Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

March Madness is just days away, which means spring wedding, baby shower, and Easter season is about to be in full bloom. The Candy.com team has been busy scouting new products for spring and there are plenty.

Here is a look at some of the headliners …

 

FLOWER POPS

Flower Pops
Blue, orange, green, white, blue, red, and assorted Flower Pop lollipops are perfect for candy buffets, weddings, parties, party favors, popping into cupcakes, creating candy bouquets, and a million other things.

Each candy flower measures approximately 1.5 inch wide  x 1.5-inch high and sits on a 7.5-inch flexible plastic stick. The pops come individually wrapped inside an 8-piece 2.5 oz. peg bag, and there are 72 pieces that ship in each order.

 

CANDY  LUNCH BOXES

Candy Lunch Boxes
Fill these candy-themed lunch boxes with respective Nerds, Dots, Tootsie Rolls, Sugar Daddy Pops, and Junior Mints, and you’ll get an A+ for creative gifting.

RAINFOREST GUMMY FROGS

Rainforest Gummi FrogsNew Rainforest Gummi Frogs are not only adorable little buggers, but they’re also gluten-free! With their shock-and-awe neon coloring, these candy frogs are great for spring parties … and placing on your coworker’s desk chair.

 

FASHIONABLE  TRUFFLE BARS

 Seattle Chocolates

If Tory Burch were to design a line of chocolates, this would be it. The fashion-forward Dark and Milk Truffle Bars from Seattle Chocolate are sublime for many reasons, including color, design, flavor, all-natural ingredients, Seattle roots, and fun factor. Who wouldn’t want to surprise Birthday Cake Batter Truffle Bar with colorful confetti pieces sprinkled throughout? Or a box of sunny yellow Milk Chocolate Truffle Bars to brighten up a dull Monday? Yum!

 

4 NEW GUMMY BEARS

 

Four New Gummy Bears

Single-color candy is all the rage for candy buffets and now there are four more color and flavor options. Gummi bears (5-pound bulk) in White Strawberry-Banana (opaque white), Black Cherry (black), Mighty Mango (yellow), and Pink Grapefruit (light pink) are ideal for adding a pop of color to any tablescape.

 

BARNYARD GUM TAPE

Barnyard Gum

What does the cow, pig, and sheep say? Bubble Gum! Pop the top on these farm animals for a whole roll of gum tape. Cute party favors for barnyard bashes and farm-themed birthday parties.

 

LINDT LOVE BUNNIES

 Lindt Gold Love Bunnies

Two classic Lindt Gold Bunnies locking lips in an Easter Basket. Three words: Adorable Easter Gift. The 3.5-oz. love nest is finished with spring green bow, so you don’t even have to wrap a thing.

 

PEEPS RAINBOW POPS

Peeps Rainbow PopsIt’s yellow, green, pink, and blue Peeps Chicks on a stick! Far better than corn dogs or deep-fried Twinkies, Peeps Rainbow Pops scream, “Put me in your Easter basket.” Our set comes in a pack of four, so everyone gets to devour the rainbow … one color at a time.

Click here to see ALL that’s new for spring at Candy.com.

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80-YEARS-LOGO-2012

So many nostalgic candies and their founding family-owned companies have come and gone—or moved on to larger corporations—but the Atkinson family and its classic Chick-O-Sticks, Peanut Butter Bars, peppermints, and coconut candies are still going strong after 80+ years.

Company president, Eric Atkinson, gave us a glimpse into his family’s rich candy history as well as juicy details on the brand new Chick-O-Stick wrapper. Read on …

Candy.com: The Atkinson Candy Company is like so many great candy companies: family-owned. How many of your family members currently work at your headquarters?

Eric Atkinson: I represent the third generation, my nephew Jeremy Jones represents our fourth generation, and my cousin, Billy Atkinson is on our board of directors. Billy is a retired accountant from Price Waterhouse who is taking our company to new levels with brand acquisitions. It’s really an exciting time for us.

 

Candy.com: I read that your company was founded by B. E. Atkinson, Sr. and Mabel C. Atkinson  in the 1930s in Lufkin, Texas. How are you related to the founders?

Eric Atkinson: They are my grandparents. I’d go fishing with my grandma down at their lake house all the time. In the morning, I’d get up and go with grand daddy out to the plant. I loved that as a kid. My grandma would wrap the candy by hand and I got to play in the sacks of peanuts. When I got older, I loaded up the trucks.

B.E. Atkinson, Sr., founder, Atkinson Candy Company
Candy.com:
What was it like growing up surrounded by candy?

