Valentine’s Day Candy Sales

The Christmas season no more than gets underway and candy retailers have to already be thinking about the next big shopping season – VD Chocolate HeartValentine’s Day.  But planning for that short, but profitable holiday requires knowing a little bit about the consumers.  Here are few facts that might help with your planning you Valentine’s Day Candy Sales:

  • According to MSNBC, Chocolate and candy sales reach profits of $1,011 billion during Valentine’s season.
  • Not sure what kind of inventory to carry?  According to Business Insider, 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold for Valentine’s Day this year.
  • The National Confectioners Association indicated about 8 billion candy hearts will be produced this year.  That’s enough candy to stretch from Rome, Italy to Valentine, Arizona twenty times and back again.
  • A survey done by the National Retail Federation shows that the average US consumer is expected to spend $116.21 on Valentine’s Day gifts, meals and entertainment.
  • The same survey also showed that men spend double what women spend on Valentine’s Day:  $158.71 compared to $75.79.  But, 53% of women in America would dump their boyfriends if they did not get anything for Valentine’s Day.   It is best to design your displays and marketing to reach men.  You’ll save a relationship and make a profit.

VD Conversation HeartsPreparing for the Valentine season can be fun and profitable.  Stocking your store displays with a selection of chocolates and gummies, allows you to provide a nice selection for your customers.  A recent survey by the National Confectioners Association shows that more men than women prefer chocolate, 83% vs. 59%.  With a versatile selection, you will satisfy all of your customers’ desires for this romantic day.

Lighted Display Cases

Lighted display cases are a shining spot in any retail store.  These modern display options let shop owners keep valuable inventory close at hand and secure while still spotlighting them.

Candy Concepts offers a selection of lighted display options, from full shelving units to lighted pedestals.  When you have that special piece of jewelry or hand crafted gift item, lighted displays help you bring those items to the attention of your customers.

The upside of using a lighted display is that you can place the unit in a darker corner of your store, and still draw the customer’s attention.  The down side is that your inventory is hands-off to your customers, without the assistance of your sales staff.

Lighted displays are not just a retail option they can be used effectively in many situations:

  • In schools for displaying those valued trophies or art pieces
  • In homes to display treasured collectables and books
  • In offices to display manufactured products or services
  • Trade shows are another place that a lighted pedestal or display could be useful in highlighting your product.

Lighted displays come in many sizes from countertop models to large floor models with storage options.  A new lighted display to consider 2014-12-11_9-07-40using is the Pegboard Light Box.  This display is easily mounted to a wall or end cap and uses standard peg hooks.  Imagine displaying a line of costume jewelry or highlight a new line of toys.  Using this type of display makes your product stand out as it is backlit by the fixture.  This Pegboard Light Box offers you the option of changing the pegboard color, which can coordinate with your store’s motif.

Please feel free to call our knowledgeable staff if you have any questions about any of the lighted displays.  Now through December 17, 2014 you can save 10% on your purchase of any lighted display or pedestal.  Order now, so you can start the New Year with elegant displays throughout your store.

Using pedestals or risers to raise your sales

Put It On A Pedestal!

Walk into any upscale retailer and you will notice that unique and featured products stick out and draw your eyes.  Most likely those items are raised up above the rest of the inventory, placed on a pedestal or riser.  Retailers who feature their products on pedestals or risers notice an increase in sales of those featured items.

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Pedestals create a focal point to feature exclusive or prominent products in an elegant way.  Today, there are many options available to retailers, from standard square pedestals, to fun and unique platforms.  Pedestals are available in all types of materials, from laminate to exotic woods, to fun shapes in resin material.

Go with a Theme

If your store follows a theme, say an old-time country store, consider using pedestals and risers that fit and blend into your displays.  A round or square wood pedestal, either alone or in a set, can showcase a display of tasty salsas or be an additional stocking spot for saltwater taffy Bear Pedestaldisplayed in baskets.  Some stores use a pedestal near a larger display to sample items from the display, so customers first try, then buy from the display.

