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Hershey's, Scharffen Berger & Joseph Schmidt


ludja
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Strange. I just googled Hershey's and Scharffen Berger and didn't find any information about the buyout. Odd that google didn't pick up on the Yahoo News story.

It's a sad day.

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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Strange. I just googled Hershey's and Scharffen Berger and didn't find any information about the buyout.  Odd that google didn't pick up on the Yahoo News story.

It's a sad day.

At the moment, Google News has 88 items related to the aquisition of SB by Hershey's. Click here.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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FWIW, according to news reports, John Scharffenberger is staying on, and is promising that the chocolate will not change.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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While I think it's sad that they feel they have to sell to Hershey's I honestly don't think it will affect anything. I personally think SB is overated..I just never really got into their products..I've had better. The cafe is within walking distance from me & whileI enjoy the occasional pastry it's nothing better or worse than any other pastry shop around here.

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welll hershey owns Godiva if you didnt already know.  Just my to let you know i've never cared for godiva even before I knew it was hersheys.

It is sad that scharffen-berger is no longer privately owned, because out of all chocolate companies they were probably one of the most personal ones.

I thought Campbell's Soup owned Godiva. I've purchased Godiva chocolates at their employee store while working a temp gig there. It was a while ago and they may have sold it in between, but I thought it was still Campbell's.

Will investigate and report back.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I doubt it, though, and shareholders generally don't care about the quality of the product, just how much $$ is coming back to them.  I think it's time to stockpile.

In this case, of course, that means the Hershey Trust and the Milton Hershey School, still the majority owner of Hershey. And it's anybody's guess what they want, other than keeping the school well funded.

On the other hand, I can't think of a similar instance when a small company's character was successfully preserved by the larger company, at least in the food business.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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Godiva is owned by Campbell Soup Co. The Godiva chocolate available in Europe, BTW, is a quite different formula than the chocolate sold in the USA -- the US chocolate is manufactured in Pennsylvania to "American tastes."

probably sweeter would be my guess

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Godiva is owned by Campbell Soup Co. The Godiva chocolate available in Europe, BTW, is a quite different formula than the chocolate sold in the USA -- the US chocolate is manufactured in Pennsylvania to "American tastes."

probably sweeter would be my guess

Sweeter. Also, the fillings are different. For instance, until recently, Godiva didn't offer hazelnut creme fillings for the American market, although that's one of the most popular fillings in Europe.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Isn't anyone looking at this thread?

I update it regularly.

Thanks for doing this; it's nicer to not split discussions across forums.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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We were talking about this yesterday, and our first thought was 'crap.' But after thinking about it, we figure it's probably a good thing in the end. Hersey's can demand better prices on beans, has awesome distributing channels, and untold amounts of capital. Good for John and Robert, they started a business and sold it for what I'm sure was a hefty sum... !

My Two Cents: I really like SB, but feel it's too expensive to use while baking. So it's a good eating chocolate, but not a good baking chocolate... Plus they're factory is wicked cool.

Stephen W.

Pastry Chef/Owner

The Sweet Life Bakery

Vineland, NJ

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FWIW, according to news reports, John Scharffenberger is staying on, and is promising that the chocolate will not change.

I hate to be a skeptic, but you hear this all too frequently in mergers. The head of the entity being acquired promises to stay, and says that nothing will change. They usually stay on for a year or so (thanks to a hefty retention bonus or other short-term incentive), and then quietly disappear.

If nothing changes, I will be stunned. It's too tempting for large corporations like Hershey's to resist the lure of economies of scale that help cut costs (and boost profit margins). If Hershey's adopts a hands-off policy for this successful business with a fiercely loyal fan base, that would be wise. But that's also unlikely.

This concludes my lesson in capital markets. I better go find some chocolate to wash away the taste of Econ 101.

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FWIW, according to news reports, John Scharffenberger is staying on, and is promising that the chocolate will not change.

I hate to be a skeptic, but you hear this all too frequently in mergers.

Sure you hear this all the time. But quite frequently, it turns out to be true, with nothing really changing except the names of the owners. What will happen in this case, time will tell, and I don't pretend to know in advance. Some things I hope do change though, like SB's cocoa powder, which is (IMHO) horrible, and overpriced as well (costing even more than imported Valrhona, and several times more than Hershey's dutched, which I actually think is a better product).

PS: Never apologize for being a skeptic! The world is in terribly short supply of them right now!

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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I have also heard that Godiva in America cannot use liqueur in their fillings. I'm not certain if that is true or not...

