Bernard Pacyniak
Candy Industry

getting fresh: Sustainability's coming, are you ready?

Before I get into talking about sustainability, I’d like to clear the air first. Yes, I’ve been known to be somewhat of a contrarian. I believe it stems partly from my personality … and partly from my profession.
After all, journalists – at least in the past – were taught to remain skeptical until they got all the facts, or at least most of them, confirmed. I’ve encountered a few cigar-smoking, Scotch-drinking editors who certainly didn’t hesitate drilling that concept home.
So, when everyone started jumping on this sustainability bandwagon, I have to admit I was somewhat underwhelmed. I mean it’s one thing for an individual to personally adopt a lifestyle that minimizes leaving a carbon footprint – there, I’m already using the buzz word – and it’s another for a corporation to do so.
Moreover, can one truly embrace sustainability while simultaneously working for a company that, say, hasn’t committed itself to the concept? Does using the Internet and then printing out as many documents as possible make one merely a sustainable cheerleader and not a true player?
Hey, I’m not exactly sure I have the answers to all these questions. In addition, I’m still grabbling with what sustainability really means.
Sure, in the broadest sense, sustainability means humans maintaining a balance between our use of natural resources and our existence. In a more finite sense, it encompasses how we as individuals, families, communities and corporations live our lives in relation to Spaceship Earth.
As we’ve seen, even toilets in the International Space Station get clogged up. And although I recycle, don’t litter, occasionally support local farmers, often prepare meals from scratch and recognize the value of organic and all natural products, I’m not sure I could pass muster as a sustainability poster boy.
I don’t usually print documents on the second side of already printed sheets. I don’t take public transportation to work, although I did at one time. I don’t hesitate to use a dish washer, although I try to make sure it’s full, and I love grilling.
So there, I’m dabbling with both blue and yellow colors, but not quite mixing the two together to get green.
 Why all this self-admission? Well, Clear Seas Research (, our company’s research arm, recently completed a survey of candy and snack manufacturers about new product development. (Look for it in our August issue).
One of the questions asked whether customers were demanding “greener” attributes – socially responsible sourcing, sustainable operating policies, reduced packaging and the like – as a matter of doing business.
Slightly more than half (51%) responded saying yes. That certainly raised my eyebrows. Retailers, regardless of what channel they’re in – be it supermarket, drug store, convenience store, specialty store, mom and pop – tend to know the pulse of their customers, Jill and Joe Consumer.
And while I think most consumers aren’t as gung ho about sustainability as they are about value these days, I do strongly believe that this criteria will become part and parcel of tomorrow’s buying equation.
So maybe it’s time you consider getting greener. If you don’t, there’s a strong likelihood you’ll be looking at another color: red.

Richardson Foods buys Bogdon Candy

Richardson Foods, Inc., Canajoharie, N.Y., has acquired Bogdon Candy Co., Kansas City, Mo., from the Dynamic Confections Group. Bogdon is the maker of Reception Stick, a crisp hard candy rolled by hand into thin sticks and dipped almost full-length into bittersweet chocolate, and Mint Double Dips, a spun sugar stick completely dipped in chocolate and wrapped in silver foil.
“Bogdon has a long standing reputation for its unique, high-quality confectionery products, a tradition held in common with Richardson,” says Don Butte, ceo of Richardson. “Bogdon’s success is underscored by its strong growth despite a challenging economy. Bogdon’s products will receive broader exposure under Richardson, and they are an excellent fit with our manufacturing, sales and distributing resources.”
Richardson Foods is a subsidiary of Founders Equity. For more information, visit and

Endangered Species Chocolate accepts 'Give Back' applications for 2010-2012

Through Sept. 12, 2009, Indianapolis-based Endangered Species Chocolate (ESC) is accepting applications for its 2010-2012 “10 Percent Give Back” partner.
Partners will be chosen based on their aggressive and clear mission to help support species, habitat and humanity. Those selected will receive 10% of net profits or $10,000, whichever is greater, from ESC following sales of its Endangered Species Chocolate bars, which are ethically traded, shade-grown, all-natural and organic. All applicants must be designated tax exempt under IRS code 501(c)(3).
ESC’s most recent partners were Ocean Conservancy and African Wildlife Foundation.
For more information or to apply, visit

Jelly Belly promotes Swaigen, Garibaldi

Jelly Belly Candy Co., Fairfield, Calif., has named Rob Swaigen vice president of marketing and appointed Vincent Garibaldi vice president of its national sales division. Swaigen now is responsible for all domestic marketing and licensing for Jelly Belly. Previously, he has held the successive positions of senior product manager and director of marketing.

Prior to this promotion, Garibaldi was director of national sales and was responsible for domestic sales in the national/mass market channels.
For more information about Jelly Belly, visit

sweet of the week: PROBAR fruition snack bars

Fruit-based PROBAR fruition snack bars from Salt Lake City, Utah-based PROBAR, LLC marry whole the whole grain goodness of organic oats with the purity of organic fruit chunks and then fuse that mix with a healthy dose of chia seeds (a superfood) and cashews. The resulting “simply real” product is vegan, rich in raw foods and an excellent source of fiber. Each bar is made with 70% organic ingredients and offers two servings of fruit in a convenient, 1.7-oz. snack-size package. Choose from strawberry, blueberry, peach and cran-raspberry varieties. The suggested retail price is $2.29 per bar. Retailers interested in carrying the product can call 1-866-972-6879.
For more information, visit