A hand carved pedestal in teak wood offers a rustic and elegant display to showcase local artists’ works from jewelry to pottery.  Not only are these pedestals unique, they lend to a more sophisticated shopping experience for the customer.

Twisted Teak Pedestal If you want to feature a unique item, but not have your pedestal part of the focal point, a clear acrylic pedestal would disappear, leaving your featured item to show itself, floating above the rest of the store.  If you choose to use an acrylic pedestal, using light to focus on your product, will make it shine.  The light source could be from the ceiling or wall above, or placed under the pedestal to highlight the item from below.

If lighting an item is important, there are pedestals available that already offer a light platform.  These types of pedestals are most often used in a museum or gallery, where the emphasis is placed on a single item.

Cube It

So your store is not old-fashioned, but more modern, there are pedestal options for you too.  A Cube is great to use and very versatile.  They can be stacked on one another, offer more options for featuring products.  You could place a sample toy on top of the cube and stock the inventory for the customer to select in the cube.  Cubes

Cubes are available in colors and modern shapes, but if you want a more rustic look, wooden crates can be used the same way.  By grouping a number of different sized crates together, give your display a multi-level option for displaying grouped items, like hats and mittens from the same manufacturer, or toys that have add-on parts.  Multi-level  displays encourage upselling from a base item.

Rise Above the Rest

Where most pedestals are designed to sit on the floor, a more economical display option is a riser.  These display options are also available in a variety of materials and provide a featured product to stand up and out from the ordinary inventory on the shelf or display table.

Risers

Although pedestals could be used on a display table, a smaller riser version is sometimes all you need to make your featured item the first thing your customer sees when they walk into your store or up to a display table.

Try using multiple levels with risers to feature different colors of an item.  Like a pedestal, a riser allows you to lift up your items above the rest of the inventory, however, the display footprint is usually smaller.  So risers are best suited for smaller inventory items or grouped products.

 

Tips to remember when using pedestals or risers:

  1. Use multiple levels when featuring products that are available with multiple features. For example, you have a new silver picture frame that you want to feature and it is available in three sizes. Use three different levels of risers on a display table to show your customers the differences.
  2. Consider the display space required. Don’t put large items on a small platform that may be damaged if knocked over.
  3. Consider placement in your store. Where most pedestals are sturdy, if your aisles are narrow, you still run the risk of a customer knocking over your display with their bags.
  4. Don’t go overboard. Although pedestals and risers are great at creating focal points for your products, if there are too many focal points in your store, you lose your customer’s attention by overloading them. They don’t know where to focus their attention and therefore walk away without making a purchase. Unless your store is a gallery or museum, consider using only a few risers and pedestals strategically placed throughout the store.

 

Pedestals and risers are considered economical display fixtures and can be added at any time compared to purchasing larger display tables and shelving which need to be figured into your store’s layout. Pedestals and risers can be moved in and out of the store, offering many options for your seasonal and new inventory items. So consider rising to the occasion and add these functional displays to promote your inventory and see the pedestals pay for themselves.

 

 

 

Creating Customer Loyalty Programs

Loyalty CardsCustomers are essential to any small business, and acquiring them long-term can be tricky, especially when your competition is working just as hard as you to win the same customers.

Just about every retailer, large or small, capitalizes on their repeat business.  Experts estimate it costs between 2 and 10 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.  Offering customer loyalty programs can help boost sales and gather more names in your customer management program for future marketing uses.

According to Jupiter Research, approximately 75% of consumers have at least one loyalty card in their wallet.  When implemented well, these programs can benefit both customers and retailers alike.

Why Customer Loyalty Programs?

1.  Encourages Return Business.  When customers have a number of retailers to shop from, sometimes knowing that they can earn rewards from shopping with you is enough to influence their choice.

2.  Shows that they are valued.  Although you physically say “thank you” after a sale, or have it printed on your receipts, giving a customer a special offer or perk tends to make them want to do business with you.

