Goldman has worked in the seasonal candy space for a decade, more than half of that spent with Ferrara. The Chicago-based company approaches the big four holidays – Halloween, Easter, Christmas and Valentine’s Day – with the same innovation vigor and occasion-oriented strategy.
“We’re trying to build out growth plans for ourselves, for the category, against the season that is really based on the key usage occasions,” said Goldman, referring to dish candy (or sharing) and trick-or-treating. The latter, unsurprisingly, snags a majority of the Halloween pie.
For Ferrara, that picture has changed drastically since its acquisition of Nestle’s chocolate portfolio.
Whereas candy corn previously comprised about 70% of Ferrara’s Halloween business, now it’s closer to 50/50 (half candy corn/dish candy, half trick-or-treating), said Goldman: “In fact, trick-or-treating is actually a bit larger for us as a total company now than, say, just two years ago when we weren’t together.”
With Butterfinger, Crunch, Baby Ruth and 100 Grand on board, plus Ferrara’s non-chocolate confections such as SweeTARTs, NERDS and Trolli, he continued, “Our focus now is clearly on trying to continue to win and grow with our great brands in trick-or-treating, where historically we’ve been under-indexed against some of our key competitors.”
‘In seasonal candy, every day is Halloween’
In the podcast, Goldman – who spoke with us at Easter about Brach’s leadership in jelly beans – divulges plenty of fun facts about Brach’s iconic candy corn, including the origin of the Mellowcreme pumpkin. We also discuss how shapes, flavors and pack sizes can propel the category.
Ferrara has sparked intrigue in seasonal business by blending one popular candy with another – as highlighted by this year’s bright innovation, Trolli Candy Corn.
Listen to our full conversation to fill up your Halloween bucket.
At the end of the day, it’s very clear how important seasonal candy is to our customers,” he said. “If you don’t think it’s a priority, then obviously all you have to do is…walk into a store and see how much more space is devoted to seasonal candy, to trick-or-treating. And then when you start to see some of the bigger and better retailers combining it with the costumes and the decorations and the design and bringing some of that fun, then yeah – I think the overall experience is still great. And it is amazing to just see the wall of candy.
–Peter Goldman on the impact of seasonal candy