Cadbury India's five factories in India churn out close to 8,000 tones of chocolate and thecompany sells a million bars every day.But Bharat Puri, managing director of Cadbury India will never forget the batch of DairyMilk chocolates numbered 28F311 manufactured last year at the company's plant inThane, near Mumbai.That was the worm-infested batch that triggered a crisis for the company that had always prided itself on its squeaky clean image.The timing of the controversy couldn't have been worse. Festival season sales (Cadburysells almost 1,000 tonnes of chocolates during Diwali) plummeted 30 per cent.Until then, in the country's FMCG sector plagued by slow, low single digit top line and bottom-line growth, Cadbury was a sweet exception. But its net profit in 2003 dipped 37 per cent to Rs 45.6 crore (Rs 456 million) as compared to a 21 per cent increase the previous year. Now, a year later, Cadbury says that consumers have long forgotten the controversy andare back to their merry chocolate-chomping ways."Sales are back to the pre-controversy levels. Consumer confidence in the product is back and there has been a steady progression in sales," says Sanjay Purohit, head (marketing)Cadbury India. The company expects to close the year with a high double digit salesgrowth.
Cadbury began its operations in 1948 by importing chocolates and then re-packing them before distribution in the Indian market. After 59 years of existence, it today has fivecompany-owned manufacturing facilities at Thane, Induri (Pune) and Malanpur