Book Reviews

Book review: Chocolate Wars.

This meticulously researched book conceived by a direct descendant of the Cadbury dynasty, is an excellent read.

It is an engaging and informative book for all those who grew up eating Cadbury chocolates and other products that her Quaker ancestors developed.

Cadbury is a household name in the United Kingdom, and in many countries all over the world represents English chocolate.

Deborah Cadbury explains in her book, the evolution of other Quaker cocoa and chocolate makers like Rowntree, and Fry, how they competed for market share, how philanthropy was a prime concern for their workers and the population in general. Through lean and fat years they continued their philanthropy and even thought of the future of their workers by creating “trusts” which would continue to provide the services and funds for which they were created.

Chocolate Wars also explored in detail the development of the Swiss chocolate manufacturing industry, and how it evolved to become the world- market dominating identity. Nestle, with its head office in Vevey, Switzerland, is now the largest food manufacturer and distributor in the world.

The author explains in detail how Nestle, a German by birth, and Swiss by choice, started the company, and how it became the world-wide concern through recessions and acquired strategic assets all over the world including many in the U S A and the United Kingdom – two large and affluent markets with excellent potential for growth.

In this oeuvre there is history, and strategic management lessons that show how strong, disciplined leaders can change the fortunes of their enterprises, and how contented workers can help grow their employers’ investment.

Readers interested in history will learn about English tastes, and more importantly how in mid-19th century England was essentially a developing country.

The invention of the locomotive and railway helped change not only the country’s economy, but brought with it unprecedented worldwide development and commerce.

Naturally, England benefited a great deal from this invention.

Cadbury was recently acquired by Kraft to strengthen the company strategically all over the world. This was a direct result of globalization of world economies, and Kraft management saw advantages to buy Cadbury to expand its operations and distribution channels globally.

This well-written and flowing book can and should be used treated a business case study by post graduate students seeking advanced degrees.

Highly recommended!

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