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How’s The Reception on Your Kit Kat?

If you take a few minutes to stop by KitKat.com and poke around, you might find yourself chuckling a bit. My favorite page of their redesigned site is the Pioneering page, where we discover the phrase ‘Confectionery Perfectionery’, and notes about wanting the individual wafers to “look like big square mountains.” Yep, it’s a Kit Kat blueprint – er, brownprint? – and it’s hilarious.

Another page I recommend spending some time to really take it all in is the User Experience page, where you’ll learn that Kit Kat’s “maximum breakability” can be attributed to “refined praline software, crisp waferware and its unique chocolate unibody.” The ‘Tech Spec’ page is pretty great, too, as is the… well… maybe you should just check them all out! And for a better understanding of what exactly is going on, check out the Android website, Hershey’s website, or this article on Marketing Land.

In short, Kit Kat has redone their site as though a Kit Kat were a smartphone. Why would they do that, you might ask? The answer is simple – Android is naming their next version, Android 4.4, KitKat! (And the little Android guy is even cuter when he’s made up of Kit Kats!)

As adorable as the Android mascot is, chances are pretty good that we aren’t going to be branching out into mobile phones at Blair Candy. That said, we do happen to be a great resource for the edible variety of Kit Kats! They don’t need a case, they taste terrific, and they’re a whole lot cheaper than a new phone, too. Sure, you can’t talk on them, but you shouldn’t talk with a mouthful of chocolate anyway!

Which version of Kit Kats are your favorite? Regular Kit Kat candy bars, King Size Kit Kat Minis, or Snack Size Kit Kats?

What Candies Would You Buy With $3,440?

Earlier today we came across an article that most certainly caught our attention – “12-Year-Old French Girl Writes Bad Checks For Candy and Pastries.” At first we thought it was going to be one of those stories where the child is both cute and naughty. You know, like perhaps she stole a check and bought a pack of gum and a lollipop? But this girl’s sweet tooth required much more than a pocket full of change’s worth of treats. Once her gig was officially up, she had dropped approximately $3,440 of someone else’s money on candy and pastries!

This dollar amount got us thinking about how far $3,440 would go at Blair Candy. And just for fun we decided to create a shopping list equaling roughly that amount! Below is a list made up of the Blair Candy team’s top picks. What candies would your $3,440 list contain?

25 Boxes of 240ct. Individually Wrapped Sour Patch Kids – $16 each – $400
25 Boxes of 120ct. Dum Dum Lollipops – $7.95 each – $198.75
25 34oz. Bags of Gummy Dolphins – $8.95 each – $223.75
25 Bags of 360ct. Tootsie Frooties – $7.25 each – $181.25
25 20oz. Bags of Mini Gummy Butterflies – $3.95 each – $98.75
10 Boxes of 48ct. Full Size Snickers Bars – $48 each – $480
25 Boxes of 24ct. Ring Pops – $14.75 each – $368.75
25 24oz. Bags of Goetze’s Caramel Creams – $5.25 each – $131.25
25 Boxes of 240ct. Satellite Wafers – $16.95 each – $423.75
50 18ct. Boxes of Bubblicious Bubble Gum – $13.50 each – $675
135 Rainbow Swirly Pops – $1.89 each – $255.15

Our Gluttonous Grand Total: $3436.40

We’ve got $3.60 to spare! Perhaps we should buy a lemonade to wash all this candy down :)

The Original World Confections Candy Cigarettes are Back, Baby!

Starting April 1, 2013, World Confections began making their candy cigarettes with the original, classic recipe. And no – this isn’t an April Fools’ joke! The original is most definitely back, and having gone without one for a few years, they taste to me like a sugar-wrapped memory mountain of amazingness! But to understand what makes this moment in time so monumental, we’re going to have to take a look at the sometimes-sweet, sometimes-sour history of what happened. I understand this might be hard for some of you, but hold tight, dear readers – this flavorful fairy tale has a happy ending. Deep breath… Candy Cigarettes

A change just happened. The magical kind of change that turns the clock back and sets things right with the world. The kind that happens when the people make some noise and ‘the man’ listens! And the proof, my friends, is in the pack. In fact, it’s in every pack of Kings, Lucky Lights, Target, Stallion, and oh yes – even Round Up!

