LONDON - JUNE 23:  A photo illustration of a large bar of Cadbury's chocolate, taken on June 23, 2006 in London.  Over a million Cadbury chocolate bars are to be removed from shelves around the country after fears that they may be contaminated with salmonella.  (Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)
Cadbury Is The Real Factory Behind Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka Books
By Elias Nash
Roald Dahl's "Charlie And The Chocolate Factory" is arguably one of his most popular books, and it was famously brought to life on the big screen in the 1971 movie "Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory," and Tim Burton's "Charlie And The Chocolate Factory" in 2005. However, this story had its roots in real-life, stemming from Dahl's personal love of Cadbury chocolate.
Roald Dahl's ties to Cadbury go back to 1929 when, at the age of 13, he enrolled in Repton School, a boarding school in South Derbyshire, England. According to Biography, Cadbury used Repton students as a test audience for their latest chocolate creations, meaning Dahl received free candy while imagining a place that sparked his creativity.
Dahl once said in a speech, "I realized that inside this great Cadbury's chocolate factory there must be an inventing room, a secret place where fully-grown men and women in white overalls spent all their time playing around with sticky boiling messes, sugar and chocs, and mixing them up and trying to invent something new and fantastic." He also said he dreamed that "Mr. Cadbury" would bring him on as a business partner, bringing him fabulous riches.
Like Wonka's competition, Cadbury and rival company Rowntree routinely sent undercover agents to work in each other's facilities during the years that Dahl was falling in love with chocolate. When Dahl reached adulthood, he realized that the candy business, like so many others, was less about imagination and more about earnings, something he greatly resented, and sought to critique in the form of Wonka's pernicious rivals.