3.  Helps you gather information.  By offering a loyalty program, you can collect pertinent  information from your customers.  Not only can you collect their contact information, you can get their birth date, track their buying habits and gather data on demographics.

4.  Low-Cost Advertising.  By collecting information about your customers, you can plan out your advertising budget by identifying who is more likely to spend on your promotions.  Also, by providing a membership card, you are keeping your business name in front of your customer, every time they open their wallets.

What Type Loyalty Program?

Easy-Peasy – A Loyalty Punch Card.  If you are new to loyalty programs or want a low-tech option, a simple punch card is a good place to start.  Design a business card to keep track of purchases made and offer a free gift or discount once the card is filled.  Of course, there are a couple draw backs to this system – you cannot track your customers demographics and the program relies completely on the customer carrying the card with them.

Offer an Opt-In Email Program.  You can ask your customers at the point of sale or online to sign up or “opt-in” to the rewards program by providing their email address.  This makes the sign up process easy for your customer, and doesn’t require them to give up much information.  In exchange you promise to send the customer regular emails with special offers only available to Loyalty Members.

The Premium Loyalty Program.  By using your CRM software to track higher value purchases over time, you can invite customers who meet a certain limit to join.  Alternatively, simply invite high-spending customers to sign up at the point of sale.

Branded Loyalty Memberships.  There are a number of loyalty card services that let you design branded cards, track and manage customers behaviors, visits to your store and average spending amounts.  Many also let you send targeted emails and text messages to your members.  Some services even offer smartphone apps that are branded just to you.  Although, these types of services charge a fee, it allows you the freedom to offer a premium program with little effort from you.  As more customers become tech savvy, having an app to manage your loyalty program allows to offer social media integration, reward updates and immediate rewards for your customers.

Choosing an Incentive ProgramRewards

There are many types of reward programs being used by retailers.  Some are easier to manage than others, while some end up costing more to manage than the reward is worth.  Consider all costs when choosing a program for your store.

Point System.  This is the most common method.  Customers earn points that in the end provide some type of reward.  One common mistake that retailers make when devising this type of program is making the system too complex and confusing.  For example, spending $20 earns you 5 points and you need to earn 100 point to save 50% on your purchase in the month of July.  That is very confusing for your customer, difficult to monitor and will end up having customers opt-out of your reward program.  Stick with a simple system, 1 point for every dollar rewards the customer at $50 for 50% off one item; or 1 free item.  If you offer a free item, be sure that you cover your cost of the item within in the points earned and that the item has some value to your customers.

Tiered Loyalty Program.  This program is similar to the point system, but instead offers smaller rewards and encourage repeat business by increasing the value of the rewards.  One example of a tiered loyalty program is used by airlines.  For every mile your fly, you earn a point.  You can accumulate those points toward discounted or free airfare in the future.  Although this type of program works better for high commitment, higher price-point business, it still can be adapted for smaller retailers with some imagination.

Partner for All-Inclusive Offers.  Strategic partnerships for customer loyalty can be extremely effective for customer retention and company growth.  For example, if you are a pet store, partnering with a veterinary office or pet grooming facility to offer co-branded deals, benefits you and your customers, as the customers are most often mutually shared.  By providing your customers with a value beyond what you offer shows that you understand them, and grows your network to reach your partner’s customers as well.

Choosing to utilize a loyalty program in your store can definitely help your bottom line.  However, for a small candy store or specialty shop, choosing one that keeps your customers coming back can sometimes cost you more than planned.  Spend time thinking about your program.  Is it easy to manage?  Are the rewards a benefit for your customer?  What is the end cost to your bottom line?  A pet store can offer a punch card for feeder crickets or feeder fish; one punch for every dozen purchased.  When 12 punches are completed, the customer gets a free dozen feeders.  The cost per dozen crickets is $.25 but the store sells them for $.99.  The profit for 12 dozen crickets is 8.88 – which more than makes up for the cost of one free dozen at $.25.  By verifying your costs prior to implementation, you save yourself from a negative impact to your cost of goods sold.

