Cadbury's Chocolate is Birmingham's Greatest Invention says Poll by LBC
What makes Brummies proud to call Birmingham their home? New research from LBC, Britain’s biggest commercial news talk station, shines a light on what residents love about the nation’s second city, now bidding to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
More than a third (36%) of people say that Cadbury’s chocolate is the city’s greatest invention, beating the steam engine (19%). Birmingham – described as The Workshop of the World – has a remarkable business heritage and the activities of philanthropists such as the Cadbury family have played a major part in this. The Cadbury manufacturing business was established in 1831 with its first warehouse in Crooked Lane and by the 1900s, more than 2,200 people were employed at the Bournville Site.
In the YouGov poll for LBC, more than half (52%) of 18-24 year olds choose Cadbury, which demonstrates an affection for the home-grown brand and an admiration for the entrepreneurial spirit that transcends generations. The Cadbury family, known for supporting and nurturing local business in Birmingham, have left a very important product legacy spanning almost 200 years, which still benefits the people of Birmingham today.
Supported by research from the University of Birmingham, the LBC poll also reveals what residents love most about living in the city. The parks and open spaces are the most popular answer, with almost half (49%) of people choosing them. Perhaps surprising to some non-residents, Birmingham has more open space than any other European city, with 571 parks covering 14 square miles.
Forty-one per cent of people and almost half (49%) of those in professional occupations say that Birmingham’s transport links ae what they love about the city. Its central location, the redevelopment of New Street Station, the ongoing success of Birmingham Airport and the removal of the infamous “concrete collar” of the inner-city-ring-road mean that Birmingham is well connected and easy to navigate via road, tram, rail and air.
Notably, the accent and sports teams are what people like the least about living in the city. Only 6% of residents select the Birmingham dialect and the city’s sports teams. Aston Villa’s relegation earlier this year means that this is the first season that the team are playing outside the Premier League since its inception in 1992-93.
Following the Brexit result in Birmingham which saw the city split 50-50, 18% of Birmingham residents feel that the general attitude of Brummies will do the most to unite people, while 15% choose the city’s internationally diverse culture. The younger age groups surveyed particularly champion diversity, making it the most popular answer for those under 40. Birmingham is the youngest major city in Europe, with under 25s accounting for almost 40% of its population and the city attracts a diverse population of 75,000 students.
Interestingly, nearly one in five people said that they don’t know what will unite people post Brexit which indicates a clear opportunity for the combined authority to bring the city together in uncertain times and continue the city’s growth.
LBC breakfast presenter Nick Ferrari said: “I’ve been coming to Birmingham for more than three decades and what strikes me now is the incredible vitality you see in the city. The redevelopment clearly has worked. It’s one occasion where government money has been well spent, but the great spirit of being a Brummie is still here. It really is a remarkable city and totally lays claim to the nation’s second city.”
John Bryson, Professor of enterprise and competitiveness at CityREDI, the University of Birmingham, said: “Birmingham has an incredibly rich and diverse history of people coming to the city to establish new lives and new companies which dates back to the 1600s. The city continues to lead in innovation, is one of the nation’s fastest growing economies and the results of LBC’s survey remind us of all that Birmingham has to offer.”