Once upon a time, you used to see kids both young and old walking around with handled carriers of fundraising candy. But you don’t see that very much anymore. Have you wondered why?
It is not the popularity of candy or the ability to sell it. In fact, we had the 5th grade in an elementary school order 65 cases of M&M’s candy from us and come back to reorder more. Just so you know how much fundraising candy that is, each case has 208 candies. That means they sold through nearly 14,000 candy bars and wanted more.
The problem was that there is a shortage of Mars candy. There is also a shortage of Hershey’s $1 candy bars these days. Mars, which makes M&M’s, appears to be exiting the candy fundraising business (in fact they no longer offer fundraising candy). They have decided they can no longer make money selling bags of M&M’s for a dollar and they have shrunk the bags down as little as they felt they could get away with.
While their retail product price point will increase they made the business decision – at least as of now – to exit the candy fundraising channel. That’s a shame for everyone because its variety pack has been the best selling fundraising candy variety pack in the market for years.
Hershey’s, on the other hand, has decided to stick with fundraising candy for a while but they will slowly eliminate the old familiar one dollar candy bars. They just introduced their first $2 candy fundraising variety pack which they hope will be accepted in the marketplace. They believe that people will ultimately accept the higher price point the same way consumers did when candy went from $.50 to $1.00. Back then, Hershey’s says, the uproar was that no one would purchase candy for a dollar. That’s the same thing they hear now about $2 candy.
History shows that people embraced $1 candy bars and sales and profits rose for everyone. That is, at least, until commodity prices started going through the roof.
So if you see fewer people selling fundraising candy these days it is not because candy fundraisers are no longer viable – it is simply a changing market.