The entire Northeast is in the process of being snowed in and Hershey’s has blocked U.K. chocolate imports. A lot of one-way tickets are being booked today.
According to The New York Times, the Hershey Company sued Let’s Buy British Imports (L.B.B.) for bringing in candy that infringed “on its trademark and trade dress licensing.” L.B.B. settled the suit by agreeing to halt imports of all Cadbury chocolate, as well as KitKat, Toffee Crisps, Yorkie bars and Maltesers. In other words, Easter is ruined, as is Christmas, Hanukkah, and your birthday—at least if your an Anglophile who appreciate the superiority of British mass-produced chocolates.
Hershey’s claims that the imports were rivaling the company’s cut-rate alternatives; for example, it says Toffee Crisp packaging looks too similar to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Yorkie sounds too much like York peppermint patties. The Hershey Company actually manufactures Cadbury chocolate in the U.S., but anyone who has tasted both knows that Hershey’s products are an insultingly poor imitation of the original.
The reason for the discrepancy is that Hershey’s adulterates the recipes, replacing delicious ingredients like milk and fat with crappy ones like sugar and preservatives. For example, these are the ingredients listed on a British Cadbury Dairy Milk bar: milk, sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, vegetable fats (palm, shea), emulsifiers (E442, E476), flavourings. And these are the ingredients on a Hershey’s Cadbury Dairy Milk bar: sugar, milk, chocolate, cocoa butter, lactose, soy lecithin, PGPR, emulsifier, natural and artificial flavor. Truly, the latter is an abomination that doesn’t deserve to carry the name Cadbury on the label.
People are upset, and rightly so. This new state of affairs will no doubt criminalize much of the population, as chocolate lovers are forced to enter the black market. At least two petitions have already been launched in protest.
But as devastated as expats and chocolate purists are, Americans should be even more incensed. Instead of listening to market demands, rising to meet the competition and improving its product, Hershey’s took out a rival with a cheap shot. It’s utterly unsporting, un-capitalist, and un-American—which is why this reaction is totally balanced and reasonable.
[via The New York Times]