The enduring growth of the organic food and beverage industry isn’t showing any signs of slowing these days. With its influence bleeding into every aisle at the grocery store, it’s no surprise organic candy has hit the mainstream. Not one to sleep on a trend, Illinois-based Ferrara Candy Company has expanded its line of Black Forest confection offerings and is investing more than $25 million into its organic infrastructure.
Building on the success of its organic gummies the company launched last year, Ferrara—the century-old manufacturer of classic candy brands such as Lemonhead, Brach’s, Chuckles, Jujyfruits and Atomic Fireballs—is introducing four new offerings: Fruity Chews, Sour Heads, Candy Drops and Caramel Hard Candies.
“As the largest non-chocolate manufacturer in the US, we recognized the opportunity for organic confections based on consumer desires and retailer needs,” says Todd Siwak, CEO, Ferrara Candy Co. With its investment in expanding its organic operations, Siwak says the company has set a goal of doubling sales to $2 billion by 2020.
Ferrara says its expanded Black Forest Organic product portfolio addresses the latest marketplace trends including sour, the fastest growing flavor profile; fruit chews, the largest segment in non-chocolate; and hard candy, which has a significant loyal following.
USDA regulations stipulate a candy product is eligible for the USDA Organic seal if it contains at least 95 percent organic ingredients and is made without the use of toxic persistent pesticides and GMOs. The seal also requires organic candy to be made in its own dedicated manufacturing line to prohibit the co-mingling with non-organic products. The candy is also gluten and fat free, with no artificial flavors and colors from natural sources like carrots, turmeric and red beets.