Cadbury Double Decker
Illustration: Prajna Ghosh | ThePrint
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New Delhi: When you think of chocolates in the Indian context, it is almost impossible to look past a more ubiquitous brand than Cadbury.

Currently owned by food and beverages conglomerate Mondelez, Cadbury’s origins date back to 1824, when John Cadbury opened a grocer’s shop in Birmingham, England. Among other things, he sold cocoa and drinking powder that he made himself.

Cadbury first entered the Indian market in 1948 and the rest is history.

In August this year, a popular Twitter account — Indian History Pics — posted a Cadbury advertisement poster from the year 1980.


While two of the chocolates shown in the ad — 5 Star and Milk Chocolate (the precursor to the iconic Dairy Milk of today) — are instantly recognisable, not many today would have heard of the third one — Double Decker.

Sharing the Cadbury poster tweet, Sachin Kalbag, Executive Editor, Hindustan Times, wrote: “BRING BACK DOUBLE DECKER!”

Kalbag’s sentiments were echoed by several other Twitter users, some of whom asked for a revival of the Double Decker while others referred to it as “underrated” and “better than 5 Star”.

‘Product struggled with an identity crisis’

The Double Decker was first launched in 1976 and is a loose reference to the buses that define the streets of London and other English cities.

“A contrasting combination of crispy cereal and soft, pillowy nougat, layered up and coated in smooth Cadbury milk chocolate, giving you two bars in one!” Cadbury’s UK website says about the product.

In India, the Double Decker formed part of Cadbury India’s ‘Count Line’, which was one of three broad divisions of the company’s products, former Cadbury India employee Aalok Wadhwa told ThePrint. The other two divisions were — the Moulded Line (focusing on chocolates like Dairy Milk) and Beverages (focusing on Bournvita, drinking chocolate etc).

Having spent four and a half years as a marketing trainee and later the regional product manager from 1986 to 1990, Wadhwa revealed that he was responsible for overseeing the three major products of the Count Line (5 Star, Krisp and Double Decker), as well as Cadbury’s Eclairs.

“5 Star was the division’s flagship product and by far the most profitable. Double Decker had been introduced to flank [as a supporting product to] 5 Star, while Krisp catered to the older crowd,” Wadhwa said.

While several users on Twitter expressed nostalgia for the Double Decker, Wadhwa added that the product struggled with an identity crisis within the division, in light of 5 Star’s success, although he did not wish to pin-point any single reason for its eventual discontinuation in India.

“Customers didn’t really warm up to [the Double Decker] compared to 5 Star. It was seen as a ‘loser brand’ within the company,” Wadhwa said, noting that the product name didn’t seem to catch on.

The Double Decker was discontinued in India sometime after Wadhwa’s departure from Cadbury. For those in India who grew up enjoying the product and want to relive those experiences would need to order it from the UK (where it remains in circulation).

(Edited by Neha Mahajan)

Also read: Coffee, orange, milk to Ecuador, Peru — how Amul’s ‘dark revolution’ changed the chocolate game


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