Yes, you read that headline correctly… diaper parties. Now those of you much younger than I probably wouldn’t have blinked an eye upon receiving an invite to a diaper party. These events surfaced several years ago.

But for someone my age, it’s kind of a shock since there are adults who need diapers.

But no, this wasn’t intended for aging Baby Boomers; rather, it’s really a corollary to the traditional baby shower thrown for an expectant mother by family or friends. In this case, it’s a low-key, guys-only gig where the men bring diapers for the expectant baby, surrounded by beer, pizza, barbecue and a large, flat-screen TV focused on a sporting event.

So the spouses and significant others of women attending the baby shower can now bond together while the ladies ooh and aah at baby gifts during a luncheon. Actually, it makes sense, doesn’t it?

But aside from enlightening older readers of this column about Millennial social mores, I actually have a confectionery connection.

You see, after my wife had filled her specially bought baby shower bag with appropriate, ever-so-cute babywear, she turned to me and said it would be nice to drop in some chocolate. Naturally, I said, “Sure.” Of course, it’s always easy to say yes when you have a supply of good chocolate available. In this case, the folks at HEXX Chocolate, a new restaurant/bar/chocolate operation located in Las Vegas’ Paris Casino, had shipped me some samples of their bean-to-bar, single-origin tablets. (Look for a Candy Wrapper profile on HEXX Chocolates in the coming May issue).

Tastefully tied with a brown ribbon, we placed the bars in the bag. Afterward, when my wife and I, as well as the mother-to-be, rendezvoused after the baby shower and diaper party at their home — it didn’t take more than a minute before I was being profusely thanked for the chocolates.

Mom-to-be said she was going to enjoy them immensely. I was going to confess that it was my wife’s idea, but why spoil the moment? And this is just one example of the power of good chocolate.

Earlier in the month, my wife and I travelled to Franklin, Tenn. for our close friend’s youngest daughter’s wedding. For us blue-state, blue-collar Yankees, this was going to be something; I mean, Southern weddings are special.

In this instance, however, I didn’t need any prodding from my wife to bring candies. Last year, our friends and their eldest daughter visited us briefly and stayed for dinner al fresco on our deck. Well, before they left, I loaded them down with chocolates and jelly beans. The jelly beans happened to be from Gimbal’s and the chocolates from European Chocolate Ltd. (Baron). Let’s just say it made a lasting impression.

Hence, when I asked the bride-to-be’s father (who’s Polish) whether he wanted me to bring any Polish sausage, kabanosy and/or Polish rye bread from Chicago, he politely say thank you, but no need. He has a source. A brief mention of candies, however, and I knew that his hesitation meant yes.

Well, at the bridal party dinner, which we were kindly invited to, we left the bride’s parents with a goodie bag full of chocolates and various gummi candies (Reserve Chocolate and Trolli this time). The next day after the wedding ceremony and during the reception, the bride’s mother came to us and said that the chocolates and candies had been immediately consumed last night. Wonderful, wish we had brought more, I told her.

And that goes to show you: Candy and chocolate will always make your visits more memorable amongst friends, not to mention winning you new friends. Of course, all of you know that. However, it’s a lesson we should be spreading amongst consumers: candies and chocolates don’t need to be gifted just for a special occasion; they can be given as a sign of friendship or as a sweet thank you.

It’s done more often in Europe than here, but it’s a message worth disseminating. Just ask Andreas Pfluger, president and ceo of Russell Stover Candies and head of Lindt North America. In our May cover story, which focuses on the integration of Russell Stover into Lindt North America, Pfluger addresses that very theme. He says it poses a tremendous opportunity for the company.

Indeed, for the entire industry. After all, what better way to sweeten someone’s day than by giving them chocolates or their favorite candies? A work day becomes a wonderful day, doesn’t it?

So pass the joy on and encourage your customers to make someone happy — no need to wait for a special occasion.