Sugar Allies: How Hershey and Coca-Cola Used Government Contracts and Sugar Exemptions to Elude Sugar Rationing Regulations

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2004-04-29

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In 1927, Hershey Chocolate Corporation and Coca-Cola struck up a business relationship based on sugar sales. Hershey Corporation supplied Coca-Cola and Hershey Chocolate Corporation with sugar through a common broker. During World War II, companies such as Hershey and Coca-Cola faced severe sugar shortages that could potentially ruin their companies. Both companies used their ability to influence government policies in order to receive the goods they needed to maintain production levels while increasing profits. Through their corporate connections and strong lobbying efforts, Coca-Cola and Hershey used the government's willingness to write contracts to ensure that they did not suffer a loss in profits or lower production levels due to the war. This government aid provided both companies with a chance to expand on a global scale in the post-war years. Coca-Cola took advantage of the opportunity by expanding worldwide, while Hershey chose to expand within the domestic market.

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