Candy Strategy

When I was a candy buyer, we were insiders into the candy strategy of all the big brands, MM Mars, Hershey, Nestle and Ferrero. They are still all in the top 10 (not necessarily in the order I listed them), but they were the leaders then and they still are – with the most market share even if they were not the biggest innovators.

We knew what candy was coming out next, when it would hit stores and what was (sadly sometimes) being eliminated from the mix. It is harder to do it even when it is your favorite…if it doesn’t sell, it doesn’t get shelf space.

That is actually a good thing.

The idea that candy stays stagnant would mean that we would all be stuck with Grandma’s candy bowl, filled with a rainbow of hard candies that you could unwrap quietly, but not even remotely discretely. That cellophane wrapper was only slightly quieter than accidentally dropping an entire plastic Easter egg filled with jelly beans on a terrazzo floor during silent prayer. (True story.)

Not subtle if you get my point. (Just ask my mom.)

I am sure today, in school, the day after Halloween, there were quite a few kids called out by the teacher for not sitting still, or making too much noise – even though plastic wrapping has come a long way – the scent of low-grade chocolate, corn syrup and fake fruit flavoring is pretty overpowering.

I heard a rumor that today is a teacher’s least favorite day. I find that hard to believe, but it may still be true…

Hopefully some of them have a method of distraction they use…bringing in all of their leftover trick-or-treating goodies for student activities like (and just ideas here folks…) rainbow sorting, disparate item addition (algebra using Skittles and Twizzlers), and clever story telling in creative writing class:

(I “Snicker”ed at the “Milky Way” as I rocketed past “Mars” bars, ready to “Take 5” hours rest as I completed my journey home…)

Now, that would be a great candy strategy!  It would probably be a good idea to create one, since Halloween, post-sugar-rush hangovers are the reality today, just as they have been since the invention of the holiday. It is still getting bigger, too, so I doubt it is going away any time soon. Especially if the big candy companies have anything to do with it. Halloween is one of their biggest holidays and it is still growing. Keep up or move over.

~ Dawn aka Hat Girl

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