Cadbury UK removed all words from the purple packaging of their Dairy Milk chocolate to highlight the crisis of loneliness in the UK, where research showed 225,000 elderly UK people will go a week without talking to anyone face-to-face

By Ian Horswill


Posted on September 9, 2019

Cadbury has removed all words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars and donated 30 UK pence per bar, the alleged saving, to Age UK after a report revealed that 225,000 elderly people will go a week without talking to anyone face-to-face.

“A friendly ‘hello’ or ‘how are you?’ is something most of us take for granted – it’s just part of every day life, but these latest figures show that hundreds of thousands of older people in the UK will spend today and the rest of this week alone, with no one to share even a few simple words with,” says Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, which partnered with Cadbury Dairy Milk to commission the research, in a statement.

The survey also revealed that 38% of seniors admit to feeling lonely at times as they’ve aged, with 12%, or about one in eight, agreeing that loneliness has kept them from leaving their home.

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In response, Cadbury UK removed all words from the purple packaging of their Dairy Milk chocolate. The new-look Dairy Milk packaging by Cadbury is part of a larger effort by the business to tackle the crisis of loneliness. The bars have been available at supermarkets across the UK since last Wednesday.

The Cadbury and Age UK campaign is also encouraging people to “donate their words” by reaching out and making an effort to chat with elderly people in their communities.

The survey found that even small, simple gestures can make a difference. Some of the actions that would help older people feel more confident when outside the home include:

  • Knowing their neighbours (38%)
  • Someone smiling or saying hello at a bus stop or in a queue (26%)
  • Neighbour stopping to say hello (24%)
  • Someone asking how their day has gone (21%)
  • “Loneliness can affect your health, your wellbeing and the way you see yourself – it can make you feel invisible and forgotten,” said Abrahams.

    “A friendly ‘hello’ or ‘how are you?’ is something most of us take for granted – it’s just part of every day life, but these latest figures show that hundreds of thousands of older people in the UK will spend today and the rest of this week alone, with no one to share even a few simple words with. That’s why Age UK’s expert advice and support services are so crucial and help people in all sorts of ways, every day of the year.”