Why People Stopped Buying Cadbury Creme Eggs

January 13, 2016, 4:11 PM UTC
April 3 2009- Cadbury Creme Egg - Cadbury World Factory and Museum, England for Travel Story. Need a
April 3 2009- Cadbury Creme Egg - Cadbury World Factory and Museum, England for Travel Story. Need a light table shot of the two eggs one opened with the filling spilling out. (Photo by David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Photograph by David Cooper — Toronto Star via Getty Images

Cadbury reportedly lost a huge chunk of sales last year after making a slight change to its recipe.

Sales of Cadbury’s Easter candy lines dropped more than $14 million from 2014 to 2015. Filled and shell Creme Eggs alone, which the company is most famous for, fell by more than $8 million, the Telegraph reports. Analysts at market research firm IRI attribute these losses to Cadbury’s classic Dairy Milk chocolate being taken out of the recipe and replaced with something else.

Mondelez (MDLZ), the British candy’s American owner, asserts that the recipe change has nothing to do with it. A company spokesperson told Fortune in a statement that “Cadbury remains the number one treat at Easter,” adding that a steep decline in sales was instead due to a shorter Easter “season.” It was supposedly two weeks shorter in 2015 than it was in 2014, and all the large chocolate brands saw revenues fall.

As for the recipe change, the spokesperson said that Creme Eggs have only been made with Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate six years out of their 45-year history. The company returned to the original recipe last year following consumer feedback.

Recovering sales is expected to be a difficult feat this year because Easter comes earlier than usual, making for a short season, and because new competition is entering the market from Mars and Ferrero. Claire Low, marketing manager at Mondelez, told trade magazine The Grocer that the company is fighting those obstacles by “[investing] in power brands” and “launching new seasonal products and a brand new Easter pack design.”

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