Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Now In - Hammonds Candy

Hammonds Candy is a fantastic line of old fashioned, made in the USA candy. It is fun, colorful, tasty, and something everyone can relate to. We have a nice portion of the line available to our customers. Pictures speak a thousand words, so we've posted some pictures below. Call or email us for more information - get yours today!

HSP02820 Hammond's Chocolate Jewels - Peppermint
HSP03320 Hammond's Chocolate Jewels - Raspberry
HSP22120 Hammond's Chocolate Jewels - Orange
HLA93334 Hammond's Fashion Lollies - Assorted w/Display
HBC93332 Hammond's Fashion Barber Poles - Assorted
HCW04400 Hammond's Vanilla Caramels
HCW15500 Hammond's Chocolate Caramels
HMS13600 Hammond's Mitchell Sweets Caramel & Marshmallow
HCC9310 Hammond's Crystal Cut Fruit Slice Mix (60 PCS/LB)
HDR95018 Hammond's Hard Candy Drop Tin Assortment
HMI95024 Hammond's Iced Tea Sippers - 4 Assorted


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

When Economy Slows - Candy Sales Rise

From the New York Times...

When Economy Sours, Tootsie Rolls Soothe Souls

Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times

Piper Gray, left, and Amy Lepley at Economy Candy in Manhattan. The owner has increased his orders. “We have been wiping out of inventory,” he said.

Published: March 23, 2009

Raymond Schneider politely elbowed his way through crowds of customers as he made for the bulk candy bins at Dylan’s Candy Bar across from Bloomingdale’s in Manhattan. Since he was laid off in December, Mr. Schneider, a 33-year-old interior designer, says he has become a “gummy junkie,” stocking up on sweets every time he shops for groceries.

“Sugar is comforting,” he said as he scooped Red Licorice Scottie Dogs into a plastic bag. “There’s nothing more stressful than growing financial insecurity everywhere.”

The recession seems to have a sweet tooth. As unemployment has risen and 401(k)’s have shrunk, Americans, particularly adults, have been consuming growing volumes of candy, from Mary Janes and Tootsie Rolls to Gummy Bears and cheap chocolates, say candy makers, store owners and industry experts.

Theories vary on exactly why. For many, sugar lifts spirits dragged low by the languishing economy. For others, candy also provides a nostalgic reminder of better times. And not insignificantly, it is relatively cheap.

“People may indulge themselves a little bit more when times are tough,” said Jack P. Russo, an analyst with the Edward Jones retail brokerage in St. Louis. “These are low-cost items that people can afford pretty easily.”

At Candyality, a store in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, business has jumped by nearly 80 percent compared with this time last year, and the owner, Terese McDonald, said she was struggling to keep up with the demand for Bit-O-Honeys, Swedish Fish and Sour Balls.

At the Candy Store in San Francisco, the owner, Diane Campbell, has tripled her orders for nostalgic candies like Necco Wafers and Mallo Cups in recent months. Many of her customers tell her that even though they are living on less, they’re setting aside cash for candy.

“They put candy in their actual budget,” she said.

Many big candy makers are reporting rising sales and surprising profits even as manufacturers of other products are struggling to stay afloat. Cadbury reported a 30 percent rise in profits for 2008 while Nestle’s profits grew by 10.9 percent, according to public filings. Hershey, which struggled for much of 2008, saw profits jump by 8.5 percent in the fourth quarter.

Lindt & Spr√ľngli, which specializes in more expensive products like Lindt and Ghirardelli chocolate, announced that even though it expects to close some of its luxury retail stores this year, it also expects chocolate sales to remain strong through mainstream retailers like Wal-Mart and Target.

“All is well in candy land,” said Jamie Hallman, owner of the Sweetdish candy store in the Marina district of San Francisco.