Just a few years ago in 2011, World Confections decided to switch up the formula for their classic candy cigarettes. For those of you keeping score, they’re actually called candy sticks now, but around these parts most people still call them candy cigarettes. Perhaps it’s because bubblegum cigarettes are still called cigarettes and not sticks – you know, the kind with the puff of powdered sugar ‘smoke’? I’m not sure, but I know I’m getting off track! That happens when I start ‘talkin’ candy’. OK – back to 2011…

The team at World Confections decided they’d try a slightly altered recipe for their famous candy cigarettes. They didn’t go all the way back to the drawing board, but they changed them up enough that a discerning public most definitely took notice. And – that’s what they were hoping for! They had made this change with the best of intentions, and really, truly believed they had improved the recipe. Well, guess what, folks? The candy cigarette lovers of the universe were blowing a bit of smoke – out their ears! And where there’s smoke, there’s usually a fire. As for this fire? This fire was fueled by one of the purest, simplest sadnesses there ever was – the sadness that comes when a favorite candy is seemingly different or gone forever. (*cue sad music – grab a tissue – scream ‘Whyyy?!?!’ as a single tear falls*)

Don’t worry – the story doesn’t end there. (*cue happy music – throw the tissue on the floor – dance around the tissue!*) World Confections only ever wanted to make us happy, and by making us sad for a bit, they get to make us happy all over again! Once it became clear that people preferred their original candy cigarettes recipe, with its melt-in-your-mouth consistency and slightly rough texture, they decided the change they needed to make was obvious. They needed to toss that new recipe in the recycling bin and go back to the classic recipe we all grew up with and love. And… they did! (*the crowd goes wild!!!*)

Share a Picture of Your Carved Pumpkin with Us and You Could Win!

It likely goes without saying that the team here at Blair Candy loves Halloween. It’s one of the most fun candy holidays, it makes kids happy, we get to see an awesome array of cute, clever and creepy costumes, and it occurs during the most beautiful season in Pennsylvania, home to Blair Candy. We also love Halloween because of those plump pumpkins that pop up everywhere from the grocery store to roadside stands, beckoning us to buy ‘just one more’! Some might say I have a pumpkin problem, but I don’t think it’s a problem at all. Pumpkins make me happy, so I’d say I have a pumpkin solution!

Because I love everything about pumpkins – their color, shape, carving them, using their sweet insides in pie and roasting their seeds! – I’m hoping you’ll take part in our Pumpkin Carving Photo Contest. Our contest began on October 22, 2012 and runs through October 29, 2012. All you have to do to enter is send a photo of your creatively carved pumpkin to contest@blaircandy.com. We’ll upload your photo to the Blair Candy Facebook page, and everyone will get to enjoy in the festive fun. We’re already seeing some outstanding entries, including those in the images above!

So, you’re probably wondering what you can win, aside from all the ghoulish glory. Bragging rights are delicious, but they aren’t as tasty as candy! And because of that the First Place Winner will receive a $100 Gift Certificate to BlairCandy.com, and the Second Place Winner a $50 Gift Certificate to BlairCandy.com. Pretty sweet, right? Sweet as pumpkin pie!

Grab your carving tools and camera! And thanks in advance for sharing your pumpkins with us and making the ‘spirit’ of the season a happy one :)

Weight Watchers + Candy = Yes You Can! Part Two…

With Weight Watchers simple but oh-so-smart points system, it’s possible to fit just about anything you can think of into your diet, with the focus being as much on the item itself as the portion and frequency with which you eat it. For those that have been using the Weight Watchers system for awhile, calculating points becomes second nature, as does knowing how many points their favorite foods are valued at.

Something a friend of mine mentioned keeping tabs of as well is a snack list of what she calls ‘point fillers’. These are foods that only carry a value of 3 points or less – foods she can easily enjoy at the end of the day if she has saved a few points for such a purpose, or finds that she has a few to spare. And her list just happens to have quite a bit of candy on it, which excited me to say the least! I was thrilled to hear she’s still able to enjoy some sweet favorites without making too many concessions the rest of the day. As for the candy she eats most often? Chocolate Tootsie Pops. At just 60 calories a pop, and one point apiece, she can eat one just about every day of the week. Pretty sweet, huh?

Inspired by my candy-loving friend, we will be sharing other candy ideas for all of you that are following the Weight Watchers plan as well. Keep an eye on the Blair Candy Twitter and Blair Candy Facebook for candy favorites and their respective point value. We’ll be keeping the focus on candies that would fit on my friend’s list of ‘point fillers’ – candies that won’t ‘eat up’ a lot of your points, but will satisfy your craving and make eating smarter all the sweeter!

