in a bar of Dairy Milk Chocolate he purchased in Hyderabad.

Robin posted a photo of the insect-infested bar with the proof of its purchase and tagged the product, his city and its officials, the city metro company and the store from where he purchased the product.


Giridhar Pai Associates’ observations about ‘worms’ in Cadbury chocolates in India:

Here are our observations about the different incidents of insects in Cadbury products over the past two decades.

⦁ Insects have occurred in various Cadbury products, though they seem more common in the Dairy Milk brand. Insects also occurred in Fruit and Nut Bars and Cashew Magic.
⦁ Barring one cockroach in chocolate, the rest all seem to be of stored product insect larvae (worms) of Ephestia cautella (or the almond moth).
⦁ Complaints of insects in Cadbury products have been reported across India, including Mumbai, Nagpur, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad, indicating it is not a localised issue.
⦁ Refrigeration of the product doesn’t seem to prevent infestation as a retailer at Nagpur checking for infestation found refrigerated stock was also infested.
⦁ With the advent of the World Wide Web and social media, consumer complaints are now recorded online and available for review later. The worldwide web doesn’t let consumers or brands forget about product complaints like ‘worms’ in Cadbury chocolates.
⦁ The complaints above are only a sample and likely do not constitute all or most of the incidents with Cadbury products.
⦁ When consumers read about an issue they encounter, like insects in chocolate, they are more likely to report it to news media or social media to draw the attention of other consumers.
⦁ There is an incorrect assertion by the product manufacturer that the retailer’s storage condition is causing infestation through cross-infestation from grains without sharing any investigation report for reaching such a conclusion.
⦁ In most cases, the insect infestation seems inherent to the product and arises from the Cadbury chocolate supply chain and not just due to retailer storage conditions.
⦁ Modern Indian consumers are now more likely to use social media, approach the government, and initiate litigation if there are defects in the products they purchase, like ‘worms’ in Cadbury chocolate they purchase.

As a leading Indian pest management brand promoting innovative food safety solutions, Giridhar Pai Associates (GPA) has published this blog post to create awareness about insects in food products like Cadbury chocolates.

GPA supplies Storgard Insect Monitoring systems, including the IMM+4 Pheromone Lures and Gumtree Traps’ SPP Diamond Trapp for monitoring Ephestia elutella or the almond moth.

As the almond moth occurs throughout the supply chain from raw material to consumer home, Indian chocolate brands must monitor it using the SPP Diamond Trapp and the IMM+4 pheromone lure. You can contact us with your requirements for these products through our website contact form.

Regular almond moth monitoring through pheromone traps establishes the pest’s population and seasonal variation.

Pheromone trap monitoring also alerts consumers regarding the presence of infested products and the need for action to prevent the supply of infested chocolates.

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