There are many things that evoke happy memories during the summer months. Across the country, summers are filled with barbecues and baseball, trips to the pool or the beach, fireworks and lightning bugs — and so much more. There are reasons to celebrate throughout the season, from holidays like the Fourth of July to the simple joy of the last day of school for a few months.
As June comes to a close, I’ve been able to reflect on National Candy Month and the significance of the confectionery industry to our economy and to our special moments with family and friends. Nearly 54,000 Americans work in confectionery manufacturing, with more than 550,000 jobs supported in related industries, including agriculture, retail, transportation and more. This means that our industry has a powerful multiplier effect of 1:10.
National Candy Month is another exciting opportunity to celebrate the authentic, fun treats that candy companies have been producing for more than 100 years — and the people who make them. For those who love chocolate, candy, gum and mints, those who appreciate the strong economic impact of a responsible and fun industry, and for many others, this is a month made for celebration.
There is no end to the emotional and social connections people have with confectionery items. Perhaps you are one of the 4 of 5 Americans who say that emotional well-being is as important as physical well-being — or one of the 90 percent of Americans who agree that chocolate and candy make holidays and celebrations more fun. These treats can evoke a sense of nostalgia — we’re not just making delicious products, we’re also making memories that last.
We know that people love the opportunity to share treats with friends, family and loved ones. Industry wide, confectioners are focused on the best ways to provide their loyal customers with more information, options and support as they enjoy their favorite treats. Over the next few years, consumers can expect to see more products in package sizes of 200 calories or less, with front-of-pack calorie labeling to ensure that they can make informed choices as they seek to manage their sugar intake.
Whether you’re enjoying salt water taffy on a boardwalk or cotton candy at the ballpark, there are so many fun ways to treat during National Candy Month — and throughout the summer. As June wraps up and as you plan the rest of your summer travels, consider the fun and unique role chocolate and candy can play in your happy, balanced life.
Written by: John Downs, President and CEO of the National Confectioners Association