The Cadbury Factory tour is one of the big must-sees for visitors to Tasmania. So we faithfully made our booking and drove to Claremont (about 20 minutes from the Hobart CBD). Upon arriving there we were amazed to see the carpark choc-a-block! It's a very popular place!
I could barely contain my excitement! Everything there is delicious Cadbury purple, even the visitor information sign...
We went inside and paid our $12.50 each (a real bargain, I think!), took a seat, and waited for our tour guide to arrive. When she did, she told us all about how we were entering a real food production facility and that we couldn't take any jewellery, bags, cameras, phones or anything on the tour. Fair enough. I wouldn't want to find someone's yucky earring inside my Turkish Delight! Then she handed out a very fetching hair net to each person, and a "beard net" to the one gentleman who needed it.
Because of the camera (et al) ban, I don't have any photos from inside the factory. But I have the memories! At Claremont, Cadbury make their family blocks and their small chocolates (including Roses, Favourites and Freddos). Their other products (including Easter eggs) are made at other locations.
On the tour we walked around various areas of the factory and got right up close to the chocolates whizzing around.
We learned, and saw, how chocolate is made. Apparently the secret behind really delicious smooth chocolate is a process called conching. This is where the hot liquid chocolate is mixed in huge vat type vessels for extended periods to make it nice and smooth. We also saw some of the small chocolates being made. The first were Turkish Delights. The centre jelly is poured into moulds, cools, and is tipped out onto a conveyor belt. It moves along onto a grid section where melted chocolate is splashed onto the bottom of the jelly and more melted chocolate is poured over the top to cover the jelly centre. We also saw vanilla fudge (one of the Roses collection) being coated in the same manner.
We learned lots of interesting Cadbury facts along the way:
- The company was started by Quakers and has been practising job rotation for over 100 years. (Apparently Quakers were early adopters of staff welfare principals.) Staff doing routine work like packing chocolates into cartons will only work at each station for 30 minutes before moving onto another task.
- The factory's waste ratio is only 2%. This is largely because if plain chocolate products (eg: Dairy Milk family blocks) are produced out of specification (eg: underweight or broken) they are melted down and re-moulded.
- Roses are wrapped at a mind-boggling rate of 500 per minute.
After the tour finished, we got our belongings back and were let loose in the chocolate shop! Our best purchase was a 5kg box of seconds for $35. At $7/kg, I think this represents excellent value - cheaper than many fruits and vegetables, even! We also bought lots of goodies at the souvenir shop (where everything is purple!), include a Cadbury stubbie cooler for my mum, a Caramello Koala and Freddo Frog bib for our neighbours' new baby, and a groovy purple "green bag" for me!
Here's the 5kg of chocolates:
Here's me and my new best friend:
(Note the Cadbury-purple bench!)
The Cadbury tour was terrific fun. It was informative, interesting, delicious and really exciting. I'd highly recommend it!
PS. I had to stop and take this photo just down the road from the factory for my mum. Yes, it's a retirement village on Cadbury Road. The perfect spot for a lifelong chocoholic like my mum to retire!