Chocolate giant Hershey Inc has successfully blocked the import of Cadbury sweets because, it says, it creates “brand confusion” with Hershey’s products.
Cadbury chocolate varies around the world. In the UK, the first ingredient in a classic Dairy Milk bar is milk. In the United States, where Hershey has the license to make and sell all Cadbury products, the first ingredient is sugar.
Thousands of fans in small shops across the United States and on social media have been urging Hershey to allow them legal access to their favourite British chocolate. Some have even called for a Boston Tea Party-like protest with plots to throw “inferior” chocolates into the nearest body of water.
Soon the US recipe may be their only choice. Hershey sued LBB Imports, which used to be known as Lets Buy British Imports, for trademark infringement and dilution, arguing that Toffee Crisp’s orange packaging was too similar to Reese’s peanut butter cups and that Yorkie bars were too confusing to people looking for York Peppermint Patties.
Hershey has the rights in the United States to sell York, Cadbury, Kit Kat and Rolo trademarks as well as Maltesers. British Maltesers are out too.
The lawsuit was settled after LBB Imports agreed to stop importing the disputed products. LBB Imports President Nathan Dulley says he estimates that about $50 million worth of British chocolate is sold in the US each year – a Hershey’s Kiss sized drop in the grand scheme of American chocolate sales.
While Nathan Dulley says Hershey’s case has merit, he thinks it’s petty and that Pennsylvania-based Hershey should have allowed the small amount of imports for the niche expatriate market.
“We did attempt to make an agreement. Ultimately, these decisions do affect small businesses across the country,” Nathan Dulley says.
“At end of the day you’re talking about a $6 billion behemoth – both businesses should be able to coexist.”
Hershey executives have said they want to protect their intellectual property and that they’d asked LBB repeatedly to stop importing the disputed chocolates. They have not commented on the social media call #BoycottHershey or the online petitions, including one posted on the White House website.
More than 30,000 people have signed the online petitions in protest and on Twitter chocolate lovers are milking the spat to condemn what they feel are chemical-laden, inferior Hershey products.
“Shame on you Hershey. Give the people what they want! #boycotthershey Good ingredients trump crap every time,” read one tweet.
In stores across the US, shoppers are buying as much of the so-called proper chocolate they can afford or carry.
A lawsuit brought by Hershey’s effectively bars the import of chocolates made in the UK by Cadbury.
Using the hashtag #boycotthershey, Cadbury products lovers called for a boycott of the American chocolate giant on Twitter and Facebook.
A protest petition on MoveOn.org had over 22,000 signatures by January 28.
The protest comes after Hershey’s, which holds a license to manufacture Cadbury chocolates in the US, agreed on a settlement with the New Jersey importer of Cadbury chocolates, Let’s Buy British (LBB).
Hershey’s accused LBB of infringing its brand trademark rights and importing British products that were not intended for sale in the US, The New York Times reported.
Last week, LBB agreed to stop shipments of any Cadbury products made in the UK to the US.
Many expat Brits insist that Cadbury chocolate tastes better (despite Cadbury being owned by U.S. food giant Kraft Foods’ snacks business Mondelez).
It is true that British and American chocolate are different in terms of constitution. To qualify as chocolate in the UK, a product must contain at least 20% cocoa solids; in the US, the minimum is 10%.
Cadbury products are not the only ones to fall fowl of Hershey’s lawsuit, with other brands. Switzerland’s Nestle also came under fire because they look like existing Hershey’s products.
Toffee Crisps, which are made by chocolate giant Nestle in the UK and are a favorite with the British public, have also been banned because their bright orange packaging resembles that of Hershey’s Peanut Butter Cups too closely.
Nestle’s Yorkie bars also face the chop as they sound too much like Hershey’s York Peppermint Patties. Maltesers also resemble a Hershey’s product of an almost identical name.
Hershey’s spokesman Jeff Beckman defended the company’s lawsuit and settlement, telling The New York Times last week that it was: “Important for Hershey to protect its trademark rights and to prevent consumers from being confused or misled when they see a product name or product package that is confusingly similar to a Hershey name or trade dress.”
Swiss chocolate company Lindt & Sprungli has agreed a deal to buy American rival Russell Stover.
Lindt said the takeover would help it to expand in the US, making it the third-largest chocolate manufacturer in North America.
