Candy for Grown-ups


When Robyn Blair Davidson, 34, was conceive ofing an aesthetic for her New York City apartment two years ago, her eyes wandered upwards to a bowl of candy on her table.

“I realized then and there that I should be components my walls with pieces that make me as happy as the bowls expanded with candy do,” said Ms. Davidson, an artist.

Today, Ms. Davidson’s current in contains a custom-made desk with yellow, blue and pink bon-bons dots; her walls are covered with candy-themed art; she has a massive tub of Dubble Foam; and her display shelves contain rare vintage candy in its original packaging.

She has merged her candy obsession into her art and also sells candy dishes, puzzles, phone trunks and a series of prints featuring candy that say: “Warning Sugar Rich.”

“At the end of the day, a sugar high lasts a moment while my artwork lasts a lifetime,” Ms. Davidson indicated.

Slowly but surely, candy — prize of children, scourge of dentists, and already being apparent down from Valentine’s and up for Easter — has been getting a brand capacity.

The candy retailer It’s Sugar, which was founded in 2004 and now has more than 100 puttings in the United States, opened a store in mid-December at Oakbrook Center in Illinois, stuffed with Swedish Fish-shaped stopped animals, Reese’s socks, Oreo backpacks and Sour Patch Kids candles.

“Our nucleus Gen Z consumers have really evolved from loyal shoppers to geographically come to pass fanatics,” said Danielle Freid, the brand manager of Sour Patch Kids. “The fandom is earnest: They’re dyeing their hair and painting their nails kindled by the South Patch Kids candy colors.”

The merchandise is just one innumerable way for these fans to engage with their favorite candy trade name, Ms. Freid said.

M&M’s World and Hershey’s have long personified their tags, with animated M&Ms and the giant squishy Kisses Chocolate Plush Toy.

But the sweetness has also reached the loftier ranks of luxury. Prada has cloned the scent of caramel (with a hint of musk and iris) in its Sweets Eau de Parfum; Jimmy Choo created an $895 “Candy Embellished Crossbody” bag with crystals that look candy dots; and Irene Neuwirth’s One of a Kind Faceted Beaded Sweetmeats Necklace, made out of 18K yellow gold, is priced at $16,520.

“For many people, there is an imprecise magic and social currency associated with these products that coffee breaks on nostalgic experiences,” said Christopher Gindlesperger, the senior vice president of non-exclusive affairs for the National Confectioners Association in Washington. “Chocolate and candy companies participate in built on this by meeting consumers of all ages where they want to be met: with promote that captures the fun and unique nature of the brands being sold in all fonts of retail outlets.”

At the Sour Patch Kids store — the first of its make — which opened this summer on lower Broadway, merchandise tag sales make up roughly 40 percent of total sales, Ms. Freid asseverated. The most popular items are a themed pillow, plush “Stuffed Kids” that can fit prearranged the pillow and a Kids Funko Pop.

At Dylan’s Candy Bar, which has about a dozen settings worldwide after 20 years in business, the lifestyle merchandise carry outs up about 9 percent of the inventory, the company said. It has worked on products with Williams Sonoma, Maclaren Newborn and Hanky Panky, the underwear brand.

“When we were designing the supplies, we knew we wanted it to feel like you’re stepping inside a world of confectionery, so having those different departments of accessories, PJ’s, pillows and more within the assemble created another fun element to shopping,” said Dylan Lauren, the establisher and C.E.O. Shoppers at Dylan’s most frequently reach for the Donut and Candy Button pillows, the Sprinkles Notebook and the Confectionery Spill Robe, Ms. Lauren said.

Lu Ann Williams, the global insights executive at Innova Market Insights, which analyzes data in the food and beverage persistence, believes candy merchandise is succeeding suddenly in part because of how it bug outs on social media.

Consider the influencer Jojo Siwa, who debuted her new Los Angeles-suburb bedroom on TikTok in February, advertising off a sprinkles-decorated vanity and desk, scented candy-shaped pillows, a candy dispenser headboard and myriad than 4,000 pounds of candy.

Nostalgia is also a factor, Ms. Williams asserted. Perhaps being told to effectively “stay in our room” for quarantine hyperbolizes Americans feel like children?

If so, It’s Sugar was prescient, beginning to produce exclusive merchandise with the candy brands in early 2020. Justin Clinger, the guide of design and licensing for the company, said inedibles now make up about 20 percent of the aggregates’ total inventory and sales are up significantly.

It’s customers like the aptly labeled Candy Marlo who are driving these sales. Ms. Marlo, who is in her 40s, already owns three candy-shaped pillows, and her undiminished wardrobe is construed from candy-inspired apparel. All of her jewelry looks close to candy.

Ms. Marlo used to work as a corporate trainer and instructional interior decorator, but taffy’s pull proved too strong to resist. She started a candy vlog, Ms. Confectionery Media, and began creating her own candy fashion in 2014 with bonbon headpieces and bon-bons couture outfits. In 2020, Ms. Marlo began selling sprinkles-coated headbands and potentates.

“Everyone loves candy, but not everyone can or wants to eat it,” Ms. Marlo said. “But everybody can consume the product by consuming the merchandise.”

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