Eric Atkinson: It was great. At the plant, I got to go around with a paper bag and fill it with candy to take home and eat. That’s how I learned about eating candy in moderation! Back then, we were making the same candy we make today with the same recipes: peppermints, coconut candy, Chick-O-Sticks, and Peanut Butter Bars. Those candies really represented the candies of the day. Forrest Mars and Milton Hershey were just getting into chocolate. Around 1960, my Uncle Joe, who was an engineer, developed the machine that makes our Mint Twists. It cuts our mints and puts our signature twist into them. We still use Uncle Joe’s machine today.

 

Candy.com: Can consumers visit your company factory in Lufkin, Texas?CandyKitchenLogo

Eric Atkinson: Yes! We have a store within our plant that we call the “Candy Kitchen.” It’s the same name my grand dad used for our plant. In the Candy Kitchen, customers can watch a film that gives a tour of our plant and shows how we make our candy. The Candy Kitchen is set up for customers to also purchase products.

 

Candy.com: Who came up with the name Chick-O-Stick … and is there a story behind the name?

Eric Atkinson: Originally, Chick-O-Sticks were called Chicken Bones. They look like a piece of fried chicken or chicken legs, so I guess that’s how they got their name, but I don’t know that for sure. Back in the 1950s, my Uncle Joe and our VP of sales found out that “Chicken Bones” was already a trademarked name. I believe it was the artist for our candy boxes at the time who actually came up with the name Chick-O-Stick … and it stuck.

 

Candy.com: We’ve heard change is coming to Chick-O-Stick packaging, which is set to debut in January. What can you tell us about the new wrapper?”

Eric Atkinson: We want our customers to “Embrace the Break.” It’s OK to break and share a Chick-O-Stick. So, do it … it’s fun! We give you permission. Our new wrapper includes the phrase, “Break Me, Share Me” to encourage a crack down. The film structure of the packaging is also brand new and extends the shelf life of the product. It’s made on a state-of-the-art machine from Italy. We’re really excited about it.

Chick-O-Stick Candy

 

Candy.com: OK, we have to ask. What’s your all-time favorite Atkinson candy?

Eric Atkinson: Coconut Long Boys. I prefer the Juniors.

CoconutLongBoys2

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Ford Gum LogoFord Gum and Machine Co., Inc. is the American manufacturer behind the beloved Big League Chew, as well as unique licensed products such as Mike & Ike Bubble Gum, Hot Tamales Sugar Free Gum, and Smarties Gumballs.

The story of Ford Gum began in 1913.

Back then, 20-year-old Ford Mason was a roofing contractor and supplemented his income during the winter months in Buffalo, NY, with gum vending. The first U.S. gum ball machine was invented in 1888, and just a handful of entrepreneurs had ventured into the business.

Ford borrowed money to lease 102 machines and placed them in stores and shops of communities in western New York State. As Ford gained more experience, he was convinced that the penny gum ball could support him. At his peak, Ford had more than 500,000 vending machines perched on store counters and pipe pedestals and a nationwide system of service operators.

Flash forward to 2012.

Ford’s legacy lives on at the Ford Gum & Machine Co., which still has a commercial vending business, but gum vending has shifted dramatically.

“At that time, everything vended for a penny. There are no more penny vending machines and the majority of items today are capsules and toys,” explains Steve Greene, senior VP of sales and marketing, Ford Gum and Machine Co., Inc. “If you look at an eight rack of vending machines today, you will see two or three that vend candy, one that vends gum, and the rest are toys and capsules.”

The majority of Ford Gum’s business today is in retail sales—either branded products that the company manufacturers and markets for itself, or private label products Ford Gum manufactures for other marketing concerns.

One of its biggest deals was the 2010 licensing agreement for the Big League Chew brand along with the manufacturing equipment from the Rob Nelson Company.

“This deal brought back the product manufacturing to the United States at the Ford Gum facility in Akron, N.Y., and added 40 new jobs,” says Steve.

Big League Chew actually came to market 32 years ago via minor league pitcher Rob Nelson and former New York Yankee All-Star, Jim Bouton. The two met while both pitching for the Portland Mavericks, and created the gum as an alternative to chewing tobacco. Brilliant!

The same pouch that Rob and Jim dreamed up in the Mavericks’ bullpen back in 1977, can now be personalized with photos and names at MyBigLeagueChew.com.


Steve says it’s a fairly new program for Ford Gum, but he’s seeing a lot of pouches customized as wedding and party favors, and used for birthday parties and team functions. ($48 for 12 pack.)

Thinking outside of the pouch, Ford Gum also launched individually wrapped Big League Gumballs and Big League Bubblegum Lollipops at the Sweets & Snacks EXPO in Chicago this past May.