Weight Watchers + Candy = Yes You Can! Part One…

Whether we tried to lose a few pounds in a pinch for a special occasion, or we have struggled with losing weight for many years, at some point in time most of us have at least dabbled in dieting. Some of those diets are stranger than others, and some are downright dangerous. But luckily, others are created to be a long term, beneficial change in the way we eat; to not be a ‘diet’ in the sense of an event, but a change in our daily diet now and forever. Among the handful of those diet options that have been reliably, healthfully delivering the desired results for years is Weight Watchers.

I have never been a member of Weight Watchers myself, but have several friends and family members that have been or currently are. And unlike the horror stories we’ve all heard about diets ranging from those where you can only eat one food, to those where you have to eliminate entire food groups, I have never heard one bad word about Weight Watchers. And given my friends’ and family members’ capability of crafting a sharp-tongued complaint when they want to, that’s saying something!

While nobody loves the journey that is changing negative or less-than-ideal eating habits, the reason so many cite for their success on Weight Watchers is that it makes sense. Their rules don’t come from a place of punishment or denial – they’re smarter than that. The Weight Watchers team understands that if you are really, truly going to change the way you eat now, tomorrow, next year and the year after that, labeling foods as off-limits simply isn’t going to work. Who wants to sign up for a life with no pasta, bread, cake, candy or ice cream? Certainly not me! And with Weight Watchers, you don’t have to. Want to know why you don’t have to? Check back on the Blair Candy Blog next week for Part Two of this post!

Ferrara Pan Merges with Farley’s & Sathers Creating a Colossal Candy Company!

To say that either Ferrara Pan or Farley’s & Sathers were small before this monumental merger would be silly, but together they do create quite a candy force in the world of non-chocolates. We’ve been keeping up with the latest news on the merger for weeks, and in a June 21, 2012 article from the ChicagoTribune.com read that this candy combo is “believed to be the largest non-chocolate candy company in the United States.” Salvatore Ferrara II will be chairman and CEO of what will now be known as Ferrara Candy Co. Inc., and we’re confident this Candy King is more than ready to take the throne!

If you aren’t familiar with what each company brings to the candy shelf, we’ll highlight some sugary sweet classics. Bear in mind that Farley’s & Sather’s scooped up Brach’s Confections 5 years ago and you have a pretty good idea of how much candy is in this combined bowl!

Let’s think of Ferrara Pan and Farley’s & Sather’s as sports teams. Here’s who Blair Candy would choose as 2 favorite players from each team…

Team Ferrara Pan

Lemonheads: Packed with real lemon juice and enough fresh, fruity flavor to keep them in the starting lineup for decades, there’s no denying that Lemonheads are a fan-fave! The crowd goes wild for these yellow tart treats, and that lemon wearing a bowtie is about as cute as candy mascots come.

Jaw Breakers: They might be small in stature, but these candies prove that petite can pack a punch! Whatever color you start with, you’re in for a long-lasting walk down Sweet Street. You can throw these in at the start of the game and they’ll still be going strong well into overtime!

Team Farley’s & Sathers

Trolli Candy: Whether you can’t put Peachie-O’s down until the bag is empty, or it’s those Gummy Strawberry Creams that leave your taste buds begging for more, when your mouth wants to go all in with gummies, Trolli is ready to deliver!

Chuckles: These jelly candies may love to have a good time, but their commitment to serving up flavor is nothing to laugh about. Each bar brings lemon, lime, cherry, orange and licorice, offering something for everyone to enjoy. Talk about a team player!

Do You Think Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are Tasty Enough to Turn Thief For?

We should start with a little disclaimer about our stance on stealing: unless there are a handful of extenuating circumstances at play, it’s wrong. That said, every now and then we come across a story about a thief that leaves us laughing. And that’s exactly what happened today.

With a title like “Ohio candy thief targets mostly peanut butter cups,” you know you’re about to read the best thing you’ll read all day. Turns out there’s a candy thief in northern Ohio “who has stolen hundreds of dollars in peanut butter cups from a gas station store.” Hundreds of dollars! I know that gas stations don’t typically have the same low prices as Blair Candy, but regardless, hundreds of dollars will get you more than your fair share of cups.

