The Candy Factory in Columbia, Mo., is increasing hours of operation to prepare enough treats for the Valentine's Day rush. Sales director Mike Atkinson estimates more than half of the visitors who come to the store in the days before Valentine's Day are there for the chocolate-covered strawberries, but the company won't ship the berries because they could be damaged en route.
Consumers continued to buy chocolate through the recession, treating it as an "affordable indulgence" at a time when they were giving up other things, said Mintel senior food and drink analyst Marcia Mogelonsky. Dollar sales of chocolate bars in 2009 increased 5% over the previous year, but unit sales dropped, indicating people were trading up to more expensive brands.
Two Missouri chocolate makers, Alan McClure of Patric Chocolate and Shawn Askinosie of Askinosie Chocolate, spend their days surrounded by cocoa beans, as they guide the transformation from raw bean to premium dark chocolate.
Wrigley Canada has begun a campaign called C.H.E.W., which stands for Canadians Helping Each Other Win. The goal is to raise at least $500,000 for the Canadian Olympic Foundation, a nonprofit that supports Canadian athletes in the Olympics.
Koestlin, a confectioner based in Croatia, will export cookies and wafers in 2010 through a deal valued at $500,000 with a U.K. partner. The company also recently forged export deals with Polish and Chinese partners, but would not reveal the identities of the partners.