After eight years of investigation, the first ever account of two of the leviathans of a multi-billion dollar industry penetrates the secretive and cut-throat world of chocolate.
Mars Inc is a multinational, multibillion-dollar empire. Bigger than such corporate giants as McDonald’s and Kellogg, it has 18% of the UK confectionary market led by its most famous eponymous chocolate bar.
Hershey, now its main rival, was once a close ally but after the split Hershey built its success by stealing top executives away from Mars. Now Hershey is suing Mars in federal court, claiming that they have illegally copied the packaging of Hershey’s famous Reese’s Peices for use on Peanut Butter M&Ms.
Since Mars was founded in 1922 by Frank Mars, the family have amassed a fortune reputed to be worth $12.5 billion – the 5th largest in the world. Hershey is now owned by a charitable trust whose profits fund the wealthiest orphanage in the world.
Mars is now run by Frank’s two grandsons and the family values, precepts and eccentricities permeate every aspect of the business. A pinhole in a Snickers is cause enough to destroy an entire production run and until now employees had been forbidden to talk about their work to outsiders.
The CIA once prepared a special report on the Soviet chocolate market for Mars, in violation of its own politics, while in the 1940’s and 50’s Hershey sold chocolate extracts to pep up Coca Cola and improve the flavour of cigarettes.
Never before has there been a detailed account of life behind the previously closed corporate doors of these giants of chocolate, where industrial espionage and covert operations are favourite weapons in the battle for market share…
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The chocolate wars between industry giants Hershey and Mars are anything but sweet. In The Chocolate Wars, Joël Glenn Brenner reveals the bitter legal and marketing fights, palace intrigue, and personality clashes that dominate Hershey and Mars--and the candy industry as a whole. A talented writer and dogged researcher, Brenner concludes that after decades of competition between the two companies, the drama still is unfolding. Will Mars--privately held and publicity shy--be the ultimate winner with its global game plan? Or will it be Hershey--publicly traded and philanthropy- minded--with its aggressive strategy of growth by acquisition?
Brenner, a former Washington Post financial reporter, tells the stories of how Forrest Mars Sr. and Milton S. Hershey turned their two companies from small family businesses into international forces over the last century. While they may have started small, their products-- Mars' Snickers and M&M's and Hershey's milk-chocolate bars and Kisses-- are ubiquitous. Hershey was a benevolent philanthropist who spent hundreds of millions to create a town and orphanage to fulfill his altruistic dreams. Mars was a short-tempered perfectionist who yelled at anyone who failed to meet his standards. "What made Forrest's blood rush was the thrill of mastering new opportunities and taming uncharted worlds," the author writes. "Like Milton Hershey, he was driven by his visions; but where Milton Hershey saw utopia, Forrest Mars saw conquest." Nine years in the making, The Chocolate Wars is a satisfying read about the two titans of the chocolate world and how they capitalised on our love of sweets. --Dan Ring, Amazon.comReview:
‘A rewarding read’
‘An entertaining and meticulously researched account.’
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Book Description HarperCollins, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110002553511