Monday, October 29, 2007

Everyday Christmas Ideas, Part 2

Lets talk a bit more about some every day items that go particularly well for Christmas, the Fall Season, and Gifting. Today, we will talk about 3 separate categories...

1) Van Lys
Van Lys is a belgian truffle, dusted in cocoa powder. This is a fantastic item. The price is very good and the markup that most of our customers get is among the best of any gift item. There are 5 flavors:

2) Make Your Own Mix
Some of our customers make their own mixes of everyday product to be a holiday product. This works with the colors of any holiday. Favorite candies to mix into holiday colors are Jelly Belly, M&M Colorworks, Ghiradelli Squares, and Lindor Balls.

Think red and green lindor balls for Christmas or Orange and Black M&Ms for Halloween, Ghiradelli Squares mint and dark (green and red) for Christmas, Green, Yellow, and Purple Jelly Bellies for Mardi Gras, etc. You get the idea.

3) Bags and Containers
Redstone has lots of different containers and bags for each season and for every day. Where we use customer orders to purchase candy, we usually buy way ahead for bags and containers so that we can meet last minute needs. The idea is to take a cute bag or container and fill it with nice, but inexpensive product to make it a nice gift. For example, a clear bag with gold stripes filled with Red and Green Jordan Almonds is a nice Christmas gift. As is a Green and Red bag filled with white chocolate pretzel balls. I could go on and on, but if you use your imagination, your options are limitless.

Another hint - if you use every day product or product you already have, you can try a small number of different bags to see how customers react. For gift baskets, customer reaction is sometimes secondary to price or look and you can also play around with several options.

Good luck with this and please tell us what you tried and how it went.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Great Everyday Christmas Ideas

Certain items are seasonal, like Christmas Wreaths and Turkeys, Pumpkins and Red Hearts. However, some items sell very well, but aren't obvious Christmas items. These are all strong sellers, but volume really spikes during the Christmas holiday season. Some examples are below. I hope to do a few more posts later that will give additional examples. Please comment about what works for you and your stores.

Great Christmas Bulk Ideas
Marich Bing Cherries 956M
Marich Ice Creams 748M
Redstone Pecans - Milk 1010C
Redstone Pecans - Dark 1010D

Of course, any chocolate covered nut works fantastic for the holidays, as well.


Friday, October 12, 2007

What We Are Up To Now

I wanted to drop a quick note to let you know what is going on here. We are all but finished with Halloween. If you have any last minute needs, do let us know. Christmas product is mostly here in our warehouse and getting ready for the shipping. Our folks will be working 50 and 60 hour weeks starting next week to get all of the orders ready - and some will work more than that.

As far as Valentine and Easter (Passover too), we are busy selling that product. If you haven't made an appointment to look at our products, please let us know. We will need orders in house before you know it.

Good luck with all your holiday sales. Let us know what works and what doesn't so we can continue to grow on the winners.


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

How To Taste Chocolate

NOTE: The content of this blog has been graciously provided by New Tree Chocolate. We carry a full line of New Tree. Check them out today.

Forget the notion that chocolate is just for your mouth. Getting the most out of gourmet chocolate is a treat for all the senses.

1) Start Fresh
The best results are obtained with a clean palate. To get the true sense of the taste, sip or rinse with water or lemon juice before you indulge. Start with the milk chocolates and then move on to the dark chocolates.

2) Too Hot, Too Cold, Just Right
Store chocolate in a cool, dry place, no need to refrigerate. Savoring chocolate at the right tempature heightens the taste experience. Before your first bite allow the chocolate to come to room temperature to ensure a perfectly balanced release of the cocoa and sugar flavors.

3) Its Got the Look
The chocolate surface should be glossy and smooth with no visible blemishes. Dark chocolate typically has a deliciously deep brown hue, while milk chocolate boasts shades of light brown with golden tones.

4)Music to the Ears
When fine quality chocolate is broken, you should hear a crisp, definitive snap. The chocolate should not crumble or bend.

5) The Nose Knows
The smell of gourmet chocolate can be as rich as the taste. Fresh chocolate smells sweet and well, chocolaty. Close your eyes, breath, and take in its tempting characteristics – flowery lavender scent, fruity blackcurrant aromas…

6)The Right Touch
Higher-end chocolate feels silky smooth to the touch. Chocolate melts at body temperature so it will begin to soften immediately.

7) Savor the Best for Last
The smell of gourmet chocolate can be as rich as the taste. Fresh chocolate smells sweet and well, chocolaty. Place a thumbnail size piece of chocolate Close your eyes, breathe, and take in its tempting characteristics.


Sunday, October 7, 2007

Trends: Gummy & Mallow

We carry new products every day that are made of gummy or marshmallow. Traditional shapes such as animals and coke bottles are just the tip of the iceberg. Many of them are shaped like other products such as:

Gummi Salamander -
Body is made of mallow and the tail, gummi.

Gummi Lunch Bags -
Bag of various gummi items. Is this what you took to work or school today?

Gummi Pizza -

Gummi Sea Critters -

Chocolate Covered Gummi Bears -
One of Redstone’s more popular gummi items. Give it a try today!

Hello Kitty Marshmallow -

Mallow Icecream Cone -

Mallow Burger -

Mallow Hot Dog -

Mallow French Fries with Candy Ketchup -

Mallow Pizza -

We have these in stock today! They are moving fast – don’t miss this opportunity.


Monday, October 1, 2007

Trends: Chocolate is Good for You

Trends: Dark Chocolate is Good For You

There has been much of current research showing the chocolate is good for you.

See some great articles (below) from reputable news sources.


CBS News:



The message in all of these articles is the same. Dark chocolate, in moderation, is good for your heart and cardiovascular system. We carry more than 30 brands of dark chocolate, both in packaged items such as bars and boxes of chocolate and bulk, such as chocolate covered fruits, nuts, and with chocolates with fillings such as caramel or truffles.

Call our customer service, visit our website, or email us at info aht redstone foods dott com to get additional recommendations.

[Note: We spell our email address in this way to avoid getting spam. If this causes confusion, just give us a call.]

I did see something about needing 40 calories of chocolate per day to get the full benefit. 40 calories - HA! At that point, your favorite blogger here is just getting warmed up. Oh well, at least the first few bites I'm doing for my health.

Redstone has been selling chocolate for over 40 years now. Never before have we sold so much dark chocolate as a percentage of total chocolate sales. This is especially true for higher end product. For example, if we add a new high end, gourmet chocolate bar line that has 10 items, 6 dark and 4 milk, 80-90% of what we sell will be dark. This is less true for chocolate covered nuts and clusters, but the trend continues there as well.

How does this work for your stores? Do you see this trend as well? Let us know in the comments.