tbr Columnist Tim Kilpin: What’s Your Problem with Candy Corn?

by Tim Kilpin | 07 Oct 2021

The Bloom Report

Q:  What’s Your Problem with Candy Corn?


Look, I know it tastes like sugared wax and turns your tongue orange.  But ‘tis the season – we’ve turned that big metaphorical corner, heading toward the heart of the holidays.  And even though I recently turned 61, I still have the diet of an 11-year-old.  So candy corn it is.  It’s the gateway drug to gingerbread.  Best time of the year. 


Up here in the North Country, the wind has shifted, the leaves are turning, and store shelves are happily stacked high with…well, nope.  Shelves are empty, pretty much.  That supply chain death gauntlet we ran all summer, it’s only gotten worse.  There are 73 ships currently anchored off the coast of Los Angeles.  Desperate purveyors plot feverishly to hire helicopters that will pluck their containers from the massive floating warehouse in the Pacific.    The recent backlog of train cars into Joliet, Illinois snaked through the countryside for 25 miles.


There’s no question that some products, even some new brands, will not make it to store shelves (or ecomm warehouses) on time this year.  Having recently perused the Amazon ‘Toys We Love’ list (164 items in all), nearly a quarter of them have 5 or fewer consumer reviews…and it’s October, candy-corn-eaters.  That means products which our friends over at Amazon highlighted – out of thousands of new products this Fall – have barely made it into consumers’ hands yet. 


So while we wait for our ships to come in, our trains to toot, and our trucks to roll – bringing happy holiday wishes to one and all – I’m making a plea to all the toy buyers out there:  be patient.  Wait for the goods to actually arrive and for the consumers to vote with their dollars.  Know that this season will be unlike any other – and that a lot of brands and items won’t even get played with until well into next year.  Christmas will come…but our ability to read and understand its outcomes for our industry might just take a bit longer than it has in the past.


Meanwhile, I’ll hold onto some candy corn for you.  It’ll keep until next year, you know.

toy industry shipping containers holidays christmas

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