Deciding to offer a loyalty program is certainly worth considering.  As a retailer, your customers are your bread and butter.  Your store needs to compete with many other retailers for the customer’s dollar.  So make your program fun, easy and rewarding and watch your business grow.

 

 

Creating Display Signs to Increase Holiday Sales

This & That Sign

A Sign of Great Holiday Sales

The holidays are upon us, and many shoppers are already hitting the stores with their gift lists.  However, many of those shoppers are clueless as to what to get many of their loved ones.  They will wonder aimlessly through store after store, looking for the “right” gift.  As a retailer, you can help those shoppers find the great gifts you carry and make your registers ring in the holidays with strategic signage.

Let’s take note on how many of the online retailers make add-on sales, but providing suggested products related to items already previewed or added to a shopping cart.  Consider how those suggestions influence additional purchases.  As a brick-and-mortar retailer, you can offer the same service by placing signage near or within displays.

As the holiday shopping season progresses, it will become more difficult for your sales staff to offer one-on-one assistance to each and every shopper that enters your store.  Signage can help when your staff is occupied.

Printing signs yourself is the most cost effective way to get your messages across to your shoppers.  With the use of simple desktop publishing software or even MS Word, you can create effective signs.  To make sure your signs remain visible and intact during the holidays, consider the use of acrylic sign holders.  They are inexpensive and give a professional look to your message.

For example; you showcase a lovely line of journals near the front of the store on a table display.  By adding a sign that suggests adding a line of writing pens sets to complete a gift, you can upsell your shoppers without the assistance of a salesperson.  Or you’ve got in a wonderful line of scarfs; you can add signage that encourages adding a fashionable pin to make the gift more personal.  By using “pairs well with…” signage you can help direct your customers to other gift ideas throughout your store.

Consider signage that showcases your inventory in gift-giving categories.  Signage that shows items for specific people get help shoppers find the right gift in your store.  Here are few categories to consider:

  • For Him, or For Her
  • For Kids
  • For Pet Lovers
  • For the Boss
  • For Co-Workers
  • For Teachers
  • Under $5, $10, $20, etc.
  • Last Minute Gifts
  • For Gadget Geeks

You may also want to consider adding an additional category: “Gifts for the Giver”.  According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), holiday shoppers in 2013 planned to spend $129 on self-gifting alone.

Don’t forget the signage that highlights your gift cards.  The NRF reported that shoppers spend $28 billion on gift cards in 2013.  Gift cards are the most requested holiday gift, according to the NRF.  So make sure your signage is front and center at your check out.

Placing your sign prominently and clearly where your shoppers can see it will be a sure way to boost your 4th quarter sales.

How to pick the right bag for bulk candy sales

You’ve spent weeks developing your candy store plan, toiling over all the details from the placement of the bulk candy bins to the types of candy you’ll carry.  Now you have come to the last detail: how to sell your bulk candy.

Bulk candy sales are on the increase across the country and overseas.  The appeal to customers is being able to select their favorite candies in smaller amounts and combine them into one bag.  Often the selling vessel is given very little thought.  Although the bag does not need to have a significant branding for your store, it does need to meet the consumers’ needs while not affecting your bottom line too drastically.

Bag Placement4It is recommended that when you are planning your bin placements and selections, you should give thought to how your customer will make their purchase selections.  Think for a moment.  Will your customer enter your store and walk right to the bag dispenser, or do you want them to wander through your offerings before finding the bags?  Where you place your bags will be just as important as the types of candy you sell.

Will you have staff to answer your customer’s question: “Where are the bags?” And then direct them, or do you want the bags to be prominent in the store, so they are easily found by new customers?  Displaying the bags either on the floor or a wall mounted roll dispenser allows you the opportunity to utilize signage to assist your customers without a lot of interaction from your sales staff.

