American food companies seem determined to make chocolate lovers hate them with a glowing-red passion. First we learned that Kraft, the American owner of iconic British chocolate company Cadbury, secretly changed the recipe of Cadbury Creme Eggs to make them most cost-effective, i.e., cheaper. Now CBS News brings us word that Hershey is close to winning a lawsuit against importers of British goods to prevent them from selling the British versions of Cadbury products.
Why is Hershey doing this, you ask? CBS News explains that “Hershey has owned the rights to make Cadbury in the U.S. for nearly 30 years, and has largely ignored specialty shops selling the British version,” although its attitude changed once it noticed that “those stores were taking an increasing bite of the company’s $7 billion business.”
Of course, Hershey could effectively shut this kind of operation down by acceding to consumers’ demands and making a version of Cadbury products that follows the classic British recipe. Instead, it’s decided to do what major American conglomerates usually do, which is to try ruining something good for everyone because it’s not getting exactly what it wants.
This is particularly tragic because Hershey has a well-earned reputation as the Bud Light of the chocolate world. If translated into the realm of beer, this case would be a lot like if Budweiser were able to successfully sue so that no one could drink traditional Irish Guinness and could only drink the watered-down swill stout made in Bud’s evil brew lab. In other words, this is a true loss for us all.