Book: The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars by Joël Glenn Brenner
About: Brenner focuses on the tale of the cutthroat competition between the Mars and Hershey candy companies (who control 75% of the U.S. candy market) as well as provides an overview of this delicious industry and the history of chocolate.
Pros: Fascinating, well-written and has lots of great information such as:
- 90% of candy purchases are unplanned
- Mars only has one peanut butter product (peanut butter M&Ms) because the Mars brothers hate peanut butter
- The chocolate in M&Ms is designed so you'll eat lots of them at a time
- 3 Musketeers used to consist of 3 bars, chocolate, strawberry and vanilla but was changed to one chocolate bar after strawberry prices rose
- Different cultures prefer different qualities in their chocolate. Britons think that Hersheys is gritty and awful compared to their smoother Cadbury brand.
- Dove solid dark chocolate bars are made from a secret type of cocoa bean that Mars won't divulge
- Hershey has pretty much zero international presence. Someone from another country probably would have no idea about the brand
- Fittingly, candy corn was once called chicken feed
Will create a trip down memory lane with all the old candies brought up, like my missed favorite PBMax. I had no clue the candy business was so competitive and secretive.
Cons: Unsatisfying conclusion. Those looking for a book on candy will probably be disappointed as it is really a book about business.