Warren Buffett's sweet tooth

What does the Mars Inc./Wrigley's merger prove? In hard times, we cut back on the fancy dinners, but not the cheap chocolate bars.

Published April 28, 2008 4:20PM (EDT)

How often do you wake up on a Monday morning to find that the "global confectionery landscape" has changed? Before my first cup of coffee kicked in, I was entranced by visions of a candy wonderland full of lollipop trees and rivers of flowing chocolate, where Jujubes and Skittles lay scattered across the ground like so many precious gems, propelled from the depths by some mighty earthquake.

But no matter how many times I chanted the Wall Street Journal's felicitous phrasing to myself, there was no escaping the mundane reality -- a corporate merger between Mars Inc. and Wrigley's, brokered largely by Warren Buffett. As the Financial Times' John Gapper observed, the Sage of Omaha wouldn't touch Bear Stearns and its toxic credit derivatives, but he loves the candy business.

Gapper offered one reason why:

Famously, confectionery companies are often good investments during recessions as people cut back on luxuries and comfort themselves with small indulgences such as chocolate bars.

So, we tighten our belts, but not to the point of forgoing a stick of Juicy Fruit.

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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Globalization Great Recession How The World Works