Something is afoot in the USA that has set my nerves on edge … Hershey is banning the import of British chocolate to the US. I did a bit of research and found this story was, in fact, true. This triggered an outburst of expat incredulity (and some choice words) … how very dare they!
The reason this seems to be occurring is (according to this Guardian article):
Hershey spokesman Jeff Beckman said major Cadbury importer LBB Imports “was importing products from the UK that were not intended for sale in the United States and infringe on The Hershey Company’s brand trademark rights and trade dress”.
What in all things Crunchy Bar are they talking about? Hershey’s chocolate is a far inferior product to the British chocolatey mix that so many Americans and expats favour, so why ban it just because the packaging looks too similar to other Hershey products (you know, the ones they would rather you buy … just saying)?
Is is too difficult to create a label to slap on top of a Toffee Crisp, or any of the other British chocolate products to distinguish it from its American counterpart?
In all seriousness, this will have huge implications for the many British food stores over here that rely on importing chocolate to sell to the many, many people that prefer it/miss it from home – Cadbury being a big proportion of many of the imports/sales. Shops like Tea & Sympathy in Manhattan, which was mentioned in the Guardian article, has a petition going on their Facebook page (to view it – and sign it, click here). Businesses, not to mention tastebuds, will suffer if this ban is not stopped – I say to Hershey, let the people decide what chocolate they want to eat, do not force us into a corner, because we will be armed with a Yorkie Bar, and will not be afraid to use it!
What are your thoughts?