Case Categories

Share |

Competitive Strategies Case Study

Case Title:

Hershey vs Mars: The Candy Store War

Publication Year : 2008

Authors: Manu Krishna, Bharathi S. Gopal

Industry: Food, Diary and Agriculture Products


Case Code: COM0219B

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

Buy This Case Study


Hershey and Mars had been rivals in the chocolate industry for decades, and had shown no signs of backing off from the way they had competed so far. The greatest irony was that, Mars and Hershey were partners in chocolate making way back in the 1930s. And when they split, it was said that, Mars vowed to replace Hershey as the number one chocolate maker in the US. But till 2006, Hershey had been going in full throttle and held the top position in the US market. Though Hershey was on the top, it faced new threats when its share price came down, the sales declined, and Mars started taking them head-on in the retail front too. So is the vow that was taken decades back getting fulfilled and will Mars overtake Hershey in 2007?

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To discuss how the trend of health consciousness affects the chocolate industry
  • What strategies Hershey should adopt to counter competition from Mars
  • Discuss rivalry and competition of Pepsi and Coke or of companies in other industries
  • The newest trends in chocolate retailing.

Keywords : Business Rivalry; US Chocolate Industry; Competitive Strategies Case Study; Chocolate Retailing; Gourmet Chocolates; M&M World; Health and Wellness Products; Hershey; Mars

Contents : 
The US Confectionary Industry
The Hershey Company
Clash of the Titans
Rivalry Between Brands
Rivalry on the Retail Front
Timeline of Hershey and Mars
The M&MWorld in Las Vegas

Recently Bought Case Studies

    Recently Bought Case Studies

    Executive Interviews

  • David ConklinDavid Conklin

    David Conklin, is a professor at the Richard Ivey School of Business
    Speaks on Government and Business
  • Lord Meghnad DesaiLord Meghnad Desai

    Lord Meghnad Desai, is an Indian-born British economist and Labor politician
    Speaks on Government and Business
  • Vijay GovindarajanVijay Govindarajan

    Vijay Govindarajan, is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on strategy and innovation
    Speaks on Reverse Innovation
  • View All Executive Interviews»

Contact us: IBS Case Development Centre, Survey No. 156/157, Dontanapalli Village, Shankerpalli Mandal, Ranga Reddy District, Hyderabad-501203, Telangana, INDIA,, Fax: 08147-236653,E-mail:

©2003-2010 IBS Case Development Centre. All rights reserved. | Careers | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Disclosure | Site Map xml sitemap