Relevant Extract for Edexcel’s Paper 3 Examination on the ‘Chocolate Confectionery Market’ from APT’s Complete Context Companion

APT are experts in producing resources for pre-released contexts, themes and case studies – we have been doing this for 18 years (see extracts of feedback received below), and we will be publishing our Complete Context Companion for use with Edexcel’s A Level Pre-released 2018 Context in about 4 weeks’ time, which can be pre-ordered now. 

Below is a summary of some of the merger, takeover and acquisition activities that have taken place in the Chocolate Confectionery Market over the last 20 years.  This relates to ‘bullet one’ of Edexcel’s Research brief for this year’s Paper 3 context examination, which can be accessed here 
Examples of Inorganic Growth (eg through Takeovers) within the Chocolate Confectionery Market over the Last 20 years 
Barry Callebaut has grown significantly through inorganic growth, having purchased numerous other businesses, or parts of other businesses over the last 20 years (see:  In terms of other companies, Wikipedia’s list of ‘bean to bar’ manufacturers ( and introductory pages to the Candy Industry ‘Top 100’ Reports, ( provide useful information about the inorganic business growth that has taken place within the global chocolate confectionery market over the last 20 years.  Many of these are cited in Figure 3 below. 

Figure 3: Examples of Mergers and Acquisitions, including Takeovers in the Global Chocolate Confectionery Market Since 1997 

  1. In 1997 and 1998, respectively, Swiss chocolatier and confectioner, Lindt & Sprüngli acquired Italian chocolatier Caffarel and American chocolatier Ghirardelli.
  2. 2002: Transnational food company Nestlé acquired Brazilian chocolatier Garoto.
  3. 2002: Barry Callebaut acquired Stollwerck, which was subsequently purchased by the Belgian firm Baronie Group in 2011.
  4. 2005: Cadbury Schweppes purchased organic chocolate manufacturer Green & Black’s.
  5. 2005: Hershey acquired premium chocolate makers Scharffen Berger and Joseph Schmidt Confections.
  6. 2006: Hershey bought Dagoba Organic Chocolates.
  7. 2007: Nestlé entered into a strategic partnership with Belgian chocolate maker, Pierre Marcolini.
  8. 2008: Yildiz Holdings purchased premium chocolatier Godiva.
  9. 2010: The Kraft Heinz Company (now known as Mondelez) took over Cadbury’s.
  10. 2011: Baronie Group purchased Stollwerck (from Barry Callebaut).
  11. 2012: Cloetta AB merged with Leaf International (a reverse acquisition).
  12. 2012: Ferrara Pan Candy Co (a non-chocolate confectioner) merged with Farley’s & Sathers Candy Co. to form the Ferrara Candy Co (a reverse acquisition).
  13. 2012: Rübezahl purchased a majority stake in Reutter GmbH and completely took over the Reutter GmbH confectionary factory in Rosengarten-Westheim in 2013.
  14. 2012: DeMet’s Candy Co. of Stamford, Connecticut, merged with Elvan Food Ind. Co. of Istanbul, Turkey (now both a subsidiary of Yildiz Holding).
  15. 2012: Finland’s Raisio Plc acquired Czech company Candy Plus (to complement its successful confectionery activities in the UK under the Big Bear Confectionery name).
  16. 2013: Lotte Confectionery Co. Ltd. of Seoul, acquired 76% of Kazakhstan candy maker Rakhat for $157 million (with plans to purchase the rest of the shares).
  17. 2013: Colian S.A. of Poland, acquired FC Solidarnosc.
  18. 2014: Kilchberg, Switzerland confectioner Chocoladenfabriken Lindt & Sprüngli bought US box chocolate-giant Russell Stover for a reportedly $1.5 billion.
  19. 2014: Yildiz Holding purchased DeMets Candy Company in the US.
  20. 2014: Yildiz Holding purchased United Biscuits in the UK (and in 2016 the company brought together its core biscuit and confectionery businesses Godiva Chocolatier, United Biscuits, Ulker and DeMet’s Candy Company, to form a new global company, ‘pladis’).
  21. 2014: Hershey Foods Corp. acquired Shanghai Golden Money.
  22. 2014: Hershey Foods Corp. purchased Ontario-based Allan Candy Co.
  23. 2014: Cloetta AB acquired both the dry-roasted nut producer Alrifai Nutisal AB, Sweden, and The Jelly Bean Factory, Ireland.
  24. 2014: Gift specialist 1-800-Flowers.Com, Inc. of Carle Place, New York, acquired Harry & David to add to their collection of chocolate manufacturers Fannie May and Harry London.
  25. 2014: Chocolat Frey, of Buchs, Switzerland acquired SweetWorks.
  26. 2014: The Istanbul, Turkey, confectionery Elvan Group acquired Balaban Gida, from Nestle, which caused Elvan to expand its product line to include biscuits and ‘real chocolate products’.
  27. 2015: Italian-based Ferrero Group purchased UK’s Thorntons PLC for £112 million ($171 million).
  28. 2015: Columbia’s Colombina acquired Spain’s Fiesta, with a facility with 124 employees for $19.2 million.
  29. 2015: Downers Grove, Illinois-based Hearthside Food Solutions acquired Europe’s leading energy bar manufacturer VSI, which owned 3 production facilities, as well as Post Holdings’ Power Bar plant in Boise, Idaho. The company expects to continue rapid expansion in the bar category, noting that VSI will enable them to grow quickly in Europe.
  30. 2015: Baronie NV acquired UK’s Ashbury Chocolates Ltd. in February.
  31. 2015: Mondelez International acquired Enjoy Life Foods, which manufactures snack and chocolate bars free from common food allergens.
  32. 2015: US based Mars Inc started the process of buying out Grupo Turin, of Mexico City, with the acquisition being completed in the first quarter of 2016.
  33. 2015: Ferrero Rocher purchased Thorntons.
  34. 2016: Polish confectionery producer and distributor Colian Holding SA acquired British chocolate brand Elizabeth Shaw for $3.4 million from Norwegian fund Imagine Capital SA. This gave Colian control of Elizabeth Shaw’s subsidiary Famous Names. Elizabeth Shaw, manufacturer of deluxe chocolates, is known for its strong customer base in the UK. (For further information:
  35. 2016: Hershey acquired Ripple Brand Collective, of Congers, New York, which owned barkTHINS – a snacking chocolate brand sold in re-sealable packages.
  36. 2016: Hearthside Food Solutions, of Downers Grove, Illinois, picked up another plant – Oak State Bakery.
  37. 2016: Argentina’s confectionery giant Arcor formed an alliance with La Serenisima – the largest dairy product producer in Argentina. Arcor has reportedly invested $60 million in Mastellone Hermanos, the firm behind La Serenisima, for a 25% stake. This is a shareholder investment, no Arcor employees are planned to transfer.

