Fannie May is celebrating its roots with a new line featuring Chicago’s beloved skyline and landmarks.
The brand partnered with Katelyn McManis, a 2022 graduate of Columbia College Chicago, to create the artwork for the collection. McManis earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, specializing in illustration and design.
“It was an honor to be able to design the new packaging for Fannie May’s Chicago line and pull inspiration from my fond memories of growing up in Chicago,” McManis said. “It was an awesome experience working with the team at Fannie May, and I hope the new artwork on the packaging can help people celebrate the beauty and charm of the Windy City.”
Among the offerings are:
- Assorted Chocolate Gift Tin: This 12-oz. tower tin showcases the iconic Chicago skyline with Navy Pier and the John Hancock building. It contains individually wrapped Milk Caramel Presents, Mint Meltaways and Mini Pixies.
- Assortment Gift Box: This 12-oz. box features three images of the Chicago skyline and includes Pixies, Trinidads, Buttercreams, Toffees and Crunchy Nut Clusters.
- Pixie Chicago Tin: This 14-oz. Tin features Chicago’s Michigan Avenue and includes Pixies.
To mark the launch, Candy Industry recently spoke to Rick Fossali, VP and general manager, Fannie May Confections Brands, about the new collection, its collaboration with McManis and Columbia College, and Fannie May’s love for Chicago.
CI: What was the inspiration behind the Chicago line?
RF: While Fannie May’s confections are now available nationwide, the Windy City, where we started over 100 years ago, continues to be at the forefront of our story, with the people of Chicago at the heart of it. We wanted to produce a line that authentically paid homage to our hometown community, and engaging a renowned community partner was the perfect way to achieve this.
CI: How does it differ from any of Fannie May’s other Chicago-themed offerings?
RF: This line differs in its unique packaging art created by a young member of the Chicago art community, and our direct partnership with Columbia College Chicago.
CI: Why did Fannie May seek out a partnership with Columbia College Chicago to create the packaging art?
RF: Local colleges and universities produce the future of Chicago. As a brand that is invested in fostering our community, we saw this as the perfect opportunity to engage young talent who have the same love as we do for our home city. We reached out to Columbia College specifically as it sits right in the heart of downtown Chicago’s cultural epicenter, and the city is a major part of daily life and learning for students and staff. Even better – they are our neighbors! This in combination with their amazing reputation and a standing hiring relationship with the college made the university a perfect fit.
CI: How would you describe Katelyn McManis’ designs?
RF: Katelyn’s artwork was selected for her use of playful patterns and bold colors in her illustrations. She found inspiration for her idyllic depiction of Chicago in the feeling of joy spent together with friends and family in Chicagoland. Her love for Chicago is apparent in her depictions of iconic attractions across the Windy City, including the Chicago skyline, Buckingham Fountain, and more.
CI: Will Fannie May do any special merchandising displays or promotions for the Chicago line? Will it be available in all Fannie May stores?
RF: We do not have promotions for the new line, however, we do have special fixturing exclusively for this product line and a dedicated feature table. The Chicago Line will be available at Fannie May stores across the Midwest and on our direct-to-consumer website, FannieMay.com. At any of our 50 retail stores, fans can find the full lineup of seven products. On FannieMay.com, they can find the Assorted Chocolate Gift Tin, the Assortment Gift Box, and the Pixie Chicago Tin.
CI: What do you hope customers get from the Chicago line?
RF: We hope the Chicago line allows our community members and their family and friends to share in the celebration and love of our hometown of Chicago. We hope the authentic design and community connection makes special moments such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day or any day, a little extra special with Fannie May.