Chocolate Wars

Chocolate Wars

The 150-year Rivalry Between the World's Greatest Chocolate Makers

Book - 2010
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The extraordinary and dramatic story of the chocolate pioneers -- as told by one of the descendants of the Cadbury dynasty -- ending with Kraft's recent takeover of the empire.

With a cast of characters straight from a Victorian novel, Chocolate Wars tells the story of the great chocolatier dynasties -- the Lindts, Frys, Hersheys, Marses and Nestles -- through the prism of the Cadburys. Chocolate was consumed unrefined and unprocessed as a rather bitter, fatty drink for the wealthy elite until the late 19th century, when the Swiss discovered a way to blend it with milk and unleashed a product that would storm every market in the world.

Thereafter, one of the great global business rivalries unfolded as each chocolate maker attempted to dominate its domestic market and innovate recipes for chocolate that would set it apart from its rivals. The contest was full of dramatic contradictions: the Cadburys were austere Quakers who found themselves making millions from an indulgent product; Kitty Hershey could hardly have been more flamboyant, yet her husband was moved by the Cadburys' tradition of philanthropy. Each company was a product of its unique time and place, yet all of them shared one thing: they want to make the best chocolate in the world.

Chocolate Wars divulges the visions and ideals that inspired these royal chocolate families and, above all, the mouth-watering chocolate concoctions they created that have driven a global transformation of one of our favourite treats. And with the recent purchase of Cadbury's by mega--food manufacturer Kraft, the story is brought rapidly into the present.

Publisher: Vancouver : Douglas & McIntyre, c2010
ISBN: 9781553655749
Branch Call Number: 338.76413374 CAD 2010
Characteristics: xvii, 348 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., ports. ; 24 cm

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zipread
Feb 11, 2015

Chocolate Wars --- by --- Deborah Cadbury. I never met a chocolate I didn’t like. By all accounts there must be a lot of people around the world who can say that: global consumption of the confection amounted to 7.2 million tons. The chocolate lovers are the Europeans: the Swiss, the Austrians and, oddly enough the Irish. Imagine consuming over 20 pounds per year as do the Swiss: 6 ounces of the “food of the gods” a week would sound pretty heavenly to a lot of chocoholics. Cadbury’s book, and yes she is a distant relative of the chocolate family, isn’t about chocolate per se. It isn’t so much about where it comes from or how cocoa finds it’s way into Dairy Milk and Snickers. Chiefly its about the history of the companies, like Fry and Rowntree; and of course, Cadbury. It’s about these British companies; how they grew from precarious beginnings often times teetering on the verge of insolvency; how they came to thrive; their struggle for market share as they grew their businesses alongside a nation’s growing sweet tooth and taste for chocolate; their effect on Britain as they grew model towns and dealt fairly with their employees at a time when most manufacturers dealt with their workers in an almost Dickensian manner. And lastly, it’s a tale of how the chocolate companies gobbled up one another to become mega companies until the few remaining players were themselves, like Cadbury with its English roots in Birmingham, was itself gobbled up by Kraft Foods and spun off to another company, Mondelez International, formerly a sweet part of the Kraft empire. Cadbury’s Quaker founders who believed in the dignity of man and in their responsibility to “give back” would probably not be impressed with their companies today, concerned not so much with producing a great product and being mindful of the welfare, both temporal and spiritual of those in their employ, but rather, preoccupied with spinning the maximum profit for shareholders. Reading this book provides no difficulty. The tale of these companies is an interesting one and that is reflected in the book's readability: it is never obscure. Very helpfully, author Cadbury provides a wealth of bibliographic references and a very thorough and helpful index that makes it easy to navigate this volume as a work of reference. Enjoyable too!

s
StarGladiator
Jan 23, 2014

" . . .when the Swiss discovered a way to blend it with milk and unleashed a product that would conquer every market in the world." The Swiss? Might have known. . .

b
bswinca
Nov 24, 2011

A really interesting picture of early business morality and the role that Quakers played in developing modern business practices and the social responsibilities of big business. It's especially timely with the Occupy Wall Street protests and the current emphasis on what constitutes 'fair' executive compensation.

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