Bag Placement3 Bags in PailThe alternate to bag dispensers is using a container, such as a basket or bucket, to hold individual bags within easy reach for your customer.  By using a container to hold your bags, you are able to make the bags a part of a display within your store.  Or you could place several acrylic containers with the bags near the candy bins, so your customers can access the bags easily while standing in front of their selection.

Next to placement of bags, choosing the right size bag is often the next big concern.  A small bag will fill quickly, giving the impression to the customer that they have met their candy allowance, while a bag that is too large, will just go left unfilled and end up costing your bottom line.

Most candy retailers will often have two sizes of bags.  One for customer to use for their bulk candy selections, and another smaller bag for staff to fill from candy displays or jars behind the counter.  The most recommended size is the 8” wide by 12” high.  The bag can hold between ½ pound to 2 pounds of candy.

Red Twist TieAnother overlooked item with bulk candy sales is the bag twist ties.  Once a customer has filled their bag, having a way to seal the bag is convenient and hygienic.  It also keeps younger customers from spilling contents when waiting to pay for their candy.  Some retailers keep the ties behind the counter, so sales staff can close off the bag as part of the final sale process, while other retailers let the customer decide when to tie off their bag.  Either way, do not forget this simple little detail.

So the question remains; how many bags to purchase?  If you are choosing to use the bags on a roll, 1 or 2 rolls placed in the store will suffice.  Rolls typically have 1,500 – 2,000 bags per roll.  If you choose to use bulk flat bags in containers, it is recommended to start with 1,000 – 2,000 bags.  The most commonly used thickness for candy bags is 2 mil.  A thinner thickness may break with the weight of the candy, especially at the seams; while a thicker bag will not offer much flexibility and remain too stiff for the candy.

Bulk candy sales are a great profit maker for any retailer.  However, making the process of selection for your customer should always be the main focus of your business.  One last point to consider is the cost for the bags.  Remember to add the cost per bag into your price per pound.  That way you will realize the maximum profit on your bulk candy sales.  Every penny counts.

Now through November 19th, SAVE 10% on your candy bags and supplies.  You must follow this link to get to our Special Deal For You: http://www.candyconceptsinc.com/A-Special-Deal-For-You_c_1854.html

Holiday Inventory – How Much Should I Stock?

Christmas Candy DisplayChristmas Display 1

As a retailer, the toughest and yet, the most exhilarating job is purchasing inventory for the holiday season.  Your first thought is to purchase everything that you think your customers will snap right up as gifts for their friends and family.  But what will most likely happen is you will take almost 3 months to sell through it all, even at deep clearance discounts.  Be sure to avoid a costly scenario by creating a holiday purchasing budget, also called a “Holiday Open to Buy”.

In the Sweet and Snack industry, there are so many choices in candy, especially when considering the choices for seasonal candy.  As a matter of fact, Christmas candy sells only 3rd to Halloween and Easter.  But no matter which holiday you are purchasing for, creating a simple budget based on sales history will save you from sitting on obsolete inventory.

To figure your “budget”, take the total January through June sales and compare that total to the previous year’s sales for the same period.  Do you see that your sales have increased or decreased?  Determine the percentage of the increase or decline and apply it to last year’s holiday sales.  Take this number and multiply it to your average cost of goods sold percentage to come up with the budget figure for your holiday buying.

For example:  say your holiday sales (between Thanksgiving and December 31st of last year) were $25,000, and your sales are up 10 percent over last year’s first two quarters, you can reasonably predict that your holiday sales for this upcoming season will be around $27,500.  If your average cost of goods sold (COGS) is 60%, you budget for your holiday ordering should be approximately $16,500.

Here is the math:

Last year’s holiday sales:  $25,000

Sale’s increase between last year Qtr 1 & Qtr 2 over this year Qtr 1 & Qtr 2 = 10%

Average COGS = 60%

$25,000 x 10% = $27,500 x 60% = $16,500 open to buy budget

Knowing how much you SHOULD spend on seasonal inventory allows you to make better decisions when selecting those holiday items for your store.  Remember to look closely at what were hot sellers the previous holiday and try to find similar items to ensure that you are not stuck selling discounting inventory into February.

