I returned to the office today after a few days of vacation. On the meeting table in my office is a jar that is kept filled with candy--usually treats that fit the season or a variety in order to keep my visitors happy.
Today when I walked in I noticed that the jar was completely drained--no candy whatsoever. So, either my work teammates went on a sugar bender last week or the cleaning crew has dipped their hands in the candy jar more than once.
On the same day this candy caper was playing out in my office, the New York Times ran a front-page story headlined, "When Economy Sours, a Tootsie Roll Can Still Soothe the Soul." It seems that candy sales have jumped in this economic downturn--that the recession has, indeed, a sweet tooth.
There are various theories as to why this is taking place. Some opined in the Times article that sugar lifts spirits "dragged low by the languishing economy." One brokerage analyst said, "People may indulge themselves a little bit more when times are tough."
Big companies are feeling the candy rush. Cadbury reported a 30% rise in profits in 2008, Nestle's profits rose by 10.9% and Hershey's grew by 8.5% in the fourth quarter.
So, is indulgence or a little pick-me-up truly the reason for the "healthy" increase in candy sales? Or, could it be that consumers are just tired of warily watching caloric intake? Whatever the reason, the owner of a candy store in San Francisco was quoted as saying, "All is well in candy land."
Now, about that stolen candy in my office...