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Brian Sollit was a real-life Willy Wonka, one of Britain's most eminent chocolatiers. In a career spanning over 50 years at Rowntree's in York, he created some of the nation's best loved snacks including Lion Bars, Drifters, Matchmakers and the Yorkie, but his crowning glory was the creation of the After Eight Mint. Launched in 1962, it was an instant success, becoming the must-have confectionery for "posh" after-dinner treats. It went on to sell in over 50 countries and had famous devotees such as the Queen Mother.

Market Report: Thomas Cook falls amid debt concerns

Thomas Cook was held back last night as traders sold out on the view that the market may be underestimating the FTSE 100-listed tour operator's refinancing needs.

Bidding war for Cadbury looms

A bidding war for Dairy Milk maker Cadbury was in prospect today after confectioners Hershey and Ferrero said they were considering their options over the firm.

Ferrero and Hershey in talks over rival Cadbury takeover bid

Secret meetings revealed between Italian and US confectionery giants

Kraft poised to go hostile in its bid for Cadbury

Kraft is tipped to make a hostile bid for Cadbury today, to which the UK confectioner is expected to issue another brusque rebuff.

Barnes says bankruptcy order due to 'oversight'

John Barnes has applied to have a bankruptcy order against him annulled after the chaos of his departure from Tranmere Rovers led to it being issued at court in his absence. His embarrassment about the order has been compounded by suggestions that he filed for bankruptcy, but he told The Independent yesterday that the order had been issued because he failed to answer a court summons on 14 October.

Cadbury's price could top £12bn as Kraft's rivals circle

US giant expected to raise its bid as insiders say Hershey will not stand idle

48 Hours In: Nice

Now is the time to soak up the sun in this vibrant city on the French Riviera, but beyond the beach there is art, food – and bicycles to enjoy too

Little Gods, By Anna Richards

A gothic tale of cruelty and survival

Leading article: Sweet memories

Some say a liberal is a conservative who has yet to be mugged. We say a conservative is someone who has had the packaging of their favourite sweets redesigned. Consider the dyspeptic resistance to the plans to change the packaging of the Sherbet Fountain. Consider too the fact that many otherwise sane adults still deeply resent the rechristening of the Marathon bar as Snickers, or the transformation of Opal Fruits into Starburst.

Minor British Institutions: Victory V lozenges

It's hard to fathom which is the biggest mystery: why the fiery taste of Victory V lozenges seems to have almost disappeared from the nation's gobs – or why these odd concoctions were ever popular in the first place.

Mayor to close Rome's ice-cream parlours by 1am in fight against louts

In the latest attempt to crack down on violence and thuggery in the Italian capital, Rome's ice-cream parlours are to be obliged to close by 1am.

Cadbury hits the profits sweet spot with chocolate and gum

Cadbury has revealed that consumers are refusing to give up their chocolate and chewing gum during the recession. The confectionery giant delivered tasty sales and profits in 2008 but trimmed expectations on revenue growth for this year.

Thorntons cuts staff costs as profits fall 40 per cent

The “vast majority” of staff at Thorntons have taken up its offer of flexible working this year, the confectioner said yesterday, as it revealed that hefty pre-Christmas discounting had dragged down its interim profits by nearly 40 per cent.

DJ Taylor: Tosh and Becks

Arguments about the merits of our sporting heroes; criticism over celebrity book deals; and discontented mutterings in the provinces

French pastry king Gaston Lenotre dies aged 88

The French pastry chef Gaston Lenôtre, whose successful catering business made him a household name, died aged 88 yesterday after a long illness, his company said.

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