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Summer Candy

Fun and Flavorful Candy Cocktail Ideas for Adults!

While enjoying dinner and drinks with friends a few weeks ago, I was met with a fun-tastic surprise while browsing the cocktail menu. As if they were designed from my own mind, the restaurant had incorporated candy into many of its martinis! Once my excitement subsided, I was dumbstruck by the fact that I had never thought to do this on my own. Not that I think I’m a genius, but I’ve been surrounded by candy since birth – somewhere along the way it should have come to me!

I wasn’t driving that night so I was able to satisfy my sweet tooth with a sampling of sweet ‘tinis. My first choice a Pop Rocks martini, featuring a glass rimmed with, you guessed it, Pop Rocks! Seriously people, how did this never occur to me? My next tasty temptation was a bubble gum vodka martini with a Charms Blow Pop dunked inside and poking out the top of the glass. Whatever bubble gum-loving guru was behind that creation was one smart cookie! I may have even had two.

Reminiscing now on those marvelous martinis, I did a little search to see what other ideas might be floating around out there. And I quickly discovered I need to have a get-together with my favorite ladies and fellas as soon as possible! Candy cocktails would be delicious any time of year, but they’re simply perfect for summer. And one of my favorite ideas doesn’t even involve putting candy in the glass, but around it! In this mouthwatering post on the A Beautiful Mess Blog – A Candy Cocktail Party – I was literally left gasping over the Orange Soda Cocktail. Garnishing the stem of a martini glass with Ring Pops? Brilliant! It also solves the question of whose drink is whose – just remember your Ring Pop color and you can keep swapping gossip and having good times without sharing germs.

I’ll be keeping my eye out for more summery sweet candy cocktail ideas, and would love to hear from you if you have any awesome ideas! As for this moment I’m still at the office, so I’ll simply be sipping my lemonade with one of the Striken Strawberry Sour Punch Twists that are never far from reach. ;)

Host a 4th of July Backyard Bazaar for Kids and Adults Alike!

If you’ve spent any amount of time around children, you know that one of their most charming traits is having a creative and active imagination. They can dream up complex stories from scratch, create imaginary worlds with the help of random objects laying about the house, and find new and inventive ways to have fun with even the most limited of resources. After all, kids don’t have jobs and don’t drive, so they have to make do with what they’ve got! And make do with what we’ve got is exactly what the kids in my neighborhood and I did when we put together our first summer bazaar many years ago.

I’m not sure if I realized it at the time, but I was a very lucky kid. My parents weren’t overly-strict, my neighborhood was safe, and I had plenty of kids to play with in surrounding houses. As such, I had the freedom to float through my summer days, riding my bike here, swimming in a pool there, and just generally enjoying myself in a way that I would love to relive for a few days as an adult! My neighbor friends and I would often gather on my front porch as ours was the biggest, and we would play classic kids games like Jacks and Truth or Dare. But just as all kids do, we would also get bored. And when we got bored, we got creative! In fact, it was this boredom that brought about the first of many backyard bazaars.

I’m not sure if bazaars are the same all over the country, so I’ll clarify as to what bazaars are in the Blair Candy neck of the woods! A bazaar is a local outdoor event, typically held in the summer, that is hosted by a Church or non-profit organization. The event is designed to bring the community together for some fun while raising money for the Church or non-profit. Bazaar highlights include fair-style foods, like snow cones and pierogies, live music from local musicians, craft stands with unique offerings, and importantly…games! These games are typically very cheap, about a quarter per play, with prizes ranging from candy to handcrafted quilts. In many cases, everyone wins at least something small, while one person takes something a bit bigger. That something small is almost always candy – Dum Dums and Tootsie Frooties are popular – so there’s no crying kids (or adults!) walking away empty-handed.

