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Confections

Chocolat Frey AG Acquires SweetWorks, Inc.

Chocolat Frey has acquired a majority of the stock of SweetWorks, Inc. retroactively as of January 1, 2014. Headquartered in Buffalo, N.Y., SweetWorks operates a production plant in Buffalo with approximately 200 employees, and also owns a subsidiary, Oak Leaf Confections Co., in Toronto, Ontario, Canada that employs around 250 workers. SweetWorks will continue to operate as an independent group of companies and their production facilities and staff will remain in place. Current owner and CEO Philip Terranova will continue as President of SweetWorks. The purchase price is undisclosed.

SweetWorks and Chocolat Frey pursue comparable business models with the production of high quality chocolate and chewing gum. The assortment structures of the two companies complement each other strategically. Mutual synergies can be found along the entire value chain.

All of the North American market activities of Chocolat Frey and SweetWorks will be combined under a single management. With the acquisition, Chocolat Frey is strengthening its market presence in the United States and Canada.

Six Percent of Americans Eat the Easter Bunny’s Feet First

 The Easter bunny is on his way, and he’s got a sweet tooth. Nearly 83 percent of parents plan to include candy and chocolate in their Easter baskets this year, according to a nationwide survey by the National Confectioners Association (NCA). Additional popular items in the basket include non-edibles, such as crayons, stuffed animals and books (73 percent).

Total U.S. confectionery sales this Easter season are projected to be $2.26 billion – up four percent from 2013 – due to three extra weeks of merchandising. About 81 percent of survey respondents said they will share or gift candy during America’s favorite springtime holiday.

“The survey indicates that kids and adults alike continue to celebrate the Easter holiday by enjoying one of life’s great treats: candy. And with 87 percent of parents planning to buy or create Easter baskets for their children, the long-standing tradition lives on,” said NCA Executive Vice President Alison Bodor.

“Candy has a special place in American culture,” continued Bodor. “It’s what many people enjoy at holidays and other celebrations. And studies show that consumers know how to ‘treat right.’ Research suggests that candy comprises only 2.2 percent of the average diet.”

Holiday Purchasing Trends

NCA’s survey determined new insights about Americans’ buying preferences and habits:

  • The power of the in-store experience during holidays. More than half of adult consumers (51 percent) are influenced by holiday displays to purchase seasonal candy.
  • Playing the name game. Brand names influence 71 percent of Americans’ candy purchases.
  • Keeping it classic. Seventy-two percent of those surveyed say they are influenced by the classics or popular choices when buying seasonal candy.
  • Spring brings kindness. Seventy-eight percent of Americans often buy Easter candy to share with friends, family or colleagues.

Easter Traditions

The tradition of the Easter bunny began with the Easter Hare in Germany, who would leave brightly colored eggs for children on Easter morning. In the 18th century, the tradition of the Easter Hare came to the United States and eventually evolved into the Easter bunny we know today. Now, chocolate bunnies are the most popular items in Easter baskets, and are paired with other favorites, like jelly beans and marshmallow treats. How eggs-cellent!

Survey results related to the chocolate Easter bunny include:

  • Solid choice.  About 66 percent of Americans prefer solid chocolate bunnies over hollow ones.
  • All ears. What’s that you said? Eighty-nine percent of respondents believe the proper way to eat a chocolate Easter bunny is ears first. Roughly six percent go for the feet, and five percent begin with the tail.
  • The age-old question. Which came first – Easter bunny or the Easter egg? A slight majority of survey respondents (52 percent) say the Easter bunny came before the Easter egg. Talk about splitting hares!

Jelly beans remain a seasonal classic – more than 16 billion of them are made for Easter each year in the United States. Cherry is the most popular jelly bean flavor among survey respondents (24 percent). Strawberry is another top favorite (19 percent), while licorice, lemon and grape collectively are enjoyed most by 35 percent of Americans. Surprisingly, about 22 percent of those surveyed prefer an “other” flavor. Perhaps the Easter bunny voted for carrot!

Visit www.CandyUSA.com/Easter for more sweet information on candy, Easter and celebration ideas.

You may also keep up with NCA on Twitter (@CandyUSA) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/NationalConfectionersAssociation).

Nick Lachey Joins Lindt GOLD BUNNY Celebrity Auction for Autism Speaks

Nick Lachey, television personality, multi-platinum recording artist, loving husband and father, joined premium chocolatier, Lindt USA, to launch the fifth Lindt GOLD BUNNY Celebrity Auction and help raise awareness for autism, a cause close to his family. Lachey, who shared his personal connection to autism, joined the exclusive line-up of nearly 100 celebrities participating in this year’s auction by donating autographs.  One hundred percent of proceeds from the celebrity-signed Lindt GOLD BUNNY figures will benefit the world’s leading autism research and advocacy organization, Autism Speaks. This year, Lindt will make a matching donation.  Now through April 14, fans can bid on celebrity-signed porcelain Lindt GOLD BUNNY figures – from Kelly Clarkson to Sarah Jessica Parker, Tom Brady and Seth Meyers – and give back this Easter.

“It’s an honor to help launch this year’s Lindt GOLD BUNNY Celebrity Auction and support a cause very close to my family,” said Lachey.  “My younger brother, Zac, was diagnosed with autism as a child, and we’re continuously inspired by his perseverance and strength.  Autism affects so many families, and Lindt is offering simple ways to get involved this Easter and help give back.”

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