NHS Supply Chain – the firm behind supplying UK hospitals – has refused to stock the treats after owner Mondelēz International put up its prices, it claimed.
A statement on the NHS Supply Chain website said: “Mondelēz had requested a price increase and, as we are not prepared to accept price increases on behalf of our customers, the products are now being delisted with immediate effect.
“All products in the Cadbury chocolate range from this supplier will be unavailable to order with immediate effect.”
‘Unavailable to order’
NHS Supply Chain supplies about 140 health trusts in the UK with Cadbury products, which are sold in hospital cafes and vending machines.
The delisting followed efforts by the company to find £300M worth of savings.
A Mondelēz International spokesperson said: “We do not comment on customer communications or confidential customer conversations.”
It is understood by FoodManufacture.co.uk that Cadbury chocolate bars have not been banned from NHS retailer outlets, contrary to some reports. In addition, franchises that operate within NHS sites will not be affected.
While NHS Supply Chain will no longer stock the products, hospital stores may still choose to buy products from alternative wholesalers.
The possible removal of Cadbury products from NHS hospitals comes 15 months after the health service provider proposed a tax or ban on soft drinks high in sugar, a move strongly opposed by the British Soft Drinks Association.
Such a ban or tax would include all drinks with added sugar, such as fruit juices, sweetened milk-based drinks and sweetened coffees.
Meanwhile, earlier this month, Mondelēz was looking for four chocolate tasters to test out new inventions from its brands, including Cadbury, Oreo, Milka and Green & Black’s.