Sweet Rivalry

Candy is a nice treat, but the business of confections can be anything but kind. Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was partially based on two of England's biggest candy rivals, Cadbury and Rowntree. The companies would often steal trade secrets from each other by sending spies to work in both factories. Pick up a copy of Chocolate Wars: The 150-year Rivalry Between the World's Greatest Chocolate Makers by Deborah Cadbury for an inside look at Cadbury (Cadbury Creme Egg, Curly Wurly, Mini-Eggs), Rowntree and the international chocolate business.

The United States has its own chocolate rivals in Mars (Snickers, Twix, M&Ms)  and Hershey (Reese's, Kit Kat, Hershey Kisses). Read about the founders, their long-running rivalry, and the current state of the two chocolate giants in The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars by Joel Glenn Brenner.

Don't forget the smaller candy makers in our midst. Read about companies like Standard Candy Company (GooGoo Clusters), Russell Sifers Candy Company (Valomilk), and the Annabelle Candy Company (Big Hunk) and their struggle to find prime shelf space that's not already taken up by the bigger companies in Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America by Steve Almond.