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TOPIC: Candy

Candy 10 Nov 2007 11:39 #27378

  • trackfood
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In the project I'm working on, one of the last things on my list for the concession stand is CANDY. From my years of chain theatre experience, I know that candy is the least profitable item, and generally amounts to a small percentage of concession stand sales. I will just throw a few things out here, and add your thoughts. I would like to have a relatively small amount of candy items, mixed evenly between sugar items and chocolate items. I know everybody's market is different, but do the smaller sized packages work better for you, or do the larger "theatre sized candy" items work better.Regular sized candy items cost approx 35 cents at Sams club, so trying to get $1 or more at a theatre seems hard to do. The "king size" items at sams are approx 65 cents each, they don't appear to be that King size either, and also seem a hard sell at theatre prices. In the area I'm in, they only sell the large boxes/bags which are generally $2-4 each. I want to sell them a little cheaper than my competition. I'd actually like to keep everything in the $2 range. So I was thinking the popular movie theatre items, sour patch kids, licorice, dots, skittles, junior mints,starburst, etc to go with the big bags/boxes, then maybe try something different with the rest. I was thinking trying those 8-packs of the mini snack size candy bars. They usually sell for $1-1.39 in a grocery store, so $2 at a theatre wouldn't be too out of line. Where do you get your candy? Most of the suppliers I've looked at the prices aren't very favorable. I can actually go to walmart and buy the theatre sized boxes of candy, and those 8-pack candy bars for 88 cents. So, even if I bought those there, I would make approx $1 on every candy sold. What do you think of that? I also wouldn't have to have to order a full case of any particular candy, should it not sell well. There are so many different kinds of candy I also thought this might work well to kind of rotate things and keep the candy case looking fresh. Of course, I would always keep plenty of the popular candies on hand. On another front, I also was thinking of selling smaller candies, things available at Sams club such as air heads, and other smaller items that escape my memory right now, at like 3 for $1.00 Anybody do that, how does it work. I thought that I might be able to extract every penny out of the kids that way, but I actually think it might hurt my markup. Ideally, I would like to make $1.00 per candy item. Which in this area is at least the norm or below. I would like to offer at least one or two items at $1.00 (like a nerds rope) just to have something for a kid to buy. I know everybody's got different experiences, some of you charge small change for your items and make less, some charge more and make more. Just looking for your experiences.
Thanks
Jeff
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Re: Candy 10 Nov 2007 12:39 #27379

  • slapintheface
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i have 4 price points on candy and have a hugh candy section ...about 50 kinds..We sell a lot of candy and our there gets very few kids (under 16 years of age about 15 kids a month)
prices
1.50
2.50
3.00
4.99
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Re: Candy 10 Nov 2007 16:03 #27380

  • tratcliff
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I have a mix of both "theatre size" candies and small candies.
Price points are:
$2.00
$1.50
$1.00
75 cents
25 cents

The 25 cent candy really sell to little kids. They will bring in their change and by 3-4 at a time.
My biggest seller is Airheads. I get them for 8 cents each, so the margin is good.
Sam's has them for that price also I think.

So I think it is good to have choices for all ages.

Older folks: Junior Mints, Raisinettes, Choc covered peanuts
Middle: Twizzlers, M&Ms, Sno Caps
Kids: Sour anything, Skittles, Airheads, Gummi anything, Gobstoppers.

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Re: Candy 10 Nov 2007 20:32 #27381

  • BurneyFalls
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I started out by only selling regular-sized candy and boxed red/black vines, as well as one type of small candy that changed frequently. Over time I added king-sized candy. Then I picked up a few theatre-sized boxes of a few candies and they sold very fast. Now I have a smaller variety of regular-sized candy that I sell for $1.50, a few king-sized candies at $2.25, a large assortment of theatre-size candies at $2.75, as well as the jar of little candies that sell for diffent amounts depending on the content--usually 6 for $1 (gummi worms), up to 50 cents each.
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Re: Candy 10 Nov 2007 21:25 #27382

  • rdetzler
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I only sell the theater sized candy at $3 each. They sell well if you have the stuff people want. The breakdown above is pretty good. Sour stuff sells the best, then some of the old school stuff. Packaging is a big part of it. I would never try to sell the stuff that you can buy at Sams since people know what it costs and realize the markup (yes they still know its expensive but....). Its the same reason that most restaurants dont use brands you know as house wines. If you knew the house wine was Yellowtail $5 a bottle and you are being charged $6 for it, you feel like you are getting ripped off. So instead they got some weird sounding Italian red for $4 a bottle and still charge you $6, but you 'feel' better about it.

Dont underestimate candy I would expand my selection if I could.

Roger
IOKA Entertainment Inc
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Re: Candy 11 Nov 2007 00:04 #27383

  • rodeojack
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To qualify our response; we're a drive-in, and our full kitchen selection probably effects the big picture in ways an indoor house wouldn't see.

In recent years I've often felt we give our candy selection much more square footage than it deserves. Maybe it was a bigger deal in years past, but not so much now.

Sour Patch Kids, Red Vines and Reece's Pieces are by far our largest sellers. Everything else is at least 50% below the rate that those items move. Cotton Candy probably comes in fourth, but we make that here.

It surprises me that M&Ms and Hershey bars have lost their luster. Snickers, Milky Way and 3 Musketeers bars don't justify the space they take up anymore.

Overall, I could probably cut my selection by two thirds and be fine, though I haven't done it yet.

