We love packaging, we love history, we love packaging history. You can trace the development of a business (and its brand) through its packaging. What it eventually arrives at is singular and unique, something worth paying attention to and remembering. We like to call that iconic packaging, and we’d like to share one of our favorites with you.

Iconic Packaging; The Start

cadbury dairy milk iconic packaging

Cadbury began making milk chocolate bars in the late 1890s, packing them in decorated boxes for sale. After some experimentation, they developed a chocolate bar with a higher proportion of milk than previous candy bars. Seeing the opportunity to set this chocolate apart from all others, the name Dairy Milk was born.

Dairy Milk began its life sold in large unwrapped blocks that could be broken down into penny bars. As demand for easier-to-handle candy grew, a continental-style parcel wrap consisting of a pale mauve background with red script became its go-to packaging design.

Iconic Packaging: Chocolate Ascending

cadbury dairy milk iconic packaging

With its popularity beginning to soar, Dairy Milk moved to using a purple and gold wrapper—the same style that would stick with the brand permanently. As its line began to expand, Fruit and Nut joined the Dairy Milk family in 1925, with Whole Nut following soon after in 1933.

cadbury dairy milk iconic packaging

Due to their enormous success, unsurprisingly, Cadbury quickly became the brand leader in the United Kingdom.

cadbury dairy milk iconic packaging

With their recipe perfected, Cadbury knew they had a good thing going. Leaving the chocolate unchanged, they focused on improving and updating their Dairy Milk packaging to reflect the changing times. Moving from just a paper wrapper in the 20s, they introduced a layer of silver foil in the 30s, eventually graduating through the 60s and 70s to a layer of eye-catching gold foil.

Iconic Packaging: The Present Day

cadbury dairy milk iconic packaging

Dairy Milk bars changed to a full-colour plastic wrapper in 2009 to ensure freshness, the first radical change in its packaging style in decades—though it still kept a paper wrapper style in some of its packaging styles. This was followed in 2012 by a re-shaping of the bar chunks into more circular shapes to reduce the bar weight—this was even more significant, as the bar hadn’t seen a major change in shape since its introduction back in 1905.

Finally, in 2013, Cadbury began a personalization option for its Dairy Milk bars. Here’s how we’d like to think The Packaging Company edition would look:

cadbury dairy milk iconic packagingairy milk iconic packaging

Talk about truly iconic packaging.

So, what packaging do you think is worthy of iconic status? Tag us on social media or comment below and let us know!

BTW – Love Vegemite? A Dairy Milk bar with it and caramel was launched in Australia in 2015. Enjoy mate!