A chocolate connoisseur lays out his hope that, should Kraft foods take over Cadbury, they won't lay waste to an artisanal chocolate maker, in the manner that Hershey's buyout has affected Scharffen Berger:
But luckily, long before this year’s announcement by Hershey that it was closing the Berkeley plant and consolidating Scharffen Berger production in Illinois, I discovered an alternative [to the discontinued 82 percent bar]. Green & Black’s, an English brand, was readily available in New York, and if its 85 percent bar didn’t have quite the flavor bouquet that Scharffen Berger 82 packed back in its heyday, it came very close, and the mouth feel was arguably better.Here's the deal. Quite some time ago Kraft purchased another British sweets manufacturer, Callard & Bowsers. Then they killed off Callard & Bowser's dessert nougat - too complicated to make, too small a market... not worth it, right? Ultimately they killed off the remaining traditional products, such as treacle and liquorice toffee... and now, no longer in Kraft's hands, all the brand is really known for is Altoids.
Interestingly, Green & Black’s had also been started by small entrepreneurs and then acquired in 2005 by a giant firm. But its new parent, Cadbury, vowed to let it operate as a stand-alone unit. Judging from my research, which has been basically confined to unwrapping the foil of countless bars and plunging in, Cadbury has been true to its word.
If the sale goes through, my suggestion to connoisseurs: Stock up on your favorites.