Kiwi confectionery supplier 'very disappointed' over Mondelēz decision

A Kiwi confectionery supplier believes it has been overlooked in a decision to move the production of iconic treats such as Jaffas and Pineapple Lumps to Australia.

On Tuesday, Mondelēz announced the Cadbury manufactured confectionery would be produced in Australia after failing to secure a local supplier because of "the unique [production] requirements of [the] products particularly the marshmallow based products - meant it simply wasn't possible."

Rainbow Confectionery, based in Oamaru, says it "worked very hard to try and find a way for us to contract manufacture these products" to continue making the Kiwi treats in New Zealand.

"There is nothing special about the manufacturing process that through minimal investment we could have achieved," Rainbow Confectionery general manager Brent Baillie said in a statement.

"We completely understand the unique requirements of these products  particularly the marshmallow-based products and it is simple to replicate."

Lollies, Oamaru
Rainbow Confectionery in Oamaru. Photo credit: Facebook

Mondelēz New Zealand Country Head, James Kane said following the announcement it did a long and "extensive search" looking for a suitable candidate to take the contract. 

"The full portfolio is actually quite complex, some are marshmallow based, some are starch based, others are candy so the whole range is relatively complex and that did add an extra bit of difficulty," he said.

"What we found was there is just a lot of differences in the way we manufacture versus others so to be able to bring those two process together in the timeframe required was just a bridge too far."

Rainbow Confectionery says despite the concerns over whether it would be able to produce the Cadbury products, it points out Rainbow Confectionery makes the original product "Pineapple Chunks" made in Oamaru since 1953.

"Rainbow Confectionery are in fact the largest manufacturer of pineapple confectionery," Mr Baillie added.

"The company's product portfolio includes gummies and jelly lollies such as party mixes, planes, marshmallow products including Easter Eggs and chocky fish, as well as being the only New Zealand manufacturer of Jelly Beans."

Mondelēz says it's hoping to move production across the ditch early next year.