I also have a couple of 25 cent items that'll burn a hole in a kid's pocket, assuming they don't put it in a video game.

A totally personal addition to our lineup last year was "Flicks". We had them when I was a kid, and they were huge back then. The brand disappeared for some time (explanation is on their web site), but they're back now. We don't sell a huge amount, but enough to make it worthwhile. They're also a novelty that lights up the faces of the older folks here. I think they enjoy being able to tell their kids (grandkids) about something that was a favorite in their time.

[This message has been edited by rodeojack (edited November 11, 2007).]
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Re: Candy 11 Nov 2007 01:20 #27384

  • puzzlegut
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Our prices currently go as:

$0.25 - Airheads
$0.50 - Ring Pops
$0.75 - small candies (M&Ms, Skittles, Starbursts, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, etc)
$1.50 - large candies (Dots, Junior Mints, Milk Duds, Mike and Ikes, etc)

The Airheads and Ring Pops are a nice way for the kids to spend any leftover change. Kids usually go for the fruit and sour candies (i.e. Sour Punch Straws) while the adults tend to do more chocolate candies (i.e. Milk Duds).

I would recommend whatever candy you get that you don't get a wide variety of the same candy. For example, there are probably about 5 different kinds of Skittles. I would only recommend getting one or two of them at the most. We have found that the more options you give people (just as bad with kids as it is with adults), the longer it takes them to decide whether they want original, sour, wild berry, etc. And the longer it takes for them to decide, the longer it makes other people wait in line and that could hinder your sales. It's just easier to limit the options so if they say "Starbursts", you can just grab it without asking them "what kind of Starburts?"
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Re: Candy 11 Nov 2007 23:13 #27385

  • rdetzler
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Puzzlegut how are you making any money selling 'large size' candies for $1.50? If these are theatrical size being bought from a distributor and shipped in, I'm not seeing the margin.

I agree with limiting types of a candy to one.

Also, I would dump the candy bars. I never had any luck with them, and dont see them around much in my area. M&Ms still do OK for us.

Roger
IOKA Entertainment Inc
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Re: Candy 12 Nov 2007 09:30 #27386

  • dsschoenborn
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We sell small and large size but do it a bit different. My large size range in pirce from $1.50 to 3.25 and get them from my local candy distributor. The small stuff like airheads and candy bars are sold from vending machines. No labor here so at .50, .75 and .80 and even some at $2 it works well. Also I have been taought to have these low prixed items when you have little kids because they will try and find a way to spend all the money they are given.
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Re: Candy 12 Nov 2007 14:07 #27387

  • puzzlegut
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rdetzler: We're not make a whole lot of money on our large candies. But we also live in an economically depressed area. So we're not sure if we can get away with charging more then that. Of course if our prices go up, then we'll be forced to raise them.

Some of our candies we get direct from the local grocery store. Other candies we get from Promotion In Motion, which are fairly inexpensive.
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Re: Candy 16 Nov 2007 01:11 #27388

  • markegge
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While planning out my concessions stand, I sat down and talked to the concessions manager for the University sports arena. He gave me some sage advice: you can mark up "big" (theater sized) items more.

Also, as rdetzler pointed out, if you're selling the same items that you normally buy at a convenience store, people can do the math and tend to feel "ripped off" by theater prices.

So: get bigger items. That's what people expect when they go to a movie theater, you can mark them up more because they're "bigger", and people don't have a ready frame of reference for how much a 9.5oz box of Mike & Ikes cost at 7-Eleven.

An economist would point out that, operating a theater, you have a monopoly on candy sales, and should set your prices where marginal revenue equals marginal cost. Which is economic gobbledygook for "increase your prices until your total revenue starts to decrease." Of course, there's something that seems unethical about charging $4.40 for a soda...

These are the candies that our theater, which caters primarily to college students, sells:

$1.50
Butterfinger bites
Cookie Dough Bites
* Gummi Worms
Hershey Bar
* Junior Mints
M&Ms - Milk Choc
* M&Ms - Peanut
* Raisenets
Reeses Pieces Peanut Butter
* Sour Patch Kids Asst

$2.50
Whoppers
Dots
Lemon Heads
Skittles
* Mike & Ike Orig Fruit
Red Vines (5 oz tray)

Where * denotes an item that sells better than the rest. There are lots of other threads on this forum that cover similar subject matter. All are in theater box sizes or hang bags. The $2.50 items are especially large-- most over 8 oz (the Mike & Ikes come in a 9.5oz box).

We'll probably stop stocking the Hershey Bar after Christmas -- they don't sell. We'll probably replace it with Starburst.

In terms of buying candy ... again, like other threads in this forum have suggested, do some research. Find out who supplies candy to your local events center or sports complex. Most of the $1.50 items cost around ~$0.85, and the $2.50 items around $1.15. We get our candy from a distributor out of Missoula (125 miles away) that makes weekly deliveries to Bozeman. We're not getting an especially great deal, but we don't do enough volume to qualify for anything better.

You can often find "better deals" from a national distributor, but most of that savings is usually eaten up by shipping costs. I happened to nab a derelict invoice from a local major chain, one night, and compared it to our own prices. Their prices were considerably lower, but once you factored in shipping costs, things evened out. And, of course, when you get your candy from a local distributor, more of that money stays in the local community ... which makes the community stronger ... and eventually boosts sales at your theater. =)

[This message has been edited by markegge (edited November 16, 2007).]
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