Inside the Chocolate Factory
In January 2018, slow TV premiered in Australia to critical acclaim with ‘The Ghan: Australia’s Greatest Train Journey’ luring 715,000 viewers – the highest-rating show on SBS in the previous 12 months. It was followed in January 2019 by ‘The Indian Pacific: Australia’s Longest Train Journey’, which peaked at 700,000 viewers, and ‘The Kimberley Cruise: Australia’s Last Great Wilderness’.
Enter ‘The Chocolate Factory: Inside Cadbury Australia’, a major deviation from the previous three iterations of slow TV on SBS. Instead of physical journeys across land and water, this time we’re following the journey of Cadbury’s Easter eggs and bunnies – from the sugarcane fields of Mackay in north Queensland to a dairy farm in Natone in northwest Tasmania and then to Cadbury’s factories in Hobart and Melbourne, where viewers will witness in all its decadence the Willy Wonka-inspired chocolate-making process.
Like its slow TV predecessors, this three-hour TV feast is sprinkled with fascinating chocolate-related facts and surprising multicultural stories. Among them are the Chinese tin miners who helped pioneer northern Tasmania, the Melanesian sugarcane farmers in north Queensland who were deported due to the White Australia policy and the amazing story of 900 Greek women who arrived by ship in 1957, all of them engaged to men they’d never met! On the chocolate narrative, we Australians consume 4.9kg of it each year…that’s the equivalent of 25 chocolate bars. And Cadbury is our No 1.
In sum, viewers will witness the seven main stages required to make chocolate – the sugarcane harvest; the sugar mill; the dairy farm; the milk plant; the crumb factory; the chocolate factory; and finally to market.
From old-fashioned machinery at the sugar mill in Mackay to the hi-tech robotic equipment used at the Cadbury factories, this is a visual treat as we watch 6,014 tonnes of cocoa, 87 million litres of milk and 54 million kilograms of sugar slowly transform into 477 million eggs and 14.6 million bunnies for Easter 2020.
Viewer advice: do not watch without chocolate.