The beauty of bazaars is that they are an awesomely-affordable good time, and the smaller bazaars can be just as fun as the larger ones. With this in mind, the neighborhood kids and I decided to try our hand at creating a bazaar just for us, and it was nearly-free and a whole lot of fun. Want to try it with your kids? There’s no time like the long 4th of July Weekend! The ideas outlined below were those we used in our backyard bazaars years ago, but the rules are only limited by your own imagination. Tip: Ask your kids for their ideas, too. They’ll definitely have good ones! :)

Backyard Bazaar Ideas

Plastic Kiddie Pool – Almost everyone has one of those tiny blue kiddie pools or knows someone who does. But you may not have ever used it for a ring toss! For our backyard bazaar, we filled the pool about 1/3 of the way with water and set some rubber ducks to float. We then found some weighted plastic rings (these were a pool toy for a larger pool) and those became the tossing rings. The goal was to get as many rings as possible around the floating rubber ducks! This game can easily be modified with whatever you’ve got on hand, and is a fun game for adults as well.

Set Up Some Tunes – If your children have instruments of their own, even if they are of the plastic toy variety, book them for your backyard bazaar! They’re sure to love being center stage as they perform whatever songs they like best. And don’t forget to pay them for the gig. Most kids will be willing to work for peanuts, but Bubble Gum Candy Coins make the deal seem more real!

Find Your Prizes – This part is not only fun, but it can help you cut down on some clutter, too. While it’s a good idea to stock up on some penny candy for the little prizes, you can ‘go shopping’ for the other prizes right at home…and we aren’t talking about shopping online! As I mentioned above, as kids we had to work with what we had. So we each went to our respective homes and looked around for trinkets and little whatnots we no longer wanted or needed, such as stuffed animals won in crane machines and puzzles we had already put together a dozen times. Once we had approval from our parents to offer these items up into the prize pool, we set out to play games to win them. These included the Ring Toss mentioned above, as well as simpler games, like Hot Potato. After hours of fun, we all got to walk away with someone else’s unwanted toys that were now our treasures!

Wishing you all a Safe and Happy 4th of July full of fireworks, fun, and perhaps something a bit bazaar!

Perfect Candy to Pack for Summer Vacation!

For as delicious as the many mouthwatering varieties of chocolate bars are, discovering a Snickers at the bottom of your beach bag is more of an ‘ut-oh’ than a ‘yay!’ Unfortunately, not all the things we love get along as well as we would like them to, including chocolate and the hot summer sun. But that doesn’t mean your summer vacation need be sans sweets.

Whether you’re taking a road trip and want some tasty treats for the car, are beach-bound and want something to lazily enjoy as you soak up some sun, or are headed to any other number of vacation-worthy destinations, we have some cool candy ideas to consider taking along! It is important to remember that no candy is summer-proof, so use caution and consider the weather before heading out with candy in tow. If the temperature is climbing high enough, it may be best to keep your candy somewhere cool, dry and away from the sun, and enjoy it once you’re back at the hotel. :)

Twizzlers – Whether you’re sweet on strawberry, go bonkers for black, or choose cherry every time, Twizzlers makes for a tempting year-round treat that can stand the heat! It is also a low fat candy that’s loved by all ages, from toddlers to grandmas, making it a smart selection for family getaways where a snack with mass appeal will save you space and make packing a bit easier.

Single Wrapped Sour Patch Kids – Imagine regular-sized Sour Patch Kids had a teenage sibling, and you have a good idea of what to expect in our single wrapped Sour Patch Kids! Each oversized Kid is tucked inside its own clear wrapper keeping it clean and easy to toss in a beach bag, purse, or vacation-classic – fanny pack! Your bag is sure to be swimming with everything from sun block in varying SPFs to suit the whole family, to mountains of maps, brochures and loose change. The last thing you need to worry about is getting enough sand off the Sour Patch Kids to give them to the little ones! Keep ‘em clean and convenient with this vacation candy must-have.

Gummi Bear Rings – Think candy doesn’t get much better than gummy bears? Well…you’re half right. Gummy bears are tough to beat on the ‘fantastic classic’ front, but even candy that’s pretty perfect can be re-imagined into something even more fun. Case in point…gummi bear rings! With 100 fat free rings per box, these are sure to bring plenty of smiles all vacation long. Why simply eat a gummi bear when you can wear it first?! These are a bit more ‘melty’ than some summer candies, so we do advise that if it’s a very hot day, you keep these back at the hotel room to be enjoyed later.

