Wholesale Candy

Written by Sarah Provost
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Tiny tots delightedly cement themselves to their high chairs with candy cane drool, while their grandmothers suck on wintergreen pastilles. Fifth-graders face down fireballs and sours, while high-school kids are crazy about Altoids. The executive pops a mint after morning coffee, and the late-night hipster pops a Sen-sen before swing dancing. Everybody, and I mean everybody, loves candy.

Of course, every grocery store has a big aisle of candy, plus racks at the checkout counter. The candies that you see there, however, don't vary much. Skittles, chocolate bars (from Hershey's to high end) and the usual gum suspects are there. Movie concessions might offer a slightly different array, such as Sno-Caps and Junior Mints, but there's still nothing very unusual.

Most people don't even notice the candies themselves, unless they are looking for a particular kind. But a passer-by who doesn't even have candy on her mind might well be drawn to a display of BB Bats, Mary Janes, old-fashioned candy sticks, rock candy and Black Jack or Teaberry gum. And chances are good she'll purchase some.

Retro Candies

Brands such as Sen-sen, Mary Jane or Zots are one type of retro candy. Another is the unbranded but equally memorable types, such as candy necklaces, marshmallow "ice cream cones" that sparkle with sugar crystals, and the ever-popular wax lips. The appeal of these candies is undeniable, and relies partly on taste but maybe even more on nostalgia.

It's not only retailers who can take advantage of wholesale retro candies. Event planners, corporations in search of business gifts, and charities looking to put something imaginative on the table at their galas can all make good use of retro candies. (They might be especially appropriate for events benefiting kids.)

Some wholesalers offer their wares in small enough quantities to make them a good choice for private parties, weddings, and the like. How about putting out little baskets of conversation hearts at a wedding, or filling glass vases with pink and blue candy sticks for a baby shower? If your community stages a parade on the Fourth of July, why not toss red, white and blue candies to the crowd?

Hard Candies Vs. Chocolate

Christmas, Easter, Valentine's Day and Halloween are prime candy times. However, hard candies might be a much better, or at least more original, choice to feature than chocolate. For one thing, the quality of chocolate varies widely, and bad chocolate is truly awful. Hard candies don't vary as much: more expensive cinnamon drops might have a more intense flavor, but the really inexpensive ones will still taste good.

Chocolate is also temperamental to store. Stack it near a radiator and it melts. The slightest bit of dampness brings out an unsightly white "bloom." Hard candy never spoils and won't melt without excessive levels of heat. Dampness may turn unwrapped hard candy sticky, but most varieties today are cellophane wrapped. In these days of the low-carb craze, you should also note that it's much easier to make hard candies with sugar substitutes than it is to make chocolate. All in all, hard candies are an excellent choice for retailers and others.

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