You can use the same method above to help you determine your Open To Buy or Budget for other times of the year as well.  Just look at the same period last year that you are trying to figure for the current year.  Using buying budgets helps your retail business stay on track to reach your profit goals.

 

8 Things You Never Thought to Dip in Chocolate

DoritosChicken SkewersZucchiniDipped in Chocolate

What ever happened to Fondue Night?  At one time, just about every household had a fondue pot with those colored-tipped skewers.  Nothing was better than reaching for a warm piece of crusty bread or moist piece of chicken and dunking into a gooey pot of cheesy goodness.  Or for dessert, there was juicy slices of pineapple and melons to swirl into melted chocolate.  Perhaps we’ve become a society of burger and fries on the run, instead of sitting down with friends or family for a good meal and conversation.  Working for a meal, has gone out of fashion, or we’ve lost our imagination when it comes to light dinners.  What we need to do is bring back the creativity of fondue and great conversations.  But rather than be predictable, we need to think outside of the fondue pot and ask ourselves what haven’t we dipped into chocolate that we probably should? Chocolate is an interesting dip because it can be mild in flavor and it intensifies the taste of whatever you’re dipping into it.  Think salt and sweet, like French fries instead of cheese.  The challenge is to try unique flavors with either white, milk or dark chocolate.  You may find the new flavors may be exactly that signature dish you’ve been looking for! Dipping Tip:  As you search for snacks to dip, keep in mind the chocolate is a liquid.  Therefore, your snacks should be relatively dry so chocolate doesn’t slide right off. So here are our snack options.  Feel free to try them or venture on your own.

  1. Doritos – The cheese and salt mix wonderfully with the sweetness of milk chocolate.  Very surprising.
  2. Mozzarella Sticks – Cheese and dark chocolate have a very unique flavor, one that will have you reaching for seconds.
  3. French Fries – Not those skinny ones from the fast food place, but the steak fries, or thick crinkle cut.  The milk chocolate increases the saltiness of the fry.
  4. Zucchini – Raw zucchini is often disguised in many other recipes, from apple pies to spaghetti, so why not dip in chocolate.  The mild flavor of the zucchini allows you to enjoy all the sweetness of the chocolate.
  5. Chicken – If you love chicken mole, try a lightly seasoned chick breast dipped into dark chocolate.  This is a meal in itself.
  6. Beef Jerky – Who knew!  The sweet milk chocolate with the dried salted beef really provided a surprise in flavor – a smoky, sweet taste.
  7. Cheese Ravioli – Now this one is a meal!  Instead of a tomato sauce, milk chocolate gives the smoky flavor of the ravioli a mild taste.
  8. Corn Muffins – This one is not as creative, but certainly worth the try.  Like the chicken breast, the flavor is reminiscent to a mole.

Don’t look at chocolate as a dessert, but as a creative option to the fondue pot.  If you and your guests are up for the taste challenge, you can come up with some new flavors.  So the next time Lay’s Potato Chips has a flavor contest, you can be the winner with your new creation. Adapted from The Daily Meal by Sara Kay (August 18, 2014).

Use Wood Displays and Barrels to Create a Self-Service Candy Shop

Many customers know what they want before entering a store. Most of them want to get it quickly, pay for it, and get on with their lives. Meet their needs while satisfying their sweet tooth with a self-service candy shop. Wood barrel displays make it easy to display wrapped candies, taffy, and more in bulk. Shoppers will find exactly what they are looking for and you will have less work to do.

Natural finish and stained barrels are available to enhance the look of the store. Color choices include cranberry, green, black, blue, and yellow. Natural barrels have a rustic look and are made from cedar and other attractive wood. There are even whitewash barrels to create a shabby chic look. Hinged, molded acrylic lids keep contents safe inside the containers. Adding acrylic sign holders and tethered metal scoops with holsters creates self-serve stations for wrapped treats.