Coconut Fruit Mushrooms – One of the latest and greatest arrivals at BlairCandy.com, these coconut mushrooms are making quite a splash! From Gerrit Verburg comes one of the prettiest, most unique candies of all, with a mouthwatering, fruity coconut flavor that just screams ‘summer!’ Fun to look at, fun to share, fun to enjoy – these little pieces of candy art are a pleasure to the eyes and the taste buds.

There’s plenty more vacation-ready candy at Blair just waiting for you to take it along! And if you have any questions about whether something is a good pick for your trip, reach out to us at the Blair Candy Twitter or Blair Candy Facebook and we’d be happy to help. It is always your best bet to keep candy out of the sun and heat as much as possible, and to add Ice Packs to your Blair Candy order, but there are of course some candies that are more up to the summer challenge than others!

Safe Travels and Sweet Treats, everyone!

Consider a Candycation This Summer!

While we don’t typically have candy bars on the brain while the temperature outside climbs into the 90’s, what we do have on the brain is summer fun in the sun! And one of our favorite places to visit on these warm and wonderful days is Hersheypark in Hershey, PA. As fellow Pennsylvanians, we’ve made quite a few trips to this park over the years, and can honestly say it’s one of the best there is. (For the record, Pennsylvania amusement parks Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom and Knoebels Amusement Resort are awesome, too!) If you’ve never been to Hersheypark, we recommend making a two-day trip of it if you can, as there is quite a bit to check out and enjoy.

We usually begin our Hershey adventure at Hershey’s Chocolate World, where you can take the mouth-watering Chocolate Tour Ride. You get a fun and informative peek inside the making of Hershey’s candy, and the ride is filled with the rich aroma of sweet, spectacular chocolate. The ride is slow-moving and appropriate for all ages, making a family-friendly treat everyone is sure to love! After you’ve taken the tour, you can see all the other fun that Chocolate World has to offer, or you can step outside to line up for the rides at Hersheypark, which include Kiddie Rides, Water Rides, and my favorite rides of all – roller coasters! Hersheypark boasts quite an impressive lineup of coasters, with my top 2 residing in the Comet Hollow area of the park – the Sooperdooperlooper and the Comet. The Sidewinder is also a uniquely thrilling coaster, and resides in the Pioneer Frontier section of the park with 3 other coasters.

As fantastic as candy and coasters are, Hershey and Hersheypark offer lots of other exciting things to do, including ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park, and tons of shows and Summer Concerts. Need a little relaxation after all the rides? You can always literally slather yourself in chocolate at The Chocolate Spa! The Spa At The Hotel Hershey brings an unforgettable experience, with luxuriously decadent treatments that include a Whipped Cocoa Bath and Chocolate Fondue Wrap. This is definitely the place that “Mmmm” meets “Ahhh!”

We hope that if you give Hershey a visit you’ll enjoy your time there as much as we always do! We also hope that as long as you’re in Pennsylvania, you’ll take a swing by our brick-and-mortar Blair Candy in Altoona, PA – about 2 ½ hrs. from Hersheypark. We’ll have plenty of the Hershey’s summer-friendly favorite – Twizzlers – in stock and ready to enjoy!

Cookout-Themed Candy is Perfect for Summer Parties!

If you haven’t already fired up your grill this season, chances are good the next couple weeks will have you dusting it off and preparing your taste buds for the best hot dog and hamburger you’ve had since September! Cookout Season is upon us, with all its mouth-watering macaroni salad, frosty glasses of lemonade, and aforementioned burgers and hotdogs, whose deliciousness transcends even the Christmas ham (though I’ve never had that on the grill…hmmm…) And while it really does only take a few dishes, a few lawn chairs, and a few friends and family members to make a cookout a success, we have some simple ideas to add some extra fun to the table – literally!

