Thursday, June 4, 2015

Brown Sugar. Hard Centers. What's in a name?

EDITOR'S NOTE: When you run a small business, there is never down time. While Christmas and Easter keep us running simply to fill orders, the spring months are devoted to catching up with paperwork and marketing. Each spring, we at Anderson's Candy Shop take a step back and look at trends in what we are selling, and NOT selling, and try to correct. This year we noticed three major "duds" in sales. The following walks you through what we discovered and the changes we have made in response.

Names are important. 

Would you look something up on “Backrub”?

Would you watch a movie starring Norma Jeane Mortenson? Or a cartoon show about Mortimer Mouse?

Does a nice, cold “Brad's Drink” sound delicious?

How about using Google to search for a movie staring Marilyn Monroe or Mickey Mouse while drinking an ice cold Pepsi?

Sound better?

Surely each of these name changes had an impact on the popularity of each person or product.

At Anderson's we recognize that names carry a lot of weight and we like to think we understand a thing or two about naming our own products.

But sometimes, we know we've gotten it wrong.

Two years ago a customer pointed out an error in our ways when he insisted that werename the Filbert candy bar Hazelnut.

A few letters different and today the once slow-selling chocolate covered Filbert is enjoying a lot more love and understanding as the trendy Hazelnut.

We feel it is that time again.

Our storefront associates have pointed out to us that a few of our handmade chocolates need a new lease on life – and an updated name!

Don't be alarmed, we haven't changed a single recipe or ingredient. But, we did listen to our storefront associates suggestions, and the next time you're in our shop or browsing online, you will notice some new products (or at least new names)!

The first starlet to enjoy a name change this spring was our Meltaway Cream bar.

Sweet, rich and smooth this candy bar was constantly misunderstood.

Folks who loved peppermint would reach for Meltaway and then recoil when they realized what they were reaching for was not mint, but a brown sugar buttercream.

And who could blame them?

Meltaway Fudge is minty, and so are Frosted Meltaways … what were we thinking!?

With the help of a call-out to our Facebook friends and a brainstorming session in house, we settled on a more descriptive name.

So, on a rainy Friday in May, Meltaway Cream became Brown Sugar Buttercream.

It has been almost a month now and we don’t think Brown Sugar Buttercream will ever look back!

Instead of being passed over by those seeking mint, scores of chocolate lovers are now enjoying the velvety, brown sugar cream center.

It is funny to be on the serving side of the counter when one of our regulars exclaims, "Oh, Brown Sugar Buttercream! That sounds good. I don't remember seeing that before. I'll try one of those."

Little do they know it's been there all along.

In some ways, changing the name of a product is as easy as ordering new packaging.

But the transition also presents challenges.

We fret - will current fans of the given product be able to locate it under its new name?

Will fans fear that we have changed more than the name and - gulp - the ingredients, too?

These were some of our major concerns with the two other candy products that we have recently renamed – our Hard Centers assortment and our Hard & Soft Centers assortment.

Although these assortments include some of our most popular pieces of candy - Buttercreams, Caramels, Peanut Butter Crunch pieces for example - they are duds at the sales counter.

And again, who could blame the customer? What is a “Hard” center?

The word Hard is typically associated with rocks, stones, breaking teeth, and difficult personalities. Not delicious candy!

And for that matter, a “Soft” center could be… well, anything.

So, after more brainstorming, we arrived at the following longer, but hugely more descriptive, new names.

INTRODUCING! Crunchy, Nutty, Chewy. (Formerly Hard Centers)

If you are a fan of chocolate dipped crunchy centers like molasses and mint chips and peanut butter and raspberry crunch AND you love our chewy centers, including caramel,nougat and butterscotch AND you are a fan of our chocolate dipped nuts - you can now purchase a box of our Crunchy, Chewy, Nutty centers!

And, last but certainly not least, we introduce to you: Everything But Nuts.  (Formerly Hard & Soft Centers)

If you are a customer who loves everything we make, BUT can not have nuts then Everything But Nuts is for you!

We know it's not Pepsi or Google, but we're hoping these names changes really do give our beloved bar and boxes new leases on life.


  1. This was really an interesting topic and I kinda agree with what you have mentioned here! orbit gum

  2. a must read before one places an order. Entertaining as well. Not many things in this world are educational and makes you crave chocolate!

  3. Loved your "site" very tempting..look forward to trying the
    new products.We continue to taste and shop in Richmond..over 80 years..third generation.Need to replenish our supply..see you "all" in the next few weeks.
    THE BASS FAMILY..Dee Dick and the next generation

  4. As a tribute to Sandra Boynton's classic book "Chocolate, the Consuming Passion," I think "Krispy Rice" should be renamed "Tender Mice." We always refer to it that way, and we are neither owls nor cats, though we are wholly owned subsidiaries of cats. Perhaps you could at least include it parenthetically, so your staff is not confused when we forget, and order it by the name we use?

    P.S. The cats like the idea of tender mice, hold the chocolate. Perhaps with a catnip glaze? 8^D