Just recently, Kurt, a cherished guest of our PL&C establishment and passionate chocolate soul, reminded me of a great book on chocolate I read some time ago. Did any of you read Deborah Cadbury’s detailed historical account of her family’s chocolate legacy in her book, Chocolate Wars? It was published a few months after Cadbury was sold to Kraft in Foods in January of 2010 for $600 million dollars creating the world’s #1 confectionery supergiant.
I highly recommend it, especially in light of the recent announcement made by Irene Rosenfeld, chief executive of Kraft Foods. Very interesting, indeed! Almost two years after selling frozen pizza to buy chocolate (read the book!), Ms. Rosenfeld has announced formal plans to split Kraft in two – #1.) Global snacks (Cadbury, Milka, Oreo among others), and #2.) North American grocery (Kraft Mac & Cheese, Oscar Mayer). Obviously, Cadbury has done very well for Kraft! I wonder what Roger Carr and Todd Stitzer might feel about this? They certainly fulfilled their obligation to the shareholders of Cadbury at the time of the sale (and made a pound or two for themselves), but at what cost to the business’s historical and ethical legacy? Perhaps, Deborah Cadbury is scripting a sequel to her fabulous Chocolate Wars!
I have read many books on the history of chocolate, but Chocolate Wars relates the specific history of the business of chocolate. This detailed narritive recounts the timeline of Mother Necessity’s amazing industrial inventions so vital to the manufacture of our Theobroma cacao into our beloved chocolate that we all now take for granted. It is my opinion that Ms. Cadbury gets a little long-winded in conservative philosophies and Quaker-isms, but I was, no doubt, mesmerized by her Dickens’s-like narrative.
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