I have been absolutely GLUED to Wondery’s Business Wars for a while now. I started with the Netflix vs Blockbuster series, but my favourite so far has been Hershey vs Mars – the business war between the two chocolate giants.
These shows offer some facinating behind the scenes insights into the decisions that changed the course of the business, missed opportunities, scandals and the men/women who were keyrole players.
Like Mars’ silly decision NOT to make M&Ms E.T.’s favourite candy in the Steven Spielberg classic. Universal Studios called and they said no. They called Hershey next and they agreed to spend $1 million for the rights to promote the use of their product in the movie and Reese’s Pieces became E.T.’s candy of choice.
The history of Hershey is particularly interesting and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the founder, Milton S. Hershey, signed over the ownership of Hershey to Milton S. Hershey School, a private boarding school for children from low-income families in Derry Township, USA. The shareholders have been restructured a fair amount since 1905, but The Milton Hershey School Trust still owns a controlling interest.
Expect to hear some familiar chocolate names including M&Ms, Kit Kat and Snickers and how they became the chocolates we love so much.
Check out the podcast here: https://wondery.com/shows/business-wars/ and tell me what your favourite episode is in the comments below.
Happy listening and learning!
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