Rising energy prices, high priced imports, and increasing production costs looked set to bring Mondelez Internation Inc, the American multinational confectionary giant to its knees. Their gross profit down to just $2.589 billion for 2016 Q3, a decrease of $246 million from the same period last year.
The Financial Officer had to take action and quickly before this situation spiralled out of control. As with any company, an email was circulated with the subject line in capitals to show the importance of the situation. An emergency board meeting was called to address the stark downturn in the company’s fortunes and find a stroke of genius to rectify the balance sheet.
Hours passed as different departments argued over who was at fault for this. Marketing were targeted for not breaching the Antarctica region with their latest advertising campaign , R&D were blamed for not creating sweets with minus calories and Production was brought into focus for not doubling productivity from last year. The blame was passed round the table like a new-born child amongst middle aged men. Just how was this multinational going to turn their fortunes around?
The Accounting Director then spoke up, stating the one word to strike fear into every 90’s child across the UK and beyond and confirmed to the world that someone can exist without a morale conscience, ‘Freddos’.
What was the frog to expect this time? Still hurting over the loss of his pal the Tazmanian Devil in the mid Naughties, the ever-smiling amphibian was about to get thrust a trending hastag on Twitter. In the same 12 months of anomalies such as as Leicester’s long shot Premier League victory and President Trump’s ever more unexpected election success, it turns out along with taxes and death the other of life’s cruel constants is the price rise of the Freddo bar.
The news is heart breaking, but not unexpected. This writer recalls a fonder time when the confectionary treat cost a mere two shilling coin allowing the pockets to be filled with a Freddo, a Referesher, Bubblegum, the Beano and a Kwenchy Kup drink in exchange for just £1.
Compared to some larger sized bars from Cadbury the price rise doesn’t stand out. A 45g bar of Dairy Milk Chocolate now costs 65p and the 200g bar retails at £2.00. Understandably, the greater the quantity of chocolate you buy, the more you notice economies of scale working in your favour, shown in the table below:
|Weight of Chocolate||Price||Price Per Gram|
But the fury of my generation runs beyond the monetary value, the Freddo has lost what it once stood for. The frog used to be a cherished treat only seen when Mother’s change contained a 10p piece, she would hand me the 10p and let me indulge in the chocolate delight. I looked on enviously at the ‘adult’ chocolate bars but understood I would need a dramatic increase in pocket money to feast on them, for me the Freddo was ideal. I didn’t think that in 17 years’ time that the 0.58p per gram would look so unimaginable.Let’s not lose our minds over this, if the 5p increase causes anyone’s finances to collapse then I suspect there are bigger problems than the Freddo situation. I myself have taken the necessary steps and reviewed my finances for the year based on a Freddo purchase once every fortnight I am required to make cuts of £1.30 to fund my addiction. In other words, at some point over the next 12 months I will need to pass on getting a McFlurry along with my McDonalds meal. With a well-structured budget this latest price rise can be overcome.
The froggy chocolate bar will always be remembered as a pillar of the confectionery world. Today, in post-Brexit Britain, we and our children need a constant like the Freddo now more than ever before.