The Chocolate Wars: Inside the Secret Worlds of Mars and Hershey

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9780006532392: The Chocolate Wars: Inside the Secret Worlds of Mars and Hershey

The first book to penetrate the secret and cut-throat world of chocolate.

After ten years of research, Washington Post reporter Joel Glenn Brenner takes us inside a world as mysterious as Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, where industrial spies jockey for inside information as paranoid executives fight an all-out war for market share.

Forrest Mars was one of the most private and successful entrepreneurs in America. An autocrat, with brilliant – if sometimes unconventional – management strategies, he built one of the world’s most innovative companies – a $10 billion a year empire, shrouded in secrecy. The day after he died of natural causes a Mars spokesperson refused even to admit that the founder had worked for the firm. Milton Hershey was a dreamer who wanted to create not just a company but an industrial paradise. After making an immense fortune his company is now controlled by a charitable trust whose profits fund the wealthiest orphanage in the world.

Never before has so much been revealed about the chocolate industry. This authoritative and eye-opening account is the best type of business narrative – a revealing, engrossing and unforgettable read.

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Review:

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.com

Review:

‘A rewarding read’
Sunday Business

‘An entertaining and meticulously researched account.’
Sunday Telegraph

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