While it can take a lot of time, money and work to completely theme your party, there are small touches that add a bit of a theme without adding a lot of those things. Instead of creating a theme for the cookout, use the cookout itself as the theme! Think a cookout can’t be a theme? Think again…

Gummy Mini Burgers – Don’t worry, you aren’t going to have to invest in a teeny tiny burger flipper – these sweet gummy patties are ready-to-eat and perfect for picnics and cookouts. Each box comes packed with 60 mini burgers from the popular efrutti brand of gummy goodies. The burgers are individually wrapped for freshness, which also makes them easy to leave out without risking them getting dirty or attacked by curious flies, bees and mosquitoes!

Gummy Hot Dogs – Just like you won’t need an itty-bitty burger flipper for the snacks above, you won’t be struggling to line up ketchup and mustard on a baby bun for the efrutti gummy hot dogs. These are oh-so-cute and just as cookout-friendly, being some of the softest, freshest, fruitiest gummies you’ve ever enjoyed!

Marshmallow Ice Cream Cones – Ice cream has always been a difficult summer treat, despite its summery amazingness. The battle to ‘make it work’ has raged on since ice cream and summer began, and as much as these 2 adore each other, fate does not appear to be on their side. That’s where Marpo marshmallow ice cream cones step in to save these star-crossed lovers!

Fruit Salad – You’ve got your burgers, you’ve got your hot dogs, and you’ve got your ice cream…what else is there? A fruit salad, of course! We can’t help you with the regular fruit salad; you’re going to have to hit the fruit stands for those ingredients. But for the ‘candy fruit salad’ we’ve got you covered! You can set up a small ‘candy bar’ with plastic or paper cups or bowls, and set out different ‘fruits’ with spoons for friends and family to build a candy fruit salad. Summery, sweet options include: Gummy Melon Rings, Gummy Peach Rings and Gummy Berries. Mmmm!

Concession Supplies – From French Fry Trays to Banana Split Boats!

At Blair Candy Headquarters, we’re seeing our concession candy orders climb as stands across the country run low on everything from Quench gum to Slim Jims. But it isn’t just the sweet and salty stuff we offer at Blair. We’ve also got a great selection of concession supplies that are affordable and durable. We know you don’t want your fans walking around with nacho cheese all over their shirt – especially if they’re wearing a team shirt! So we offer containers and trays that are built to last through the last bite, be it a fresh pile of fries or a hot dog with the works.

Let’s take a look at just a few of the concession supplies we offer…

Snow Cone Cups – 6 oz. – 200 ct. for $7.75 – Less than 4 cents per cup! While most of us grumble when we get too much ice in our soda, sweet, flavored ice in a snow cone cup is a completely different story! There will be no grumbles. There will be no mumbles. There will only be ‘mmmm’ s. It’s also worth noting that since snow cones are just ice and a little syrup, their profit margin can be much higher than many other snacks. Also, fans in the stands might bring along their own soda in their purses and backpacks, but there aren’t a whole lot of people walking around with their own snow cones!

French Fry Trays – 250 ct. for $7.30 – Less than 3 cents per tray! There are few things in life as universally appreciated as French fries. Sure, there will always be one or two people in a crowd that claim not to care for them, but the only reasonable explanation for that would be that they’re lying. Or perhaps they never had a French fry and are embarrassed. Maybe a French fry bit them when they were a child? I’m not sure, really. But I am sure that most people love them, whether they dip ‘em in ketchup, cover ‘em in salt, pour on the vinegar, shake on the Old Bay, or customize them in any other of the countless ways that are all delicious!

Banana Split Boats – 75 ct. for $27 – Just 36 cents per boat! Our banana split boats are super sturdy and sized just right for an oh-so-delicious banana split. This delectable summer treat can easily go from scrumptious to sloppy in the blink of an eye, so we made sure to stock a durable boat that was up for the challenge. You’ll appreciate that they’re easy to work with, and your concession stand shoppers will appreciate that they have something sturdy to hold while they savor every last lick. Banana splits are typically a more expensive concession stand snack, so it helps to invest in a better quality container that will keep all the goodness in the boat where it belongs!

Sugar Free and Gluten Free Candy for Your Concession Stand

Much like most things in the world, candy is not a one-size-fits-all indulgence. While it may be a near universal truth that everyone loves candy, counting at least one treat as a go-to favorite that always tastes as good as the first one they ever enjoyed, many of us have dietary restrictions that allow for us to only eat certain foods, baked goods and candies. These restrictions, including that foods must be sugar free or gluten free, apply to not only many adults, but many children as well.