In Manhattan, at the sweet-smelling confines of Economy Candy on the Lower East Side, the owner, Jerry Cohen, said he increased his orders by 10 percent in January and February to keep up with demand for candies like Sugar Daddies and Sour Razzles. On a recent Sunday, Mr. Cohen had about a dozen workers in the narrow store trying to keep the candy tables and penny candy bins restocked as shoppers — the vast majority of them adults — grabbed candy bars and dug their hands into bins of Tootsie Rolls and Bit-O-Honeys.

“We have been wiping out of inventory,” he said.

Mr. Cohen’s son, Mitchell, 23, who works long hours as a Wall Street investment banker, helps out at the store on some Sundays because, he said, he finds the mood uplifting. He noted that his Wall Street co-workers have also been eating more candy: The 10-pound candy bags he puts on his desk are being devoured in one week instead of the usual two.

“That’s why I like going to the store on Sundays,” Mitchell Cohen said. “Everyone is happy.”

There may be historic precedent to the recessionary strength of the candy business. During the 1930s, candy companies thrived, introducing an array of confections that remain popular today. Snickers started in 1930. Tootsie Pops appeared in 1931. Mars bars with almonds and Three Musketeers bars followed in 1932.

Hershey, the dominant candy brand during the Depression, remained profitable enough through the 1930s for the company to finance its own work program for the unemployed, said Pamela Whitenack, Hershey’s community archives director.

“Candy companies are relatively recession-proof,” said Peter Liebhold, chairman of the Smithsonian Institution’s work and industry division. “During the Great Depression, candy companies stayed in business.”

Candy seems to conjure memories of times before bank collapses and government bailouts. Jackie Hague, vice president of marketing for the New England Confectionery Company in Revere, Mass., which makes Necco wafers and other candies, said the company has received an unusual number of letters, e-mail messages and telephone calls from customers saying their candies had helped them “flash back to childhood.”

Indeed, store owners and manufacturers find that the hottest-selling candies these days are cheaper, old-fashioned ones. In addition to strong sales of Necco Wafers and Mary Janes, the New England Confectionery Company said sales of Sweetheart candies jumped 20 percent at Valentine’s Day. Eastern Sales and Marketing, a major candy representative for manufacturers, has noticed “double digit growth” for Gummy Bears, Violet Gum and Jelly Bellies, according to John Anastasi, the company’s senior vice president of the confectionery business unit.

Not everyone in the industry is benefiting from tighter wallets. Edgar Roesch, a food analyst with Soleil Securities, an investment research firm in New York, predicts that the recession may present more opportunities for more economical, mass-market brands like Hershey than for, say, gourmet truffles.

Until the fourth quarter of last year, he said, “Things like Hershey Kisses were losing out to higher-end brands.” But this year, that trend has reversed.

Increased candy consumption may have already taken a toll on the waistlines of many New Yorkers.

Liz Josefsberg, who runs four Weight Watchers meetings a week in Manhattan, said talk of stress eating involving candy was taking up an increasing percentage of her meetings. “I’m hearing a lot about Skittles and Mary Janes,” she said.

Since Piper Gray, 23, arrived in Manhattan from Memphis in September, she has lived on a tiny salary from a journalism internship and tries to remain optimistic about eventually landing permanent work, even though prospects look discouraging.

Beside two friends at Economy Candy on a recent Sunday afternoon, she sounded cheerful as she munched on mini Smooth ’N Melty nonpareils, joked about her addiction to Creme Eggs and scoffed at the merits of Swedish Fish. Candy has become her affordable escape.

“Apples and oatmeal only go so far,” she wrote later in an e-mail message. “It’s so tempting to pick up an 88-cent pack of Skittles as a little pick-me-up. So I won’t feel so deprived.”


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Christmas is Coming (Halloween too)

We start selling Halloween / Fall / Christmas / Chanukah in mid May. Keep an eye out for more information or call your sales rep or our office for an appointment.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Redstone Website Back

The REDSTONE WEBSITE is back up and running. Stop on by!