It said it had agreed not to disclose the purchase price for the deal.
“This biggest and most important strategic acquisition in Lindt & Sprungli’s history is a unique opportunity,” said chair Ernst Tanner.
Swiss chocolate company Lindt & Sprungli has agreed a deal to buy American rival Russell Stover
Lindt, known for its chocolate balls and gold foil-wrapped chocolate bunnies, said it would now expand the range of chocolates it sold in the US to include a variety of products from Russell Stover, including sugar-free chocolates.
The chocolate company said it expected the deal to boost its earnings from 2015 onwards, and that as a result, it would pass $1.5 billion in annual sales in North America.
Russell Stover owns the Whitman’s brand in the US. It is known for its boxed chocolates and has four chocolate factories in the US, and also runs a chain of 35 stores.
The American company currently has annual sales of about $500 million.
Both companies said the union was “a perfect strategic fit”.
“The acquisition clearly signals Lindt & Sprungli’s intention to improve its market position in North America,” Lindt added in a statement.
White Chocolate Cheesecake with White Chocolate Brandy Sauce
Ingredients (10-inch cheesecake)
White Chocolate Cheesecake:
4 (1 ounce) squares white chocolate
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs, room temperature
White Chocolate Cheesecake with White Chocolate Brandy Sauce
1/2 cup heavy cream, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
White Chocolate Brandy Sauce:
2 cups finely chopped white chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
2 fluid ounces brandy
Preheat oven to 300 F (150 C). Wrap the outside of a 10-inch springform pan with foil. Grease the inside of the pan.
Place the cream cheese, sugar, and flour in a mixing bowl and cream until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape bowl.
Melt 4 ounces of the white chocolate. With an electric mixer on low speed, mix melted white chocolate into cream cheese mixture. Keeping electric mixer on low, slowly beat in the vanilla and 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Blend well. Pour mixture into the prepared springform pan.
Place cheesecake pan in a water bath filled with warm water. Bake at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for 50 to 60 minutes, or until center of the cheesecake is just firm. Cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Refrigerate until set before removing from pan.
To make White Chocolate Brandy Sauce: place chopped white chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Pour 1 cup cream into a saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Watch carefully so it doesn’t boil over. Pour hot cream over chopped white chocolate; let soften for 2 minutes. Stir with a wooden spoon until melted. Add brandy and continue stirring until incorporated. Pour over chilled cheesecake and serve.
Preheat an oven to 400 F (200 C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. Place a mixing bowl in the freezer to chill.
Combine the water, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the flour. Cook and stir until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and beat in the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Spread the dough evenly in the bottom of the baking dish.
Bake the pastry in the preheated oven until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. (The dough will rise and make a boat shape, but should drop as it cools.) Cool completely on wire rack.
Remove the chilled mixing bowl from the freezer and pour in 2 cups of cold whipping cream. Whip until the cream thickens, about 1 minute; stir in the confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla extract. Continue to whip until the cream forms stiff peaks. Refrigerate the whipped cream while you mix the pudding.
Pour the pudding mixes and the milk into a mixing bowl and stir until creamy. Fold in the whipped cream. Spread the filling over the cooled crust and refrigerate.
Place the chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Bring 1 cup of cream almost to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow it to soften for 1 minute. Whisk the mixture until smooth. Let the mixture cool slightly to thicken, about 10 minutes. Pour the ganache over the cream filling, spreading to cover the entire surface. Return the pan to the refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300 F (150 C).
In a large mixing bowl, mix together crushed vanilla wafers, confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, and butter by hand. Press ingredients into a 9-inch springform pan.
In the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips, making sure that they are very smooth.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy with an electric mixer. Gradually beat in condensed milk until smooth. Mix in melted chocolate, eggs, and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are thoroughly blended. Pour the filling into the prepared crust.
Bake at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for 55 minutes. The cake will seem underbaked in the center, but will continue to cook after you remove it from the oven.
Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for several hours before serving.
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
Triple-Chocolate Pumpkin Pie
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 ounce milk chocolate, melted
1 can (15-ounce) solid-pack pumpkin
1 can (12-ounce) evaporated milk
3 large eggs
Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugars, salt, and cinnamon in bowl. Firmly press mixture into bottom and up sides of a deep, 9 1/2-inch pie dish. Bake until firm, 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, and sprinkle bittersweet chocolate over bottom of crust. Return to oven to melt chocolate, about 1 minute. Spread chocolate in a thin layer on bottom and up sides. Let cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
Make the filling: In a large heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt semisweet chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat.
