What, pray tell, is the point of being able to get a foreign product in the U.S. if it has the same or similar name but has an entirely different composition? I made this discovery earlier, when Nestlé acquired the rights to market the Ovaltine malted chocolate drink in the United States. I remember Ovaltine as a child, the name having been changed from the Swiss Ovomaltine by a typo in the legal papers. In Switzerland, Ovomaltine comes in many forms, from awesome chocolate bars to cookies to breakfast cereal to the hot chocolate drink that Nestlé appears to be imitating. But there turns out to be a huge difference between the two products: the version you can buy in America has been modified beyond recognition, to conform more to other Nestlé product flavors. Most importantly, what is overseas an entirely malt-sweetened product is in America loaded with sugar. I'm a big fan of sugar, to be sure, and other Ovomaltine products in Switzerland do make use of that ingredient. But when you have a perfectly good chocolate product without added sugar, why mess with it?
Ask the people at Hershey. Being from Pennsylvania, I have a natural sympathy with the Hershey company, even if I find their chocolate mediocre. But this time they've gone too far. I'd wondered why Cadbury chocolate no longer tasted as good as I remembered it from a long-ago visit to England, but had just assumed that memory was gilding the previous exprience. No, I was informed by my brother, who lived in England for quite a while and visted yet more recently. In America, he said, chocolate under the Cadbury name is an entirely different product from that in the U.K. And while one used to be able to purchase the real thing in some specialty shops, Hershey has broght that to an end through (surprise, surprise) a lawsuit.
Hershey's has blocked British-made Cadbury chocolate from entering the US. The chocolate company struck up a deal with Let's Buy British Imports to stop imports of Cadbury products made overseas ... A Hershey's representative told The New York Times that the company has the rights to manufacture Cadbury chocolate in America using different recipes, and that importing British chocolate is an infringement.
Once again: same name, different product for dumb Americans.
The New York Times broke down the major differences between the kinds of chocolates. "Chocolate in Britain has a higher fat content; the first ingredient listed on a British Cadbury’s Dairy Milk (plain milk chocolate) is milk" ... "In an American-made Cadbury’s bar, the first ingredient is sugar." The American version also contains preservatives.
This deception is now protected by copyright law.