It’s been a roller coaster ride for Cub fans. And now, yes, after 108 years, they’re finally playing in the World Series, an event that Cub fans have been waiting and praying for far too long.
Now wait, I know what you non-baseball and non-Cubs fans are thinking: Isn’t this supposed to be a newsletter about all things candy? Hey, I’ve got you covered. Listen, one of the greatest candy and chocolate retailers and manufacturers in the United States has its roots here: Fannie May Confections.
Fannie May, now part of 1-800-Flowers, has been part and parcel of Chicago’s history, going back to 1920 when H. Teller Archibald opened up his first Fannie May shop on 11 N. LaSalle St. So it’s not surprising to see that the company is attuned to this city’s love of all things sports, advertising on a variety of sports talk shows during the basketball, hockey, baseball and football seasons.
So when the Cubs raised eyebrows by beating long-time rival, the St. Louis Cardinals, in the NLCS playoffs last year, only to be swept by the hated Mets, everyone knew that the “lovable losers” were now a bona fide “contender.”
Naturally, the Cubs proved to everyone that they were more than a contender; they won 103 games during the season making them the best team in baseball. As with every sports team, everyone loves a winner, particularly bars and taverns — at least in Chicago. Think six Bulls championships.
Watching winning sports teams, of course, can make one have the munchies. Enter Fannie May. To ease those ninth-inning jitters — be it to save a game or fuel a rally — the company introduced a 7-oz. Wrigley Field Mix, which includes Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Buckeyes, Milk Chocolate Hot Fudge Truffles, Dark Chocolate Toasted Marshmallow and Milk Chocolate Caramel Presents. They also have a 2-oz. Cubbies Milk Chocolate Bar.
As one would expect, with the popularity of this year’s team, both products have been top performing items in-store and online, says Dave Taiclet, president of the Gourmet Food Group, 1-800-Flowers. As he points out, Fannie May and the Chicago Cubs are two iconic Chicago brands.
Moreover, the collection will be expanded for the 2017 season to include additional products ideal for self-consumption, sharing and gifting.
Chocolate is only part of it, however. Earlier in the year, Fannie May took over sponsorship of the Bleachers Suite, which is the largest luxury suite at Wrigley Field. The climate-controlled, all-inclusive area provides guests with a unique view of the ballpark in the center field batter's eye and holds about 60 to 100 guests. Huuuge move, I’d say. It certainly cemented their status as the Chicago Cubs’ official chocolate.
And what say you White Sox fans: Feeling left out? No problem, says Taiclet. “We also have White Sox Chocolate Bars as well — we like ALL of Chicago!”
Now mind you, I don’t think anyone one builds a successful confectionery operation by simply tag-teaming on the popularity and success of a local sports team. But it is great marketing and — during this nasty presidential campaign — loads of fun. And wait, aren’t confections supposed to be fun, bringing smiles and sweetness into the world?
So what happened yesterday, you ask? We got Klubered. But remember what happened to Kershaw? Cubs in 6.