‘Only the crumbliest, flakiest chocolate, tastes like chocolate never tasted before’, the iconic advert jingle boasted in the 80s.
Van owners up and down the country have reported issues, with one seller claiming he is now ‘too embarrassed’ to serve the substandard chocolate garnish.
Parent company Mondelez International has been making Flake 99 in Egypt since 2020 and insisted the recipe had not changed.
It said issues over excessive crumbliness had been addressed but warned that older stock might still be in circulation.
Rachel Brown as the ‘Flake girl’ promoting the iconic Cadbury’s Flake in a 1991 advertisement
Ice cream sellers are claiming that Cadbury Flakes are ‘too crumbly’ for their ’99 cones since production switched to Egypt
Van owners up and down the country have reported issues, with one seller claiming he is now ‘too embarrassed’ to serve the substandard chocolate garnish
It follows a shortage last year blamed on ‘supply chain disruptions’ after Mondelez moved most of its production of Flakes to a factory near Cairo and an increase in demand due to last year’s hot weather. Some ice cream sellers say they have been forced to use an alternative, after forking out around £16 for a pack of broken flakes. Wholesale boxes typically contain 144 Flake 99s.
Cadbury says the process for making Cadbury Flake is a closely guarded secret and no other manufacturer has managed to recreate it. It says no other chocolate bar can rival the ‘delicate, crumbly texture of a Cadbury Flake’.
But John Taylor, owner of C&M Creamery Ices in Harrogate, said: ‘You can’t give someone a ’99 with a broken Flake. It’s embarrassing for an ice cream man.’ Mr Taylor, who believes the quality of the product has deteriorated, added: ‘They’re crumbly by nature but they should be able to stand up to a bit of moving around,’ he said. ‘They’re charging top money for them, but they arrive as though they have been bounced off a cliff.
And Samantha Harrison, 50, owner of Sam’s Ices based in Derby, said the quality was ‘terrible’ since production had moved.
She said: ‘We have to keep them in the freezer but even then they just fall apart.’
Lawrence Glauser, owner of Lorenzo’s Ices in East Yorkshire, even had to resort to a ‘denser’ German imitation, telling the BBC: ‘I now serve trays of ice cream and sprinkle bits of Flake on top. I shouldn’t have to do that. I’m fed up of the wastage.’
Meanwhile, husband and wife team Martin North and Abby Beech, of Abbyo’s in Hessle, East Riding, moaned: ‘You physically can’t get [the Flakes] into the ice cream. As soon as you pick them up they fall apart.’
Apologising for any ‘inconvenience’, a spokesman for Mondelez said the issue ‘has been addressed following recent improvements to our production processes’.