Friday, March 7, 2014

An experiment in communication - prices in 2014

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is an open letter to our customers to help you understand some recent price changes in our product line. Some of our chocolates have slightly increased in price, some have been reduced, and many have remained the same as last year's prices. As all business do from time to time, we have made price adjustments in an effort to remain viable. We appreciate your continued support and if you have any questions about the following, feel free to contact third-generation owner, my father, Leif Anderson at 1-888-214-7914 or

Dear Friends and Fans,

During our business's 90+ year history, never has an owner reached out and explained a price change.
Price changes are a natural and necessary part of the retail world. In fact, you've undoubtedly experienced increases already this year in almost every product you buy from gas to milk.

However, with the help of my daughters, I've realized that the Internet - specifically our blog and Facebook - has taken our relationship with our customers to a new and more intimate level allowing us to communicate more frequently and in more detail than we ever have before. 

In this communication, I'd like to walk you through some of the highlights of our pending price changes.

First and foremost, we feel you need to know that the price we pay for chocolate has gone up more than twelve percent this year.

We do our best to keep our chocolate costs low, purchasing our bulk chocolate on the futures market and shopping for the lowest prices.

However, you may have noticed in the news lately that due to weather in the parts of the world where the cocoa bean is grown, compounded by a growing demand for chocolate amongst emerging markets like China, the cost of chocolate has risen significantly.
Despite the increased costs we are bearing, our largest price increase throughout our entire product line will only be about 6 percent. Many products won't see a change at all.

We have tried hard to find ways to cut costs and streamline to make that possible.
There are some parts of our business, however, we will not compromise on. We feel these aspects are important to who we are and what makes our chocolate great – however these elements do also affect the cost of our candy.

First, we will not alter the ingredients we use. Since our founding in 1919, we have been dedicated to delivering the highest quality product to you and we believe that depends on using the highest quality ingredients like our Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, Grade A Extra Fancy Pineapple and whole Junior Mammoth Pecans.

We use the best nuts, the best cream, the best chocolate, the best flavorings you can get.

Also, because we feel it directly affects the quality of our candy, and because we believe in the power of small businesses to put people to work – we will continue to employ real humans to cook, dip in chocolate, package the products we sell. 

The average candy bar we sell was worked on by five different people before it made it to your mouth and we are proud of this.

We feel our employees deserve to be compensated for the skilled labor they provide our business and the excellent customer service we expect each one to provide to you. 

Where will you notice the price changes?
You will notice an increase reflected in some of our boxed chocolates and in most of our candy bar selection.

There are three candy bars – solid, toffee and oreos – which we opted to keep at 2013 prices.

And, to assure your satisfaction with the product you receive when you buy one of our bars, the Mint Chip, Meltaway Cream, Pudding, Coconut, Marzipan, and Buttercream bars are all undergoing makeovers which will make them a more comparable size to the rest of our bar selection.

In addition, you may also notice that the following fudges will all reduce in price by 20 cents this March - costing $2.75, which reflects 2011 prices. This list includes Old Tyme Fudge Bars, Pralines,
Cream Fudge Bars, and Meltaway Fudge Bars.

 Also, our half-pound containers of Old Tyme Fudge and Wrapping Caramels will be reduced by $2.00 per box- from $9.50 to $7.95.

What about Easter chocolates?
The good news is that to thank you for your loyalty during this change, most of our Easter line has been reduced in price over last year. This was possible for us because we have found ways to reduce cost labor and pass that on to you.

Our Solid Chocolate Rabbits have gone down an average of a $1.00 and the medium and large size bunny prices have been reduced by an average of $2.00 each!

We have also decided not to increase the price of our Cream Eggs or non-chocolate novelties, this spring.
Just like everyone of you we have also experienced significant increases in transportation and insurance costs and in utilities but I think this about covers the things that are most unique to our business. 
Thank you all for your support over the years and for taking the time to read this.
 If you appreciated this explanation or have further questions, please let me know.  I think that, for today, my experiment with using this tool to talk with all of you is finished.
Thanks again for your time, consideration and support. From my family to yours,
Take care,

Leif R. Anderson, third generation candymaker