Candy Cane Emergency

December 22, 2011 at 7:24 pm 10 comments

Nearly the night before Christmas…Where the Heck are the Candy Canes?

Here in Brooklyn Heights, my little elf and I journeyed hither and yon in search of your basic classic candy cane. You know the one I’m talking about: peppermint, white with red stripes. The Classic, to hang on our tree.

How many drug and grocery/food stores do you think we visited before we found this basic Yule-time staple? One? Three? Guess again.

We found the candy canes in store number NINE! Yes, eight stores, and nary a cane.

1. Duane Reade Drug Store: one box of Skittles brand fruit canes

2. Perlander Natural Foods: no holiday candy (hardly any candy at all, actually, but I was hoping for some “all natural” canes)

3. Key Food: Christmas? Who knew?

4. Sahadi’s Specialty Foods: Beautiful Hammond’s lollipops, but no canes

5. Rite Aid: one box Skittles brand canes, one Lifesavers, all lurid un-Christmasy colors.

6. Rite Aid (another one): large pink and white Barbie cane

7. Garden of Eden (expensive specialty foods): closest they had here was pretzels coated in white chocolate and peppermint crumbs.

8. Duane Reade (another one): a couple of boxes of Skittles brand and one other with green apple and strawberry flavored canes.

9. City Chemist: EUREKA! An independent store with a “old time” candy section, at last we find real Christmas candy canes. We almost missed them, though; they were stashed below some discounted boxes of Christmas cards, not even with the Christmas candy proper. No respect! But at $1.99 per dozen, and 30% off, we are happy.

Is it just that all the candy canes are sold out? Or is the old-fashioned hard peppermint just not hip enough for the Facebook generation? Any theories?

 

 

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Trixie  |  December 27, 2011 at 10:10 am

    I think they were just sold out. I’ve seen lots of old fashion candy canes all over NYC city recently: in stores, in bars, on trees, etc. They haven’t gone out of style yet!

    Reply
    • 2. Candy Professor  |  December 27, 2011 at 10:30 am

      That’s good news!

      Reply
  • 3. jim kosmicki  |  December 27, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    I think it’s mainly that candy sections are increasingly controlled by the giant candy corporations with their payments for placement. I don’t know of any of the big companies that make a simple peppermint candy cane, because there’s no real way to brand it – the closest is probably Tootsie with their limited edition peppermint Pop Drops. note that you had no problem finding Skittle branded candy canes.

    the biggest Candy Cane brands are probably Spangler’s and Bob’s – and they are regular purveyors to discount stores, but not to fancier stores. If you had Walmarts where you live, you’d have found plenty of Bob’s Candy Cane products. I can usually find King Leo brand in dollar stores, but those are usually bite-size hard candies, not traditional canes.

    I am surprised at the store that had the Hammond’s lollipops but not their candy canes – their hand made candy canes are one of the things that made them famous.

    Reply
  • 4. Loralee  |  January 4, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    I always find candy canes at my local grocery store and drugstore–Spangler’s and Bob’s, as mentioned above. I always choose Bob’s when I can, because if you heat them just right you can stretch them like rubber bands.

    Reply
  • 5. treatwitch  |  January 5, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    not to taunt , but I was thrilled to watch candy canes made from scratch in Kentucky this year!

    Reply
    • 6. Candy Professor  |  January 7, 2012 at 7:12 pm

      Aargh, I’m jealous! It’s on my list!

      Reply
  • 7. Trixie  |  January 21, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    FYI: I saw Bob’s Candy Canes at 75% off yesterday at the Rite Aid on 14th Street between A and B in NYC.

    Reply
  • 8. susie  |  April 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    I know the season has come and gone, but I had this experience as well. But I was most unhappy to find that the traditional candy canes at the grocery and Target were made in Mexico. Seriously? We can’t make candy canes?

    Reply
    • 9. Candy Professor  |  April 18, 2012 at 1:56 pm

      The ones I finally bought were even stranger, made in Vietnam of all places.

      Reply

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Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure

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Candy in American Culture What is it about candy? Here you'll find the forgotten, the strange, the curious, the surprising. Our candy story, one post at a time.

Samira Kawash, PhD
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