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Mondelez CEO Toys with Kosher Cadbury Eggs Idea

Thu, 04/03/2014 - 1:48pm
CANDICE CHOI, AP Food Industry Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — If there's kosher for Passover Coke, could Cadbury Creme Eggs be a possibility as well?

Irene Rosenfeld, the CEO of Cadbury owner Mondelez, addressed the matter in a light moment after a speech to a gathering of Reform rabbis on Wednesday, in which she discussed how her Jewish background shapes her personal and professional life.

Rosenfeld noted that the nature of the production process for Cadbury eggs would make it difficult to offer a kosher for Passover variety of the chocolate candy. But she added that the company is always looking for ways to make its products "accessible to as many people as possible."

"It's certainly within the realm of possibility," she said at the Convention of Central Conference of American Rabbis in Chicago.

A representative for Mondelez International Inc. noted that Rosenfeld was speaking only about production of Cadbury eggs overseas. In the U.S., the manufacturing of the brand is licensed to The Hershey Co.

In the speech, called "Moses, Madoff and Mondelez," Rosenfeld talked about the influence of three Jewish principles on her professional philosophy, including the "Golden Rule" of treating others how you wish to be treated.

She also recounted some of the more trying experiences in her career, such as the intense media scrutiny she came under from the British press when leading a hostile takeover of Cadbury in 2009. She attributed the frenzy to an "anxiety about this very brazen American woman, who was trying to take over a British icon."

To duck in and out of the country without detection, Rosenfeld said she used a number of "cloak-and-dagger" methods. She didn't fly into major airports, for example, and checked into hotels under the alias "Debbie Friedman," which is also the name of Jewish singer.

She fielded a few questions after the speech, including one about the possibility of kosher for Passover Cadbury eggs.

"There's a lot of work involved in making a Cadbury chocolate product," Rosenfeld explained. "Our ability to kosher every aspect of it is a little bit challenging. But stay tuned."

It's not clear what changes would be needed to make the offering a reality. Among the ingredients listed for Cadbury Creme Eggs on Hershey's website is high-fructose corn syrup, which is what makes Coke unacceptable for people who are sticking to kosher diets during Passover.

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