Reflections on Rock Radio and Candy Assortments

Driving to work one morning this fall, I tuned in to my favorite music radio station, WXRT, in time to hear the morning drive DJ delivering an impassioned explanation of why the station did not embrace the concept of a pre-programmed musical play list. As a non-techie, I don’t understand how all of this works. But I picked up enough to comprehend that he was talking about the technology that allows listeners to have a digital readout of a song and/or artist pop up on their car radio display panel and why it wasn’t possible for the station.
He explained that in order to make that happen, WXRT would have to pre-program the songs to be played each day into a massive computer database, eliminating the process of having songs spontaneously selected by DJs. Listening to the morning drive personality, my thoughts turned quickly to—what else but?—candy! The concept of a varied, eclectic musical selection became a metaphor to me for a varied, eclectic candy assortment. For the record, I believe in both.
Of course, retailers need to stock the Top 20 candy bar SKUs, but if they never take a chance by adding a new gourmet concoction or a whimsical novelty item, the candy category loses vitality and energy—and ultimately, sales.
The key, of course, is to take a chance on the right new products, and it’s our mission to support our retail readers in that endeavor by delivering the kind of relevant industry news and trends that allow for informed decision-making.
On that note, I will underscore a couple of things that jumped out at me in this year’s Chocolate Report, which you will find beginning on page 26. One is the advent of some truly fun and creative products targeting women, who represent chocolate’s core constituency. Another trend the report identifies is the increasing popularity of dark chocolate among premium chocolate purchasers. You can just bet this trend will be trickling down to more mainstream brands in the months ahead.
Distributor of the Year Recognition
Also this month, I’d like to extend my sincere congratulations to Confectioner’s first Distributor of the Year award recipient, Sulphur Springs, Texas-based Grocery Supply Co. Vendors nominated GSC for the recognition, paying tribute to the company’s consistently high levels of customer service and ethical business practices. With a network of more than 5,000 convenience store clients located primarily in the Southern and Midwest states, GSC bills itself as “big enough for the job, small enough to care,” and then proceeds to live up to that claim.