Do you love candy? You may have watched Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and begun to dream about opening your own wholesale candy store. So, why not start a candy business of your own?
These days, there are all kinds of brick and mortar and eCommerce stores that specialize in candy sales. Most candy and snack food retailers stock up on their inventory from wholesale candy distributors to save money.
Whether you’re selling wholesale candy with a direct to consumer approach or are a candy distributor, the business is a fun and profitable one. The candy manufacturing industry generates about $20 billion each year, so it’s worth exploring potential business opportunities.
Wholesale Candy Industry Trends
For most people, candy is considered to be an indulgence. Some associate candy with religious holidays such as chocolate eggs and bunnies during Easter, candy canes during Christmas, and gelt (chocolate coins) during Hanukkah. It's also common to associate Halloween with candy, chocolate, and similar sweets.
Like many other food and beverage markets, current trends impact the candy market. Similar trends include healthy snack ideas, fresh produce trends, beverage trends, coffee industry trends, and restaurant industry trends.
So, what should you expect to see in grocery stores and wholesalers in terms of candy? Overall, the compound annual growth rate of the global candy market is expected to increase by 3.99% through 2025. This includes a 2.8% increase for chocolate candy and a 3.7% increase for non-chocolate candy.
Popular wholesale candy items include:
- Wholesale chocolate
- Caramels and nougat sweets
- Jellies and chewy sweets
- Boiled sweets or hard candy
In the United States, candy production is valued at $12.1 billion as of 2022. Thanks to consumer expenditure, this value is expected to grow by a minimum of 5% through 2025.
Key Takeaway: When starting a wholesale candy business, it’s important to create a thorough business plan beforehand and keep up with current candy industry trends.
5 Steps To Starting a Wholesale Candy Store
With more than 1,400 candy production businesses in the United States, it’s safe to say that the wholesale candy industry is thriving. You may be interested in opening a business of your own for bulk candy or even gourmet popcorn.
Despite the thriving industry, starting a business isn’t as simple as it seems. There are steps to take in order to ensure success.
Here are five steps to start your own wholesale candy store or wholesale snacks business:
1. Create a Business Plan
Running a wholesale business takes proper planning and that starts with a detailed business plan. When you write a business plan, you’ll have a blueprint to refer to as you grow your business.
Your wholesale candy business plan should include your ideal niche market, expense budget and profit predictions, wholesale marketing plan, and competitor analysis. It’s also important to include insights regarding the demand for your wholesale products.
Keep in mind the location of your wholesale candy business. It’s possible to start selling wholesale candy from a brick-and-mortar location, or you can keep things digital and sell online. Be sure to include the candy shipping procedure for your business.
A good business plan will include potential business expenses. These are ongoing expenses such as rent, property insurance, eCommerce business insurance, inventory cost, and electricity. Factoring in labor cost and payroll taxes is also beneficial.
2. Name and Register Your Business
After deciding on the kind of candy and wholesale products you want to sell, it’s time to choose a name for your business. This is a crucial yet challenging step because you want it to resonate with your customers.
Do some research and brainstorming to find the ideal name for your business. You may even consider using a business name generator.
Perform the following research to ensure name availability:
- Web domain availability
- Social media platforms
- State business records
- Federal and state trademark records
Once you decide on a name, it’s time to register your business. The business registration process will vary depending on your city and state. However, in most cases, you will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for payroll and federal taxes.
It’s also essential to register to obtain a state Tax Identification Number or Tax ID. Explore your local business registration requirements for more information.
3. Obtain Permits and Licenses
In order to properly own and run a business, you need the right permits and licenses. This will ensure that everything is legit.
When working with or selling food items, it’s crucial to obtain a health permit. To do so, you must contact your state’s health department and obtain the necessary licenses to start your food business.
If you’re simply selling wholesale candy items, you may not need such a permit compared to if you were making your own. However, this depends on your city and state.
Businesses that make and sell food are subject to regular health inspections. This is why it’s essential to always have food safety practices in place and ensure you have up-to-date certificates, licenses, and permits.
4. Find Distributors and Stock Up On Inventory
Running a wholesale candy store or business will require you to have bulk inventory on hand. This means you need to find wholesale distributors. To do so, look into how to find wholesalers and a wholesale directory specifically for candy items.
Buying wholesale candy will help you save money by allowing you to mark up your retail prices. Familiarize yourself with wholesale vs retail price to better understand.
It’s likely that you’ll have certain MOQ or EOQ requirements when ordering wholesale items. This means that you will need to follow strict inventory management techniques to ensure organization.
5. Start Marketing
New businesses will need to focus on customer acquisition in order to gain customers. This is possible with customer acquisition strategies and marketing tactics.
Your candy products should attract customers to your business. It’s possible to enhance and draw attention to your products by creating custom candy gifts or candy bouquets. Utilizing free marketing tactics is also ideal such as social media marketing.
Create a detailed marketing strategy that includes different marketing channels to target based on your niche. Consider inbound marketing, marketing software, and different types of email marketing.
Testing different marketing channels will allow you to focus on customer retention strategies and hold onto customers long-term. You may also want to incorporate a loyalty program to entice customers to come back.
Frequently Asked Questions About Starting a Candy Business
Starting a wholesale candy business may be a dream of yours, but it’s no piece of cake. Following the steps listed above will allow you to build a solid foundation and work toward business success. Be sure to also consider the following commonly asked questions about starting a wholesale candy business.
Is a Candy Business Profitable?
Yes, a candy business is profitable. This is because candy appeals to multiple age groups and demographics making it a profitable industry. People spend money on candy for gifts and on a regular basis as a pick-me-up. This makes it a desirable product and proves that there is a market for it. This kind of candy business can be an online candy store or brick and mortar.
Is Buying Wholesale Candy Cheaper?
Yes, buying wholesale candy is cheaper than buying individual or retail candy. Buying candy in bulk allows you to save money and sell it at a premium to customers in individual or smaller quantities. This leaves room for you to make a profit.
What Is the Best-selling Candy in the World?
The best-selling candy in the world is Snickers. Not only does it top the charts in the United States, but also on a worldwide scale.