Spicy is HOT

As you all know, our Redstone bars, particularly the Redstone Red Chili Chipotle (72% dark), Jalapeno with Salted Peanut (milk), and the La Azteca (spicy with Cinnamon) are all doing very well.

What is NEW & HOT is the Lammes Habinero products. They have quite the kick, but are a nice edition to the Lammes line, which continues to grow in popularity. They would also be a nice edition to any candy line up and get great reactions from the hot food foodies. Please give them a try on your next order.

Redstone Website Down Temporarily

We have had some gliches this week and our website is down. We hope to have it available as soon as possible - we are currently planning to have everything up and running by the end of the week.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Trends for 2009

Okay, so we all read the bad news every day. The economy isn't great, people are losing jobs, and everyone's mood is sour. As someone in the candy business, there IS something we can do about it. We can sell our wares and make everyone happy.

Two categories are going to sell well, mark our words.
1) The first is nostalgia. Nostalgia is fun, filled with good memories, and not expensive. People love to think of their childhood - everyone remembers the neighborhood candy store where they grew up. Everyone has a dollar or two to relive a happy memory.
2) The second category is basic bulk items. People cannot afford great vacations or jewelery, but everyone can still afford a great piece of candy. Everything from gummy bears to chocolate almonds are going to do well. A pound or two keeps the kids happy in the mall and is still well within reach of most people.

As a merchant, keep these options available and easy to get to. Something as simple as creating a nostalgic area of your store or prebagging half pound bags (or $3 or $4 bags) of your top 5 bulk items and putting them in a basket near the front of the store will keep things fun and fresh. You will be on-trend in 2009 and you will also see movement.

Good luck! Tell us how it goes. If you would like us to email you a price list, just drop us a line. For contact information visit us at


Monday, January 26, 2009

Redstone Chocolate Bars

We just wanted to update everyone on the Redstone Chocolate Bars. As I’m sure we’ve mentioned, the Redstone Chocolate Bars are doing quite well with very strong sell-through. Our customers (the retailers) are very happy. People love this bar as an excellent piece of Belgian chocolate and something different. Even in a poor economy, everyone still needs their chocolate fix. We literally get dozens of requests every week for these bars. If you haven’t tried the bars, you should. If they are going well in you store, please consider adding another bar or two to your line-up. The best sellers are the Red Stone’s Red Chili Chipotle and the Red Stone’s Jalapeno with Salted Peanuts.

If you haven’t tried them, give us a call and mention this blog and we will give you a deal.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Peanut Butter Safety

We wanted to address the recent concerns about peanut butter being tainted with salmonella. First, it is important to know that this concern is only about peanut butter, not peanuts. Second, it is only peanut butter from one company.

To the best of our knowledge, all of our products are safety. While we continue to monitor the situation, we feel confident in the quality checks of our many manufacturers. If you would like to see more on specific products, please click on the link below.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Chocolate Holds Steady in Down Economy

We thought you might like to hear about chocolate - from the perspective of the Wall Street Journal. They believe (as we do) that chocolate will continue to sell in a poor economy. Please read this article and let us know what you think. [Hat Tip - Chris Wright]

Premium Chocolate Holds Steady in Tough Economy

More-Selective Consumers Make Each Morsel Count With Emphasis on Ingredient Sourcing and Artisanal Production

Even in a recession, frugal consumers shell out cash for popular premium chocolate, but the variety they purchase depends on its value, quality and manufacturer.

Analysts said trendy, pricier premium cocoa varieties promote chocolate consumption growth. Throngs of products from smaller specialty as well as major chocolate manufacturers line store shelves. But consumers are buying the sweets less often and more discriminatively as household incomes contract with the U.S. recession and world economic crisis.

"Chocolate may very well be recession-proof -- it's just a matter of how much consumers want to pay for it," said Krista Faron, senior analyst at Mintel, a market-research company, in Chicago.