Big League Chew Gumballs and Lollipops

Both products are available in the Big League Chew flavors: Outta Here Original, Grape, Sour Apple, and Watermelon. (This also happens to be the order of best-selling Big League Chew flavors.)

Ford Gum has come a long way since 1913, and we’re looking forward to the next chapter in innovative gum products. Bring it on Ford!

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Bird's PartyWhen it comes to parties, Bird from Bird’s Party has all angles covered.  She created a successful party printables business with her graphic design skills, which led her into party planning, styling, editorial photo shoots, and eventually Bird’s Party Magazine.

Bird’s a modern marvel because she’s been able to create a successful full-service party business that has no geographical boundaries. Bird is based in France with her husband and children, but all of her print-it-yourself party products, ideas, and e-zine are accessible anywhere. She’s like the girl next door, who doesn’t actually live next door.

I’ve often wondered, “How does she do it?” I’m still not sure, but she did let us in on a few insights …

 - – - – - -

Candy.com: So, which came first: your party designs and printables, your event planning business, or your magazine?

Bird: The graphic design and party printable aspects came first and along with that, the need to style and plan photos shoots, editorials, and real life events based around the printables.

The magazine came last as a way of compiling and featuring the best Bird’s Party has to offer, but now it has grown into a real resource for all things party and event styling in general, and offers an invaluable platform for many related business to showcase their talents.

Big Top Party

Candy.com: How did you go from process engineer in your early career to party animal?

Bird: Although I come from a science background, I’ve always had a passion and interest for art, entertaining, and graphic design. After designing my very first printable collection (Bollywood Bling) for my wedding anniversary a few years ago, there was no turning back! I had enjoyed the whole process just too much to ignore it – designing, styling, baking, and even photography. When it was subsequently featured on Hostess with the Mostess, Amy Atlas, and several other party sites, I received a lot of requests and positive feedback. That’s when I knew my passion had potential to become a career.

 

Candy.com: Were you born and raised in France?

Bird: My husband and I moved from the UK to France some 10 years ago. When the kids were born, I packed it all in to become a stay-at-home mom.

 

Candy.com: You keep your business seamless across countries. Did you start out marketing your company in Europe,  America, or both?

Bird: The whole “kids party scene”  is quite a new concept in the UK and France, so my main market is targeted toward the US, South America, and Australia. Though we have customers from all over the globe—Dubai, Vietnam, South Africa to Holland and in between!

 

Candy.com: Are parties celebrated differently in Europe vs. America? I read on one of your posts that a baby shower in France is “quite novel.”

Bird: Kids’ parties in particular are a very small, simple affairs without many decorations. Candy or more elaborate dessert tables are kept for “special” occasions like weddings. But the Internet is a powerful tool, and the amazing parties from the likes of Amy Atlas, HWTM, and Tori Spelling have filtered abroad, so they serve as real inspiration.

We can now see a whole new market emerging, and baking suppliers, candy stores and general party shops are cropping up everywhere, so it’s an exciting time to be in the party business in Europe!

 

Candy.com: Are candy buffets (or anything similar) popular in Europe?

Bird: They are getting more popular nowadays. It’s mainly a question of finding the right supplies! I still have a real hard time buying swirl lollipops and the usual hard candies for instance. Not all candy is readily available and this makes it harder to create a full color-coordinated display with a range of interesting candy.

 

Candy.com: Do Europeans enjoy DIY party planning as much as Americans do?

Bird: One thing that has always been alive and well here is crafting and DIY. So marrying the parties with a DIY aspect is catching on fast!

 

Candy.com: What made you decide to create a electronic magazine filled with creative DIY party ideas from primarily American party planners and stylists?

Bird: I never set out to have primarily American stylists, but it just so happened that the stylists I knew were mostly from the US. So when it came to putting a magazine together, it was only natural that I’d invite those women I admire to join me! We welcome quality pitches from anywhere in the world, and have had the honor of working with Australian and Brazilian collaborators in the past.

Candy.com: Now that you just published Issue 5 of Bird’s Party Magazine, what has surprised you most about your e-zine?

Bird: The readership numbers and general support from peers and sponsors, continue to amaze and astound me with every new issue. Issue 5 has to date reached a staggering over 540,000 unique page views and over  44,000 reader in just 2 weeks, and that’s totally down to all our supporters and collaborators!

 

Candy.com: Ok, you have successfully tackled party printables, event planning, and publishing. What’s next for Bird’s Party?

Bird: There is always so much more to learn! I have hunger for learning, and with that comes the need to push myself further, and also to venture into new domains. But it’s been a real roller-coaster year so far, and I’m just happy and excited to continue to work hard, and take the time to enjoy the ride!

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in Business, Candy, Candy Buffets, Trends