Mix pumpkin, milk, brown sugar, eggs, cornstarch, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and a pinch of cloves in a medium bowl. Whisk 1/3 pumpkin mixture into chocolate mixture. Whisk in remaining pumpkin mixture until completely incorporated.
Transfer pie dish to a rimmed baking sheet, and pour pumpkin mixture into crust. Bake until center is set but still a bit wobbly, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool in pie dish on a wire rack. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours (preferably overnight). Before serving, drizzle melted milk chocolate on top. Serve immediately.
Halloween is all about the candy! Almost every child in the US will have candy on Halloween, and about half of the adults will eat some.
Test your knowledge of the world’s candies and check out some of our favorites here.
1. Bounty, UK
Mounds lovers will appreciate Bounty, a coconut-filled bar enrobed with milk chocolate.
2. Cheong Woo, Korea
Leave it to South Korea to come up with pumpkin candy — a mellow, slightly salty candy with a prominent squash-like flavor and the texture of Starburst. If you can track it down, it’s perfect for this time of year.
3. Baci, Italy
Hershey’s isn’t the only one with kisses — Italy has its own version, Perugina’s Baci. These chocolate bonbons are filled with hazelnut chocolate cream, topped with a whole hazelnut, and wrapped in a love note.
4. Yorkie, UK
The Yorkie bar — originally titled so because it was made by Rowntrees of York — was created in the 1970s as a larger chocolate bar alternative to Cadbury’s Dairy-Milk. To this day, the chocolate stays true to its original branding with the slogan: “It’s not for girls!”
Perugina’s Baci chocolate bonbons are filled with hazelnut chocolate cream, topped with a whole hazelnut, and wrapped in a love note
5. Chimes Mango Ginger Chews, Indonesia
These individually-wrapped Indonesian ginger candies in the quaint tin have a latent heat and spiciness to them, thanks to ginger that’s grown on volcanic soil in East Java.
6. ToffeeCrisp, UK
Nestlé makes a number of chocolate bars in Europe that aren’t readily available in the US. One of them is ToffeeCrisp, a staple in the UK. The long, slender milk chocolate bar is filled with crackling puffed rice and caramel. Its motto is: “Somebody, somewhere, is eating a ToffeeCrisp.”
7. Kinder Country, Germany
Kinder Country is described on the wrapper as “milk chocolate with rich milk filling.” It’s a creamy, milky white center, made crunchy with puffed rice and then doused in milk chocolate.
8. Peko Milky Candy, Japan
Peko-chan Milk Candy is commonplace among children in Japan. The individually-wrapped candies are firm yet chewy and have a distinctive sweet milk flavor.
9. Lion, UK
Another chocolate confection that hails from the UK. It was similar to a ToffeeCrisp, with caramel, crisp cereal, and a wafer enrobed in milk chocolate and reminded me of an even heartier 100 Grand.
10. Botan Rice Candy, Japan
Even if you’ve never been to Japan, you may have come across Botan Rice Candy in Asian supermarkets. Botan, which means “peony,” is a prominent brand in Japan and makes a sticky rice candy with a slightly citrusy flavor.
Put 2.5 cm (1in) water in a roasting pan and place in the oven.
Whisk the eggs, yolk and 100g (3½oz) of the sugar in a bowl.
Place the cocoa, chocolate and cream in a pan over a medium heat and stir until the chocolate melts and steam rises – about 5 minutes. Add the egg mixture, whisking, then vanilla.
Divide the mixture among 8 small (100 ml/3½fl oz) ramekins then place the cups in the roasting pan, pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the cups and bake for 30 minutes until almost set. Chill for at least 3 hours.
Mix the remaining sugar with 50 ml (2fl oz) water in a pan over a medium heat, swirling occasionally, for 4 minutes until the sugar dissolves.
Increase the heat to high and cook for about 10 minutes, until it turns amber.
Remove from the heat and place the bottom of the pan in cold water.
Coat a tablespoon with cooking spray and use it to drizzle ¾tbsp of the sugar mixture into each ramekin, tilting to spread the glaze.