As anyone who has been living with these restrictions for any length of time knows, staying on track while enjoying events just as much as those without a special diet is made much easier when awesome options are readily available to you! We know you want the concession candy you sell at your stand to appeal to as many people as possible, not just so you can make more sales, but also to show you appreciate that kids and adults who must limit their sugar or avoid gluten will still want a sweet snack when they’re taking a break from playing or watching the game. With that in mind, we’ve put together a few popular options from our sugar free candy and gluten free candy collections that are perfect for concession stands…

Sugar Free Candy

Too Tarts Sugar Free Drops – Somehow candy is even more exciting and enjoyable when it comes in a fun container, and these sugar free Too Tarts certainly do! Each bottle of this “Sugar Free Candy With Attitude!” packs just 7 calories and plenty of fun. Each box of 36 contains 3 flavors – Blue Bewwy, Gween Apple and Straw Bewwy.

Sugar Free Twizzlers – One of the best warm weather candies there is, we’re excited to offer Sugar Free Twizzlers, which are just as dee-lish as the original. This generously-sized 5 oz. bag holds 16 strawberry Twizzlers – more than enough to last a few extra innings!

Gluten Free Candy

Push Pops – The wrappers may have received an update over the years, but the classic container of Push Pop lollipops is immediately recognizable. A favorite for more years than I care to count, these make a nostalgic candy treat for adults, and are just plain fun for the kids. And if you’re enjoying one in the dugout and it’s time to play ball, you can simply snap the top back on and pick up where you left off later – smart and sweet!

Air Heads Taffy – Another candy classic that I loved as a kid, Air Heads are just as awesome today as they ever were. Blair Candy offers Air Heads in boxes of 36, with the following fruity flavors to choose from: Cherry, Strawberry, Blue Raspberry, Sour Apple, Watermelon, Green Apple, and the most fun of all – White Mystery. What flavor will White Mystery be? Only a taste will tell!

Wishing your team and your concession stand the best of luck this year!

Concession Candy Favorites are MVPs at Blair Candy: Part 2 – The Salty Snacks!

In our last post here on the Blair Candy Blog we highlighted 5 of our most timeless, tasty, popular sweet picks from our concession candy selections. But for as fantastic as each of those sugary must-haves may be, sports fans cannot live on candy alone! Don’t worry, we aren’t suggesting you stock your stand with vegetables and fiber bars – we haven’t lost our minds! We just want to remind you before you hit that order button that salty snacks are also a concession stand hit. So without further ado, we present you with 5 favorites that are sure to fly off the shelf faster than the ball off the bat…

David Sunflower Seeds – You’d have a tricky time finding a well-stocked concession stand that doesn’t offer this classic snack. When I was a kid they were only available in ‘Regular’, or at the very least that’s the only variety I ever plopped my pennies down for. Today, BBQ, Nacho and Ranch flavors have been added to the sunflower seed family, and I can’t help but think that if they were brothers and sisters they would get along famously! Each is delicious in its own way, but when the bases are loaded and my excited energy is at its peak, I’m a ‘Regular’ girl reaching for a handful of the comforting classic!

Shredded Beef Jerky – I carried a pack of shredded beef jerky so often as a child that it’s a wonder my jeans never developed a worn circle where it sat! To this day it’s one of my favorite salty snacks, and works well as a protein-packed pick-me-up for long days at the office. But it’s at the baseball game that shredded beef jerky looks most at home, in the hands of the fans on the bleachers who will always root for the home team no matter that season’s score.

Planters Heat Peanuts – Something about sports brings out the fiery snacker in all of us, and Planters Heat peanuts
are one of the best ways we know to satisfy your spicy tooth! With Planters, you always know your getting the best peanuts on the planet – their name didn’t become synonymous with ‘peanut’ without good reason! You also know they won’t be gathering dust on the concession stand shelf as they’re a time-tested treat that never gets picked last.

