By Deborah Cassell
Executive Editor
Candy Industry,
Retail Confectioner
casselld@bnpmedia.com

getting fresh: Spreading 'Glee'

As some of you already know, I love a good marketing campaign. Take the Glee Gum sweepstakes from Providence, R.I.-based Verve, Inc. When I received a press release about the company’s latest initiative, I thought, “Genius.” What better way to call attention to your product than by teaming up with one of fall’s best new TV programs?

In conjunction with the (truly hilarious) FOX series “Glee,” Verve is offering 11 winning tickets inside select packs of its all-natural chicle chewing gum, filling many a heart with, dare I say it, glee.

Starting Sept. 23, the “Your Ticket to Glee” campaign began offering consumers ages 18 and up a chance to win “Glee” show merchandise, including hats, t-shirts and autographed cast photos. The grand prize: a trip for two to Hollywood, including round-trip airfare, two nights’ hotel stay and a $250 American Express gift card. (I heart “Glee,” but something tells me Candy Industry editors aren’t allowed to enter …) For more information, visit www.gleegum.com.

Another innovative marketing campaign to cross my desk this past week came from Washington, D.C.-based Divine Chocolate, whose “Share Your Love” Recipe Story Contest celebrates Fair Trade month in unique style.

Chocolate lovers are encouraged to submit entries in one of four categories: Best Chocolate Cookie Recipe Story, Best Chocolate Cake Recipe Story, Best Chocolate Drink Recipe Story and Best Chocolate Pastry Recipe Story. Entrants also are asked to identify and describe the person(s) they’d most like to share their favorite recipe with.

One winner in each category will receive $250 in cash, a year’s supply of Divine Chocolate and a special goodie bag containing gifts from Baked, The Body Shop, Putumayo World Music and Ten Thousand Villages. They also will have their recipes brought to life by the competition’s celebrity judges: renowned comfort food bakers and cookbook authors Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito of “Baked” (www.bakednyc.com). (I love to bake, but I venture to say I not qualified for this one, either …) For more information about the “Share Your Love” Recipe Story Contest (or to share your own love), visit www.divinechocolateusa.com.

Got a great marketing campaign to share? Send it to me at casselld@bnpmedia.com.

By the way, if you haven’t seen “Glee,” you’re missing out on a good time. McKinley High School’s club of aspiring singers is sure to make you smile … and dance (or at least bop your head from side to side a little). The musical comedy airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. Eastern. For more information, visit www.fox.com/glee.

ADM opens plant in Ghana

Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) has opened a new cocoa processing plant in Kumasi, Ghana. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by His Excellency, Professor John Evan Atta Mills, president of Ghana; Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and Nana Akyeampimhene, representing the Asantehene; Tony Fofie, chief executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board; and John Rice, ADM executive vice president, commercial and production.

“I am pleased that ADM has chosen Kumasi to build its new cocoa processing plant,” Mills says. “This is an excellent example of how we can create a business environment that balances the growth of local industries with the operations of international businesses and so support our growing economy by investing in our people, and creating jobs and revenue.”

ADM has had a presence in Ghana since 2005, when the company opened a branch office. It has been active in West Africa since 1997 and has a cocoa processing plant in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; bean collection and cleaning facilities in Abidjan, Anyama and San Pedro, Côte d’Ivoire; and a joint venture with Usicam in Douala, Cameroon.

The new plant enhances ADM’s ability to source high-quality cocoa beans from Ghana and give the company’s customers access to cocoa and chocolate products from the growing region, Rice says. It is composed of a bean warehouse, a processing plant and a finished goods warehouse that sits on a 75,000-sq.-ft. site. The facility began processing beans in July of this year.

For more information about ADM, visit www.ADM.com.

Island Abbey Foods introduces new Honey Delights candy

From the creator of the Honey Drop comes a new 100% pure honey candy: Honey Delights. Island Abbey Foods, Montague, P.E., Canada, is offering the product in two varieties: pure honey and pure honey with a hint of lemon. Each 3.5-oz. piece contains just 14 calories and is made without any additives. For more information, visit www.honibe.com.







Don Butte (right), president of Richardson Brands, and Tom Wind of the National Grid.

Richardson Brands receives National Grid grant for Super Boiler

Richardson Brands Co. recently was the recipient of a $400,000 check from the National Grid as partial funding for a new Super Boiler to be installed at its plant in Canajoharie, N.Y.

Richardson manufacturers branded and private label confectionery products at the 180,000-sq.-ft. facility; its products include soft sugar mints, chewy candies and Beechies branded coated gum. The new boiler will provide the operation with steam when Beech-Nut moves its manufacturing plant out of Canajoharie in a few months. Richardson also plans to bring its recently acquired Gravy Master operation to the plant, which would add 44 jobs now and nearly 100 more in the future as it continues its acquisition activities.

Last month, Richardson announced its acquisition of Bogdon Candy Co. Bogdon’s production will move from Kansas City, Mo., which will expand employment in New York by another 40 jobs in 2011.

For more information about Richardson Brands, visit www.richardsonbrands.com.

sweet of the week: Bubble Chocolate

Premium, all-natural Bubble Chocolate from Bubble Chocolate LLC, Salem, Mass., delivers a light, airy, unique melt-in-your-mouth experience. Consumers on restricted diets will appreciate this European product, which is lower in calories thanks to the aerated process used to make it. Bubble Chocolate is available in 38% milk chocolate and 60% dark chocolate varieties. The suggested retail price is $2.49 per 2.82-oz. bar. Retailers looking to carry the product can call 1-800-970-9646. For more information, visit www.bubblechocolate.com.