Fancy some Velveeta on your Cadbury chocolate?

Outraged Brits decry Kraft's confectionary takeover. Somewhere, a man in a gorilla suit is crying


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Andrew Leonard
January 21, 2010 1:27AM (UTC)

My nominee for quote of the day comes from Felicity Loudon, a great granddaughter of George Cadbury, the man who took his father's tea and cocoa business and set it on the path to becoming the world's greatest confectioner.

The Financial Times reports that Loudon "said her ancestors would be 'turning in their graves' if they knew that Cadbury had been acquired by a company that 'makes cheese to go on hamburgers.'"

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Still bitter about that little old colonial uprising, eh? Just as residents of St. Louis are patriotic about their beer, the Brits take their chocolate seriously, so much so that even inveterate opponents of protectionism were looking for excuses earlier this week to explain why the takeover should be stopped.

How the mighty have fallen. The deal may indeed be bad from a business point of view. (Kraft shareholder Warren Buffett certainly doesn't like it.) But claims on British honor and chocolate superiority ring hollow. Maybe the British shouldn't have gone so crazy with all that empire-building and Adam Smith proselytizing. Globalization giveth, and globalization taketh away. As the FT noted in an accompanying editorial, Kraft is paying a pretty penny to create a combined company with "strong growth prospects in India and Brazil."

And besides, what right does a company famous for employing a man in a gorilla suit banging the drums to the tune of Phil Collins to sell its wares have complaining about barbarous Yanks? (Thanks to IPEZone for the link.)


Andrew Leonard

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

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