The locally-owned confectionery company that Kiwis don't know about it
As Kiwis mourn the loss of locally-made Cadbury Pineapple Lumps, a little-known sweets factory in Oamaru will be picking up the slack.
On Thursday, Cadbury owner Mondelez International announced it would be closing the Dunedin Cadbury factory next year, with the loss of more than 350 jobs.
Under the company's plan, the manufacturing of Pineapple Lumps and Jaffas will be moved to Australia.
Kiwis took to the internet to commiserate with Cadbury staff and boycott Cadbury products in favour of homegrown options.
wow cadbury is gonna be facing a huge drop in customers due to closing their nz factory. sad for the workers!! i love whittakers tho— heather 🐼 (@writingforart) February 16, 2017
But Rainbow Confectionery managing director Ray White said Kiwis were actually buying far fewer Cadbury Pineapple Lumps than they thought and it wasn't even Cadbury that invented them in the first place.
According to White, the very first pineapple chunks (as they were originally called) were made by Regina Confectionery Company in the 1950s in the factory now used by Rainbow Confectionery.
Nestle bought Regina Confectionery in 1995 and sold it in 2001, when it was relaunched as Rainbow Confectionery.
The factory pumped out more than 3000 tonnes of sweets every year, including 10 million Easter eggs, and supplied to supermarkets and The Warehouse.
Its products are largely unbranded, but sold under Homebrand, Pams and Planet Candy labels.
The company also supplied cafes with marshmallows and baby chocolate fish that accompanied hot drinks.
Ever bought lollies from supermarket bulk bins? Rainbow Confectionery made those too.
White said the company has just completed a major expansion project at the factory, which was timely given Cadbury's news.
He said once Cadbury leaves Dunedin, Rainbow Confectionery would be the largest provider of locally made sweets in the country and there were no plans for the company to go overseas.
Other chocolate manufacturers still operating in New Zealand included Whittaker's and Donovans Chocolate.
"There's no real alternative for locally-made Easter eggs and Pineapple Lumps. We will just have to gear up for the expectation and uplift of sales," White said.
He also confirmed that the company would be looking at offering jobs to Cadbury staff.