The end of quality chocolate?

November 22nd, 2009 by Kelly Serjeantson

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I just finished reading an op-ed in the New York Times by Arthur Lubow fretting about the proposed takeover of British candymaker Cadbury.

For those who aren’t aware, both Kraft and Hershey are in the running for Cadbury. Cadbury, founded in 1824, has a long history of quality and is an institution in Great Britain.

Now, with profits and shareholders perhaps being put before quality, chocolate lovers everywhere could be souring on this takeover.

Arthur Lubow fears seem to be well founded. In 1997, the Scharffen Berger company was founded on the premise to deliver high quality chocolate to consumers.

According to Lubow, when revenues hit $10 million in 2005, Hershey made an offer to purchase the company with the promise not to change the quality of the brand.

Soon Lubow, a avid fan of Scharffen Berger chocolate bars, started to notice a change in the quality.

The texture was chalky. The cherry notes had vanished. It was becoming just another mediocre American chocolate.

Now it seems Hershey/Ferrero deal may go ahead with Cadbury leaning towards Hershey over Kraft.

Cadbury, which was once the chocolate of choice of Queen Victoria, may be just another footnote in history.

God save our chocolate.