Posts filed under ‘Marketing’

Creed for Candy

As you contemplate the vast glittering expanse of your Halloween booty, I offer you this little meditation on the loveliness of candy:

Candy adds to the sunshine of the world as well as to the nutrition of the world.

Candy is a symbol of fun to the child, sentiment to the adult, pleasure to old age.

Candy knows no social barriers, it is for the rich or poor, young or old, man or woman, no matter the race or religion or rank.

Candy is available to everyone, priced for everyone, with a choice for everyone.

Candy is delicious food.

Enjoy some every day!

–1948 Council on Candy, National Confectioners Association

colored candy figures
A little background information: The Council on Candy as Essential Food in the War Effort was organized by the National Confectioners Association in 1942 in response to the sugar rationing program. The Council on Candy was charged with persuading the government, the military, and the general population that candy was an essential food item, and therefore that candy manufacturers should continue to have access to sugar supplies. The “Creed for Candy” was reproduced and republished in magazine advertisements and shop placards as part of an ambitious advertising and education campaign in the 1940s aimed at securing a place for candy in American hearts and at American tables.

November 2, 2009 at 7:14 am 2 comments

A Musical TV Tribute to Candy, 1951

By 1951, candy was fully committed to a television future. TV viewers on the night of December 1, 1951, enjoyed a full-length musical tribute to candy, as featured on the popular Ken Murray Television Show. There were specially written songs, special costumes and scenery, and a unique candy dance extravaganza.

Family watching TV

Viewers would be entertained, to be sure. But they would also be educated. The Candy Show was a promotion for candy, after all. The 14 million viewers learned about the important part candy plays in food and nutrition, the tireless efforts of candy manufacturers to improve their products, and the “constant efforts being put forth to provide the buying public with delicious and wholesome candy.”

The Ken Murray Show’s sponsor probably had something to do with the plans for “one of the greatest good-will promotions in the entire history of the candy industry.” The sponsor was Anheuser-Busch. The Anheuser-Busch Corn Products Division was a major supplier of corn syrup to the candy industry (see CandyProfessor:  “Beer and Candy III”). So what was good for candy was good for corn products, and what was good for corn products was good for Anheuser-Busch.

Source: “TV Show to Promote Candy as Food,” Confectioners Journal Dec. 1951, p. 27

October 23, 2009 at 6:55 am 2 comments

Candy Discovers Television, 1950

In 1950, candy woke up to a whole new realm of candy selling and candy eating possibilities: television.

Watching TV

5 million television sets were in use in 1950, with another million expected to be added by years end. In the days of “family viewing,” that meant 15-20 million Americans gathered around the black and white hearth.

But what really caught the candy industry’s eye was this: families gathered around the television were eating candy. Lots of it.

TV was a perfect candy eating opportunity. TV created “a concentrated attentive audience, in a relaxed pleasure seeking mood. An audience that should be receptive to eating candy.”

Marketing professionals had some advice for exploiting this new opportunity. Henceforth, candy manufacturers would

1. sell the consumer on the idea of eating candy while watching television.

2. create special television candies and packages

3. investigate the potentials of television as an advertising medium for candy.

The observations of a reporter for Candy Industry proved prophetic:

As a new confectionery outlet it is still in infancy, if not the incubating stage. But it has taken root, and if properly developed, it may well have a terrific impact on the candy business in the months and years to come.

Source: “Television Opens New Candy Market.” (p 1, 31) Candy Industry 25 April 1950, 1, 31.

Related Posts:

  • Howdy Doody, brought to you by Candy
  • A Musical TV Tribute to Candy, 1951
  • October 21, 2009 at 5:03 pm 1 comment

    The First Candy Day, 1916

    close-up of lollipops

    October brings cooler days, longer nights, and Halloween, the biggest candy day of the year (at  least in my book).

    But one hundred years ago, there was no such thing as “trick or treating.”  For girls, Halloween was a night of genteel parties with apple bobbing and fortune tellers. And for boys it was the chance to turn hooligan for the night, to the consternation of property owners and upright citizens. But candy? Not so much.

    Some time in 1916, the candy people looked at their empty fall calendars and decided what America needed was a new candy holiday, a day to celebrate all things candy, to eat candy with extra enthusiasm, and not coincidentally, to give candy sales a boost in advance of the Christmas holiday season. So the word went forth from the National Confectioners Association: The second Saturday of October would henceforth be known as Candy Day.

    Candy Day, the day when every man, woman and child in this country will be urged to forget minor affairs for the time being and see to it that someone is sent a box or bag or bucket of candy.

    In anticipation of October 14, 1916, the candy trade journals beat the drum to encourage local candy shops to feature Candy Day promotions. Sample signs were published, as well as “articles” that could be sent to local papers extolling the festivities of Candy Day and the virtues of candy eating.

    The true “Candy Day” spirit is apart from the idea of just stimulating a greater consumption of candy. This will naturally follow a national educational campaign exploiting the real food value of candy–pure candy. The “Spirit of Candy Day” proper may be interpreted as a spirit of good will, appreciation and good fellowship.

    The sentiments were noble. But behind the scenes, the intentions were no secret.

    The only motive of the [NCA Executive Committee] is to aid every Manufacturer, Jobber and Retailer in increasing his profits through increased sales on “Candy Day.”

