Hershey, PA Residents Worried About Changes If Company Sells To Mondelez

Image courtesy of Jayu

Company towns are a remote memory for most Americans: areas where most residents worked at a factory, mill, mine, or brewery have gone away, moving out of state or overseas along with the employers themselves. One of the last remaining classic company towns is Hershey, PA, where the company still has its factory. The company that created the town of Hershey and its surrounding businesses and institutions turned down an unsolicited takeover offer from Mondelez, the owner of Nabisco and Cadbury.

The residents of Hershey know that their town is one of the last and an endangered species. To see their likely future, they can look at other companies that managed to survive into the 21st century as benevolent family-owned corporations, like Budweiser, and were taken over by multinationals.

Spoiler alert: it hasn’t gone well for those companies, or for their products.

The Wall Street Journal says that Mondelez, for its part, promised to keep the Hershey factory open and move its operations to the area, adopting the Hershey company name along with the brand goodwill that comes from being a chocolate company that has its own amusement park.

Savvy people who live near Hershey, though, can look to another chocolate company that Mondelez took over to see how much a global mega-corporation’s promises are worth: when the company acquired Cadbury in 2010, it promised to keep a factory in the town of Somerdale open, then went ahead and closed it anyway.

Hershey, Pa., Is the Town That Chocolate Built [Wall Street Journal]

FURTHER READING:
Life and Labor in a Corporate Community: An On-Line History of the Endicott Johnson Corporation [UAlbany]