Indian Salted Pumpkin Seeds - If David Sunflower Seeds have a best friend, it surely lives inside this familiar red paper pack. For serious salt-lovers only, Indian pumpkin seeds are as close as it gets to pumpkin seed perfection outside of roasting and salting them yourself straight from the pumpkin. I still remember my salt-pursed lips as a kid, which always gave away the fact that I’d eaten two packs! Much like the shredded beef jerky mentioned above, pumpkin seeds are also naturally high in protein, giving you some extra oomph to get through the game!

Combos – Whether you bite them in half and eat the filling first, or enjoy Combos in one satisfying crunch, there are enough tempting flavors to keep your taste buds happy all season long. Blair Candy makes it easy to offer your players and fans the Combos they like best with 18-packs filled with the flavors (and quantities of each) that you choose. Pick from Cheddar, Nacho, Pepperoni Pizza, Pizza Pretzel, Cheddar Cracker, Salsa and Jalapeno. And don’t worry – there’s no wrong choice! :)

Concession Candy Favorites are MVPs at Blair Candy: Part 1 – The Sweet Snacks!

As baseball teams across the country lace up their cleats once again and take to the field for that most American of all sports, BlairCandy.com also gets our starting lineup ready! We offer concession candy all year round, but when spring breaks we make sure our shelves are filled with our star players. Whatever spring sport you’ll be stocking the concession stand for, we’re confident you’ll find your flavorful favorites in our selection! We also offer a great selection of concession stand supplies at great prices, including hot dog containers, French fry paper trays, straws, plastic nacho trays and raffle tickets!

Not sure what to offer at your stand this year? While we offer 100s of candy choices that would make a great fit for concession stands, there are a few that we consider must-haves – the candies that no concession stand would be complete without! And with that, we present 5 of our All Stars…

Big League Chew – This pouch of juicy perfection has been a favorite since it hit the stands, and its fans have never looked back. To chew it is to love it, with its unique form and mouth-watering deliciousness. Plus…it’s just plain fun!

Laffy Taffy and Laffy Taffy Ropes – It should be known by all who were once a kid that taffy at the concession stand is an absolute must! When my friends and I would go to local games to see our friends play, we would let the taffy sit on the metal bleacher for 5-10 minutes in the sun before we opened it up. Softening Laffy Taffy was, as far as we were concerned, precisely what the sun and metal bleachers were made for. When you peeled back that wrapper, it was sweet candy strings of amazingness stuck to the wrapper, and a warm piece of wonderful in the middle. Sure, it was messy. But somehow that never really bothered us. At all.

Ring Pops – Just as tasty as they ever were, there’s something special about Ring Pops that only a few other candies can capture in my memory. The moment I slip the open-backed band onto my pinkie, I’m instantly taken back to a particular moment in my childhood, the moment of my first or at least favorite Ring Pop, sitting and smiling on my front porch on a sunny summer day while the neighbor kids and I dug into our brown paper bags, a fresh haul from the corner candy store. I think it has something to do with Ring Pops being something you taste and wear – they appeal to multiple senses, making them last longer in your mind, tying them for eternity to ‘where you were’ when you had your first one. When you sell them at your concession stand, consider that each Ring Pop you sell just might be the one that kid remembers the most! I’ve eaten hundreds of Ring Pops in my life, but that one on the front porch of my childhood home is the one I remember best, and the one that makes me smile every time and keeps me coming back for more.

Fun Dip – While the kids you’re selling this longtime concession candy favorite to might only know it as Fun Dip, you might remember it the way I do – as Lik-m-aid! And that little white candy stick inside, which just might be the best candy ever and SERIOUSLY NEEDS TO BE SOLD ON ITS OWN (Yes, I’m talking to you Wonka…please!!!), well that white candy stick was the Lick-a-stick! Or, as old school Lik-m-aid Fun Dip came with 3 packs of sugar and two candy sticks, they were Lik-a-stix. Ringing a bell? I hope so! Whether you remember them as Lik-m-aid, or they’ve always just been Fun Dip, this is one of the best concession candy choices of all time, and we don’t think that will be changing any time soon!

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