Cadbury’s Creme Egg Café is an ill-thought-out marketing stunt
They over-egged it
Cadbury’s are the latest company to jump on the branded café bandwagon, with Marmite, Ikea and Grey Goose already having created pop-ups across the capital.
The Soho store opened on Friday, and with tickets selling out within an hour of going on sale, its opening was never going to come quietly. The café’s opening fell precisely a year after Cadbury’s were attacked for allegedly changing their recipe, and many have seen it as a way of getting their fans back on side. Angus Kennedy, a chocolate expert, shares this view and said: “The café feels like a stunt, an attempt to get people talking about Creme Eggs, not about the recipe change.”
The store is split across three levels, with a takeaway service on the first floor, seated dining on the second and a ball pit on the third – the obvious highlight. Space is at a premium, giving a very claustrophobic and stuffy feel. Mario, 32, from London, was the first in the queue. When asked what had possessed him to come to the opening, he said: “I absolutely love Creme Eggs, so does the girlfriend – she bought us tickets.” But not everyone was as excited as Mario. Olivia, who had come from Brighton, said: “I hate Creme Eggs, they’re disgusting. I don’t even want a photo – I don’t have Instagram.”
The café didn’t just have the usual Creme Eggs on offer, but several sickly dishes all based around the chocolate treat. The egg-stravagant menu – Cadbury’s words not mine – consisted of a Creme Egg tray bake, Creme Egg and strawberries, Creme Egg with dippy soldiers, and Creme Egg toastie, all of which cost £4 each.
The 457 calorie toastie is certainly the best on offer, tasting similar to a chocolate croissant, but even that wasn’t particularly appetising. The Creme Egg with dippy soldiers was distinctly underwhelming as the bread was too limp for a successful and satisfying dip. The tray bake was quite dry and the Creme Egg and strawberries was literally a few cut up strawberries with a Creme Egg placed on top. Safe to say it won’t be winning any awards.
The ball pit on the top floor was without doubt the highlight, which speaks volumes. Claire Low, the marketing manager of the project, said the ball pit is where consumers “can really just let go and have fun with Creme Egg”. What does that even mean? The attention to detail inside is second to none, but the food itself is average at best, and surely this is what it should be judged on. It might be the season of Creme Eggs, but the café is a huge disappointment.