It could be the mighty growth of the Baby Boomer population or a hearkening for simpler times, but unit sales of hard sugar candies have increased almost 5% in the past year, as reported in Professional Candy Buyer July/August issue.
According to Symphony Group, a Chicago-based market research firm, manufacturers sold $320.7 million worth of hard candy sales.
“We’re seeing a nice increase in hard candy sales, specifically suckers,” says Ellia Kassoff, CEO of Leaf Brands, LLC, Irvine, Calif. “Candy sales as a whole have increased during a bad economy simply because it brings a little happiness to people. It’s relatively inexpensive and also might remind them when they were a kid and things were simpler.”
Leaf Brands, LLC is very much on top of both trends – a call for nostalgia and a desire for the hard candy format – planning several product launches this year that address both needs.
After securing the worldwide rights in 2010, Leaf Brands™ will re-introduce the iconic Astro Pops®, the rocket-shaped lollipops that were reputed to be the longest lasting lollipop on earth in the fourth quarter of 2011. Thousands of fans who have been missing this candy since it was discontinued in September 2004 will now be able to taste the lollipops once again.
“We also expanded our Astro Pop line to include Astro Pop Asteroids™, which are small hard candy shaped like crystals and will have all three of the original Astro Pop flavors in them,” Kassoff says. “With an iconic product like Astro Pop, which is over 40 years old, both adults will love the nostalgic memories of Astro Pops growing up and kids will love the cool design, colors and flavors. We really try to fill both markets.”
Leaf Brands™ will also be launching a full product line of natural hard candies, Yummers!™, delicious, succulent flavors bursting from a hard candy shell. Made with 100% real fruit pieces, fruit juice and fruit flavors, it’s so yummy, you think you’re eating the real fruit!
As reported in Professional Candy Buyer July – August 2011 issue, when asked to choose “the best description to read on a food label,” 25% of consumers said “100 percent natural” or “All natural.”
“We see the consumer interested in natural products and wanted to be able to provide a line of hard candies that they would feel good about eating,” Kassoff said.
Yummers™ will be available in four varieties, Fruity, Sour, Pure, and ‘Almost No Sugar’ in 25 diverse flavors such as cantaloupe, pineapple and papaya. It’s a mouth-watering experience that could almost substitute for eating the real thing.
About Leaf Brands, LLC: The original LEAF Brands were started in the 1920’s. LEAF Brands, once the fourth largest candy producer in North America, brought candy classics such as Whoppers® and Jolly Rancher® to the marketplace. Members of the Leaf family have assembled together once again to revive the Leaf name and its famous image after the US division was sold to The Hershey Corporation in 1996 and left the United States. Products include Astro Pops®, Yummers!™, Farts™ and David’s Signature Beyond Gourmet™ products.