    It’s simply asking you if you want to make some extra money, and if you do, you are requested to go ahead and push this “Candy Day” idea.

    Unfortunately, the holiday was short-lived. Candy Day had been a mixed success. Candy shops that used the promotional materials had good sales, and customers seemed happy with another occasion to enjoy the sweet stuff. In late 1916 hopes were high that with the proper promotion, Candy Day would takes its place alongside the more widely recognized holidays. But Candy Day 1917, meant to be celebrated on October 13, had to be canceled. Something else came up. A little distraction we know today as “World War I.”

    There is more to the story. Efforts were made to revive Candy Day after the war, but it never really caught on. Candy Day was reinvented as “Sweetest Day” in Cleveland in 1921, and that did have a little more success, but that is another story (I’ll write about that one soon).

    Of course, today we DO have a “Candy Day” in October. We just call it something else. We call it HALLOWEEN!

    P.S. Look on your calendar; the second Saturday in October is tomorrow. Happy Candy Day!

    Sources: “Nation Wide Candy Day,” Candy and Ice Cream July 1916, p. 34; “Candy Day,” International Confectioner June 1916, p. 39; (NT: Candy Day results) International Confectioner Nov. 1916, p. 41

    October 9, 2009 at 6:03 am 1 comment

    La Cellophane

    dupont cellophane candy ad 1950In a 1925 advertising pamphlet, the newly formed DuPont Cellophane company extolled its new product, “DuPont Cellophane: The New Super Wrap”:

    …as transparent as glass…its smooth surface and lustrous gloss enhance both color and form. … It is germ-proof, odorless and odor-proof, and will preserve freshness and prevent contamination.

    Most importantly, Cellophane promised to improve sales:

    a wrap of Cellophane will permit a clear view of your product so that it can advertise and sell itself at the same time protecting it from handling, dust, germs, bacteria, etc. It is estimated that 90% of all merchandise in the retail store is bought through appeal to the eye. A wrap of Cellophane cannot fail to add materially to the salability of your product through its appearance alone.

    DuPont listed 18 industries and products that were using Cellophane to advantage, including tobacco, meats, drugs, and cosmetics. Number one was candy and confectionery.

    Cellophane was an exciting product in the 1920s. Books and pamphlets were published extolling its uses not only in wrapping and preserving goods, but in crafts as well. The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company commissioned a study investigating the impact of such transparent wrappers on various industries, including the candy industry.

    Whitman, of “Whitman’s Chocolate Sampler Box,” was the first Cellophane customer in America. Transparent wrapping had enormous benefits for candy sales. Customers liked knowing that the candy was protected, and they being able to see what they were getting. One candy retailer reported:

    As an indication of what transparent wrapping will do in increasing and maintaining the sale of the product, last summer we took an item which was slowly but surely losing consumer acceptance, packaged it in a transparent bag, and almost immediately our sales increased.

    DuPont didn’t invent cellophane. A Swiss engineer discovered the material in 1908. As as early as 1914, “La Cellophane” was available to U.S. candy makers, imported from France by Franz Euler and Company and advertised in the major candy trade journals.

    The earliest cellophanes were waterproof, but not impervious to water vapor. This was a problem for candy, but DuPont created a new moisture-proof formulation in 1927, and candy wrapping was never the same. Not every candy seller in the 1920s could see that candy was on the brink of a revolution. When asked about what impact cellophane was likely to have on the candy business, one manufacturer opined:

    I believe that transparent packaging will continue to grow in favor. HoweverI do not believe that they will ever entirely take the place of candies packed in bulk.

    But by the 1950s, cellophane was everywhere. DuPont had expanded its own production, and others had started manufacturing the material. DuPont was the major player, though. The Justice Department went so far as to bring a lawsuit against DuPont in 1947 charging a monopoly on wrapping materials, the famous cellophane anti-trust case. While DuPont’s plans for expansion were held up by the litigation, the company took the extraordinary step of encouraging their competitors to meet the cellophane demand.

    It is true that in a few “nostalgia” shops, candy can still be bought in bulk. But clear plastic wrappers are so common today, we don’t even notice them. Many new strong, transparent and flexible materials have become available for candy packaging. DuPont stopped making cellophane in 1986. But it was cellophane that started the revolution.

    Sources:

    Du Pont Cellophane: The New Super Wrap. (New York: DuPont Cellophane Co., 1925);Transparent wrappings as a sales aid for food products; a report on the experiences of 29 companies. (New York: Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Policyholders Service Bureau, 1932);Craft with “Cellophane” cellulose film.(New York : Du Pont Cellophane Co., 1935); The History of Cellophane, by Mary Bellis at http://inventors.about.com/od/cstartinventions/a/Cellophane.htm

    More: For an extended discussion of the rapid rise of wrappers in candy manufacture between 1914 and 1917, see my article The Candy  Prophylactic: Danger, Disease, and Children’s Candy around 1916, in particular the section titled “Covers and Wrappings: the Rise of Hygenic Candy”

    The New York Times obituary of Karl Prindle, who invented the waterproofing formula for Du Pont, tells another part of the cellophane story.

    September 23, 2009 at 2:54 pm 5 comments

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    Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure

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