Sources:;;; (2014);; 

Students could be issued the above information and encouraged to research and make notes (independently, in pairs, or in groups) on each merger and acquisition listed using the Internet (as well as any others they come across).  Alternatively, they could be given further assistance to support them with their research.  With regard to this links to relevant articles on takeovers, relating to the Top 11 chocolate manufacturers in the world (highlighted in bold in Figure 3 above), are given to students in the ‘Research Tasks for Students’ section of our Complete Companion for the Pre-released Context.  This encourages students to independently research and make notes on each of the 5 bullet points listed in Edexcel’s Research brief.  Detailed information for teachers is, however, also provided in our ‘Detailed Investigation into the Context’ for Teachers’, which examines each of the 5 bullet points listed in Edexcel’s Research brief in depth.  This includes information on types of growth, including reasons for mergers and takeovers, the difference between horizontal and vertical integration, financial risks and rewards of mergers and takeovers, problems arising from rapid growth, as well as other difficulties associated with takeovers concerning organisational culture, for example – as these areas of the specification could easily be the basis of questions in the examination, given the research students have been advised to undertake (in bullet 1). 
These ‘Research Tasks for Students’ and ‘Detailed Investigation into the Context’ for Teachers’ are just 2 of 6 separate resources included in our COMPLETE CONTEXT COMPANION for this year’s (2018) Paper 3 Exam, which can be pre-ordered now.  The 6 separate resources, which are listed below, can be purchased individually, or together at a discounted price: 

Feedback received on APT resources published to date for use with Pre-Released Contexts, Case Studies and Themes: 

Absolutely outstanding.  I call this my ‘Bible’.  Your resources are in a different league.  It’s worth every penny! A fantastic tool that fully supports teaching and learning and student progression in great depth and detail!  Greatly appreciated! Your work is amazing!” Laura Pickford, Heworth Grange School 

“The materials you provided were excellent and suited every level of teaching.  I wish I had ordered earlier in the year.”  –Gareth Moran, Rye St Antony School 

“Your resource is outstanding and becomes the sole resource in my class from February to all the way to the exam day.”  – Jillur Rahman, Woodbridge High School 

Excellent materials. All the students came out with a smile on their face and commented everything on the analysis came out”. – Ruth Daniel, Tower Hamlets College 

“It is the most comprehensive pack I think we have ever received.

“Pleased with the level of detail, insight and depth. They have become an invaluable part of our preparation.” –  Andrew Livingstone, Heart of England School 

Fantastic results using your material.  My  business student went from a predicted Grade E to a B on her  paper and was just short of an A.” – Jane Wood, Tutor 

“Your resources are proving invaluable and so much more useful than other providers that I buy from.” – Ian Chapman, Queen Anne’s School 

Pre-order NOW  (if not already) – Expected publication by 15 Feb 2018

Price: £85 + VAT for email or download (+ £2.50 for CD)

Licensed for staff and up to 60 students to use, in any given year, attending the purchasing institution, ie the individual school / college. 

Pre-order (if not already): By Email to / On line with a debit/credit card or by PayPal (click here)