Godiva is owned by Campbell Soup Co. The Godiva chocolate available in Europe, BTW, is a quite different formula than the chocolate sold in the USA -- the US chocolate is manufactured in Pennsylvania to "American tastes."

probably sweeter would be my guess

Sweeter. Also, the fillings are different. For instance, until recently, Godiva didn't offer hazelnut creme fillings for the American market, although that's one of the most popular fillings in Europe.

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I have also heard that Godiva in America cannot use liqueur in their fillings. I'm not certain if that is true or not...

I don't know if it's "cannot," but it probably isn't viable because of the different liquor laws in different states (and thus regulations on interstate commerce). Ethel M uses liqueurs in their chocolates, but they aren't available all over the country.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Hope this isn't going too off-topic, but just so I have this straight...

Hershey's now owns Scharffen Berger.

Hershey also owns Mauna Loa.

Does this mean Ghirardelli Mauna Loa nuts will soon be covered with either Scharffen Berger or Hershey chocolate? I would hope Scharffen Berger over Hershey's, since I think Hershey's chocolate is crap, but the Ghirardelli ones weren't so good, either.

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While my heart dropped when I saw this news, at least it means the brand and products will be viable long term.

I know the founders of ScharffenBerger as we are in the same Slow Food group. They are completely committed to the cause of good chocolate...obsessed with it in fact. They also work directly with cocoa growers and pay them more than the Fair Trade price (even to farmers who are not certified as Fair Trade growers).

Unless Hershey forces them to change something, I can't envision that the terms of the deal didn't include leaving ScharffenBerger to continue operating alone.

(On a side note, did you know that Kiehls, Origins, Stonyvield Yogurt and Aveda are owned either in full or majority by multinational cosmetics corporations? And it seems like no one may know that Lindt bought Ghirardelli a few years ago. These companies saw the wisdom in leaving the winning formulas of their acquisitions to continue as before...even though I think it's unethical not to say who really owns the corporation.)

Well for now, Guittard lives on as a (pretty) good, family owned American chocolate maker!

I hope this has been insightful! :)

Edited by susiew (log)
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. . . did you know that Kiehls, Origins, Stonyvield Yogurt and Aveda are owned either in full or majority by multinational cosmetics corporations? And it seems like no one may know that Lindt bought Ghirardelli a few years ago. These companies saw the wisdom in leaving the winning formulas of their acquisitions to continue as before...even though I think it's unethical not to say who really owns the corporation.)

Ghirardelli's web site includes the following statement on its "Our Company" page:

Ghirardelli’s parent company is Lindt & Sprüngli, the premium European chocolate manufacturer.
What's unethical about that? I don't know whether or not it's on the packaging, but they certainly aren't trying to hide the fact.

As for Stonyfield, its majority shares are controlled by another company, but not a cosmetics company as you aver. Groupe Danone controls Stonyfield, and they are primarily a food products company, not a cosmetics manufacturer. Regarding Aveda and Origins, since they are cosmetics companies, what's the big deal about them being owned by a "multinational cosmetics corporation"? Since I'm ignorant of what business Kiehls is in, I'll refrain comment.

Please be more careful with the facts before stating them as facts.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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...

Unless Hershey forces them to change something, I can't envision that the terms of the deal didn't include leaving ScharffenBerger to continue operating alone.

...

Hope this is true or that some other measures are taken to maintain quality.

Welcome to egullet by the way!

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I hope they continue to let Scharffen Berger work the way they have been (particularly when it comes to buying quality beans and paying fair trade prices). I only rarely use their chocolate in baking (mostly use E. Guittard), but I love eating it! I'd hate to give up that tasty habit. Give me one of their 62 or 70 percent 5-gram squares over a Hershey's Kiss anyday. :raz:

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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Here is a link to an interesting interview from Pastryscoop.com with the owner of Scharffenberger.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Oops, I added Stonyfield and forgot to take "cosmetics" out. Thanks for pointing that out. I didn't mean to imply that Ghirardelli's website didn't say that, just mentioning the fact to the people reading this thread. Sorry I wasn't clear.

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So yesterday I finally broke down and bought Scharffen Berger chocolate for the Grand Chocolate Tart from Pierre Herme's book. The tart is sitting in the fridge waiting to be eaten. At $9.99 per the 9.7-oz package vs. $2.79 for 12 oz of Ghirardelli's, it better be four times as delicious! :biggrin:

Seriously, though: this is my first time to use expesive, "upscale" chocolate for baking, do you think it's worth it?

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