High-end stores aimed at adults and serving candy cocktails as well as confections are encroaching on the territory of the industry’s biggest names.
The confections industry is growing, Yahoo Finance reports, with U.S. retail sales increasing by $5.2 billion (18 percent) since 2009 to a total of $34.5 billion last year.
But according to ConfectioneryNews.com, the top four candy makers — Hershey, Mars, Lindt and Nestlé — are losing market share.
Enter adult-oriented candy stores with names like Dylan’s Candy Bar and Sugarfina. As Yahoo describes them:
Today’s candy stores aren’t just for kids. They’re adult playgrounds meant to evoke nostalgia and perhaps even serve as happy hour destinations.
Dylan’s Candy Bar was founded by Dylan Lauren — daughter of fashion designer Ralph Lauren — and inspired by “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” character Willy Wonka. It now has 11 locations nationwide and plans to expand to London and Tokyo.
In addition to candy, Dylan’s Candy Bar serves cocktails with names like the “Drunken Sour Patch” and “Jabber Jaw Swizzle” to customers whose average age is an estimated 30, Dylan Lauren tells Yahoo.
The store in Manhattan’s Upper East Side neighborhood also features a Nostalgia Shoppe, where Yahoo reports:
TVs blare old candy commercials and the shelves are stocked with sweets from the past like Oh Henry! bars and Razzles.
Sugarfina, a California chain set to expand to New York, also was inspired by Willy Wonka but is taking a more high-end approach. Yahoo reports:
[It] is known for treats like champagne gummy bears from Germany and candied and chocolate-covered kumquat from Greece. … At the chain’s New York locations champagne gummy bears will be made with Dom Pérignon and not a lesser bubbly.
What do you think of high-end candy stores like these? Are they cool or too costly? Share your thoughts with us below or on our Facebook page.