Candy shops can even offer sweet treats for the four-footed members of the family. Large wooden barrels filled with organic treats for dogs and cats will be popular with animal lovers. After they fill a bag with candy for themselves, these shoppers will scoop out treats for Fido or Fluffy. Candy shop owners will have fun experimenting with pet treat recipes.

False bottom wood barrels are designed for inventories that are running low. They are impressive in size but hold a smaller quantity of goodies. These come in natural or painted finishes and can be enhanced by adding fabric to cover the bottom of the container area and drape over the sides. Storeowners can change this material with the seasons, holidays, or to draw attention to sale items.

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Using large scoops encourages customers to take hearty helpings of taffy and wrapped candies. However, shoppers may not want to go overboard. Install some hanging scales to help them stay within budget. Shoppers can weigh their bags, adding or removing treats as needed. There will be no surprises when they reach the sales register.

Selecting displays is one of the most fun parts of opening a candy store. When wooden barrels are chosen, storeowners receive attractive containers that can withstand years of use. Whether the barrels are large or small, full capacity or feature a false bottom, they look impressive on a sales floor. Shoppers will help themselves to all the goodies they want and can weigh their bags to keep their purchases reasonably priced.

The Candy Buffet: A Pastime In The Making

Everyone loves candy. So why not create a candy buffet for every occasion? Whether it’s a birthday party, a baby shower, a wedding or a small family gathering, a table full of candy is sure to please all your guests. Here are a few tips on how to build a new hobby out of creating candy buffets. You’ll be a natural before you know it.

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Courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Building a candy buffet can be simple if you follow a step-by-step process. How are you going to display each type of candy? Pick out several unique glass jar. What types of candy are you going to serve? Chocolates and hard candies? What is your budget? Are you going to try to convey a theme? What is the main color scheme? Answer these questions and make a list of where you have to go and what you have to buy.

The following tips include important things to consider and how you can best convey your theme to guests.

Optical Illusions

Some of the candies you’ll want in your buffet are expensive, like chocolate covered espresso beans. Yum! So how do you create a look of abundance without going over your budget?

  • Use jars that are tall and thin or have a stands or stems and therefore appear larger than they actually are; the actual fill space of the jar should be on the small side.

  • Some jars have a cylinder built into the middle, normally used for flower arranging. However, you can fill the outside with candy and maybe place a decorative object in the middle, therefore saving space and using less candy.

  • About 25 to 40 percent of the jars you use should be small and easily filled with no more than a bag of candy.

Quantity and Quality

This chart from the Lifestyle section of Boston news makes it easy to figure out how much candy you’re going to need based on how many guests you think will show.

  • 1-50 guests: 5 jars candy

  • 50-100 guests: 10 jars candy

  • 100-150 guests: 15 jars candy

  • 150-200 guests: 18 jars candy

  • Over 200 guests: 20 jars candy

Tools of the Trade

Picture a guest getting his or her hand stuck in the thin neck of a candy jar. Not only is this unsanitary, it’s embarrassing for you and the person trapped. If you have the right tools, these embarrassing, and hilarious, moments can be prevented.

  • Use different sized spoons and tongs that go with the different types of candy. For example, metal tongs probably won’t work well with M&M’s.

  • Most of your vases should have wide openings, but if you must use a narrow vase, make sure it’s filled with a candy that can be picked up with tongs.

Backgrounds

These wonderful backgrounds, found by Jessica, a DIY enthusiast and professional blogger, really help convey the theme of each candy buffet.

  • Backgrounds can include easy-to-hang streamers, garlands, posters, photographs, mirrors and other colorful and eye-catching items that can help you intended theme come across successfully.

  • Sometimes a large flower arrangement sent towards the back of the table can act as a background, as well as a sculpture or type of standing decoration.

Creating the perfect candy display can be a fun and creative process if you jot down the details first, like your budget. Make sure to arrange your buffet before the day of the event, just in case you need to change some last minute aesthetics!