The article goes on to explain this candy bandit’s M.O. As he usually commits his peanut buttery hustle after midnight, I’m going to profile him as a late night or early morning snacker. Maybe he likes to get a leg up on breakfast, giving his stolen sweets time to cool down in the refrigerator? Just a thought. What we do know for sure is that he’s fast. He pilches the Reese’s peanut butter cups and takes off before employees even have a chance to call the peanut butter police. (These are the regular police, by the way. We just like alliteration.)

As for trying to physically stop the thief, which we wouldn’t recommend anyway – it’s been unsuccessful. A clerk tried to capture this candy criminal but was “spun around” as he got away. I’m sure it wasn’t funny for the clerk involved, but come on, people! There’s a man out there stealing peanut butter cups on the regular, and if you get in his way he will spin you around and speed out the door. And it’s not a cartoon. If this wasn’t a crime, and likely at least somewhat scary in person, I’d say it’s some of the best advertising Reese’s could get!

Follow that Truck to the N.J. State Fair!

We have all fallen prey to the scent of a steakhouse or hot dog stand at least once in our lives. One second you don’t even realize you’re hungry, and the next you’re desperately searching for a parking space as your tummy rumbles with temptation. The power of smell is not to be underestimated; just think of how many times you have been transported to a particular place with just a whiff, how quickly the smell of your grandmother’s perfume can fill your mind with mountains of wonderful memories. To be sure, smell plays a monumental role in our lives, and can influence both the decisions we make and the way we feel.

Traditionally, most of us have been made aware of attractions through something we saw, be it a billboard, a television commercial or an advertisement on the side of a taxicab or bus. These are all effective ways to catch our attention and let us know of places or events we might enjoy visiting, be it a new restaurant, concert, performance or amusement park. To be sure, these methods of advertising work, along with word-of-mouth and other means. But something many of us might not have experienced is intentional scent marketing – emphasis on ‘intentional.’ Did that steakhouse engage in scent marketing when the aroma of a flavorful filet mignon brought us near? Yes – I think it’s safe to say it did. But that scent marketing was a natural byproduct of what was cooking inside, not a scent for scent’s sake. What the State Fair Meadowlands in New Jersey will be doing is something else entirely!

An article on DetroitNews.com caught my eye this morning as I was reading up on the latest candy news – Trucks emitting cotton candy scent promote N.J. state fair. Did my eyes deceive me, or was I really reading that there are magical trucks that smell of cotton candy? The only truck I’ve ever been trapped behind on the road reeked of exhaust – cotton candy would certainly be a welcome change! Reading on I discovered one of the coolest means of marketing I’ve ever had the pleasure of coming across – truly intentional scent marketing. According to the article, “fair operators will be spending $15,000 for two trucks to circulate in New Jersey and New York between now and the final weekend of the fair.” These trucks will be carrying mobile billboards that use a fabric drenched in the sweet smell of cotton candy and rely on the wind to carry the fair-favorite fragrance to passing drivers and passengers. The goal is to make them aware of the fair through sight and smell, which will ideally result in them making a stop at the fair part of their plans.

I know a good idea when I smell one, and I think this smells like success! What are your thoughts about scent marketing? Should Blair Candy jump on the scent wagon?

Unwrapping The 2012 Sweets & Snacks Expo

Wow, has this month flown by! One minute we were packing for the National Confectioners Association’s Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago, and the next, we were celebrating Memorial Day weekend! It’s been a busy month for us, with planning our move to our sparkling new (and much larger!) candy warehouse, debuting our new Candy By Decades section on our website, and of course – attending the Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago from May 8-10.

A whopping 570+ candy and snack companies exhibited their wares at the Sweets & Snacks Expo, debuting new candy and snack varieties that they hope will sell well this coming year. We came home with tons of tasty treats for our Blair Candy team to taste test and decide whether we should place them on our online candy store shelves. We were one of about 15,000 professionals in the candy industry to attend, and we had a wonderful time networking with candy companies and other candy and snack stores. We also reflected on the growth of the candy and snack industry through keynote sessions and learned some innovative marketing ideas to help us only grow.

Here’s a glimpse into the sweet life – at the Sweets and Snacks Expo 2012!

Keep a close eye on our online candy store shelves – we’re excited to be adding some of the fun new candy discovered at the Sweets & Snacks Expo!

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