Chocolate from the UK has long been a source of comfort for homesick British expatriates in America.
But now Brits living in the US will have to settle for — what some regard as inferior — American versions of chocolate after the confectionery giant Hershey forced two companies to stop importing UK-made versions.
The spat is part of a war of trademark claims that involves products by Cadburyand Nestle, the world's biggest chocolate makers — with British tastebuds caught in the crossfire.
Nicola Edwards runs The Queen's Grocer, a store in Odenton, Maryland, that sells tea, biscuits and Doctor Who memorabilia to the local British population. The expat from Leicester kept her taste for British confectionery when she moved to the US 15 years ago, and says Hershey's Cadbury is barely worth calling "chocolate".
"It's brown, and that's about it," she said. Her petition protesting against Hershey's actions has attracted more than 30,000 signatures online.
Her store's supply of British-made Cadbury, which is owned by Mondelez, formerly called Kraft, and Toffee Crisp, Rolo, Yorkie and Kit Kat — brands owned by Nestlé — is fast running out after Hershey blocked two US companies from importing them, claiming that the products infringed its trademarks.
Although she does not purchase directly from Posh Nosh Imports and LBB Imports, the companies Hershey took to court last year, she says her suppliers do not want to face similar legal action by a "billion-dollar company".