Famous Cadbury flakes are now “too brittle” to make 99 cones, according to ice cream sellers across the country.
Some suppliers said the brand’s signature chocolate bar, synonymous with the classic ice cream cone, “feels different” and would be “embarrassing” for businesses.
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One ice cream maker said it was “embarrassing” to sell “broken” flakes, while another resorted to using “much denser” German chocolate bars.
Some ice cream sellers said the quality of Cadbury Flake 99s had declined since production moved to Egypt.
Parent company Mondelez International said it was investigating the issue, but warned that old stock may still be in circulation.
“They are all broken”
The wholesale box contained about 144 Flake 99s, but Katie Alston, who runs a van in Bognor Regis and is president of the Ice Cream Alliance, told the BBC she had to throw half away in some cases.
“We used to throw away 70 in a box because they all broke,” she said.
“I didn’t use Cadbury Flakes for the first time this year. It feels like a different product.”
Ms Alston also claimed the ice cream seller’s reputation must be upheld, saying “if you order 99, you want a good solid slice in it”.
John Taylor, owner of C&M Creamery Ices, also told the BBC: “You can’t give 99 points to someone who has crumbled ice cream. It’s embarrassing for someone selling ice cream.”
Lawrence Glauser, owner of Lorenzo’s Ices in East Yorkshire, said flakes were a “big problem” and he switched to his own German brand of chocolate bars.
“Customers don’t seem to mind that the German ones are much denser and don’t seem to fall apart as easily,” he said.
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Cadbury has been owned by Mondelez International since 2010 and has been producing the Flake 99 in Egypt since 2020.
The US multinational insists the recipe has not changed and that it takes quality issues “very seriously”.
A Mondelez International spokesperson said in a statement: “We care about our loyal customer base and take quality issues very seriously. Cadbury Flake 99 is a naturally fragile product and we have processes in place in our supply chain to avoid any breakage the more the better.
“We are aware that some customers have recently received product that did not meet our usual high standards. This issue has been resolved as we have improved our manufacturing processes, although some previous stock may still be in circulation.”
“We are liaising with our customers (wholesalers) to support those who may have been affected. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.”