[Premium Chocolate Holds Steady in Tough Economy] Getty Images

Premium chocolate is typically characterized by an emphasis on sourcing and the production process, much like wine. A premium price tag also tends to accompany the pursuit of quality.

"In volume terms, growth in the premium chocolate segment has slowed somewhat in recent months as a result of the global economic crisis. However, in value terms, this category is still growing," said Josiane Kremer, spokeswoman for Switzerland-based Barry Callebaut. The company sells chocolate to industrial food manufacturers, artisans and chefs as well as international chocolate retailers and consumers.

In the year ended Nov. 2, total chocolate candy sales in supermarkets, drugstores and mass merchandise outlets totaled $4.99 billion, a 2.2% increase from the year before, according to data compiled by Information Resources Inc., a Chicago-based research firm. That data excluded Wal-Mart Stores Inc. In the same period, however, average unit sales decreased by about 3.8% and average price per unit increased by nine cents, according to the data. Chocolate makers felt price pressure and many large manufacturers increased prices in 2008 amid multidecade highs in raw cocoa prices.

Large chocolate manufacturers Barry Callebaut and Hershey Co. delved into the premium chocolate realm previously occupied primarily by smaller-scale specialty manufacturers. In 2008, Mars Inc.'s Mars Snackfood US introduced M&Ms Premiums in flavors such as mint chocolate and raspberry almond, as well as dark chocolate varieties.

Consumer familiarity gives some brands an advantage over others amid the glut of premium chocolates on the market as new lines continue to be launched, Mintel's Ms. Faron said.

"The [brands] that have the highest quality and offer superior taste [that] are backed by strong brands already will probably have an advantage," she said.

Smaller specialty premium manufacturers have a better chance at staying afloat during tough economic times because they have less competition than large manufacturers, Ms. Faron said.

"Those [consumers] want to support small and local producers and that's where their loyalties are going to lie," she said.

Two specialty companies are Askinosie Chocolate in Springfield, Mo., and Guittard Chocolate of Burlingame, Calif., which have their own approaches to making and selling chocolate.

Askinosie Chocolate has a hands-on, personalized production method and business model, according to founder Shawn Askinosie. The company purchases approximately 20 tons of cocoa beans annually, just a fraction of a major manufacturer's supplies, Mr. Askinosie said.

The company is a member of Craft Chocolate Makers of America, a group of independent chocolate makers that stresses the importance of small batches and select ingredients to produce quality chocolate.

"We're not trying to appeal to a mass consumer audience," said Mr. Askinosie.

Gary Guittard said his company saw more sales of its chocolate to candy manufacturers as discretionary spending received a nudge higher from easing gas prices. Guittard Chocolate is a member of industry group Chocolate Council of the National Confectioners Association. The council's members represent more than 90% of the chocolate processed in the U.S.

"Everyone has a place in the market," Mr. Guittard said.

Most consumers are unaware of the difference between smaller specialty and larger premium chocolate manufacturers, said Judy Ganes-Chase, president of J Ganes Consulting, in Katonah, N.Y. The firm specializes in agricultural commodities.

"[Major manufacturers' premium varieties are] good enough for the average consumer, and they'll enjoy it and think they have something really special," said Ms. Ganes-Chase.

Though consumption continues, consumers are failing to respond to gimmicks and unessential quality assurance in premium chocolate as budgets feel the squeeze, Ms. Faron said.

The shine of chocolate health claims will soon fade as consumers become desensitized to the fad of value-added superfoods, she said. Additionally, fair trade-certified chocolate is less attractive amid economic uncertainty. Fair-trade products pledge to pay producers a price higher than the typical market rate for commodities such as cocoa and coffee.

"For something like fair trade, which is strictly about the ingredient sourcing, they're not going to see the difference in the quality of the product," Ms. Faron said.

But competition will continue in the premium chocolate arena as private-label premium chocolates may have the advantage. The chocolates, sold under trusted chain-store labels or in retail locations with an exclusive brand, are typically less expensive than the major brands but have the same quality, she said.