The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars

The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars

Corporate candy giants Milton Hershey and Forrest Mars built business empires out of one of the world’s most magical, sought-after substances: chocolate. In The Emperors of Chocolate, Joël Glenn Brenner–the first person to ever gain access to the highly secretive companies of Hershey and Mars–spins a unique story that takes us inside a world as mysterious as Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Packed with flavorful stories and outrageous characters that give the true scoop on this real-life candyland, The Emperors of Chocolate is a delectable read for business buffs and chocoholics alike. Start reading and you’ll soon be hungry for more.The chocolate wars between industry giants Hershey and Mars are anything but sweet. In The Emperors of Chocolate, Joel Glenn Brenner reveals the bitter legal and marketing fights, palace intrigue, and personality clashes that dominate Hershey and Mars–and the candy industry as a whole. A talented writer and dogged researcher, Brenner concludes that after decades of competition between the two companies, the drama still is unfolding. Will Mars–privately held and publicity shy–be the ultimate winner with its global game plan? Or will it be Hershey–publicly traded and philanthropy-minded–with its aggressive strategy of growth by acquisition?

Brenner, a former Washington Post financial reporter, tells the stories of how Forrest Mars Sr. and Milton S. Hershey turned their two companies from small mom-and-pop operations into international forces over the last century. While they may have started small, their products–Mars’s Snickers and M&M’s and Hershey’s milk-chocolate bars and Kisses–are ubiquitous. Hershey was a benevolent philanthropist who spent hundreds of millions to create a town and orphanage to fulfill his altruistic dreams. Mars was a short-tempered perfectionist who yelled at anyone who failed to meet his standards. “What made Forrest’s blood rush was the thrill of mastering new opportunities and taming uncharted worlds,” the author writes. “Like Milton Hershey, he was driven by his visions; but where Milton Hershey saw utopia, Forrest Mars saw conquest.” Nine years in the making, The Emperors of Chocolate is a satisfying read about the two titans of the chocolate world and how they capitalized on our love of sweets. –Dan Ring

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