The New Candle Market
The New Candle Market
It is no secret these days that the candle market has become more competitive. Retailers and consumers have become “price sensitive” on many type of candles. One of the essential requirements to grow a candle company in this new market is to expand your product offering. This will assist to grow your company in two ways. First, it allows you to grow the products that you are offering to your existing customer base; and secondly it allows you to market to new accounts, which previously where not purchasing your products.
These days, many of the non-traditional candle retailers now offer some type of candles to the consumer. Supermarkets now offer candles in three or four different departments, hardware stores now carry a line of candles, health stores and even the local stores selling tobacco products offer candles. With these “new” retailers you can, in many instances, cater your new products to those specific markets.
The new product offering can be as simple as offering a new line of fragrances, filling new containers or providing new shapes or sizes of pillars. Popular sizes now include squares and octagons. And in the very near future, Candlewic will offer a new 3-inch aluminum ball mold that’s sure to create a lot of interest.
If your specialty has been in filling containers, you may now want to look at offering a small line of pillars and/or votives. While many candle companies struggle to find a cost-effective means of producing votives, they have almost become an essential offering because it is a product the consumer can purchase as a “test” of your candles. This may lead to future sales of larger containers and pillars. For some candle companies the votive has become the equivalent of a “loss leader.”
Other ways of expanding your product offerings include exploring new types of candle supplies. These would include natural wax candles, gel candle, special quartz-look waxes (Astorlite Q) or some of the past types of novelty candles which are beginning to make a resurgence.
Many of these products offer unique opportunities for the smaller candle companies to utilize their strong attributes such as the ability to react quickly to hot trends, capture local interest and fully utilize the artistic ability of their staff. The gel candle is the best example to identify. Candle companies can create candles to match the local economy, beach designs can be very popular, fruit candles and flower gel candles in coordination with local events are always popular.
The use of natural waxes in your candle allows you to take your products to a whole new market. The offerings in natural wax continue to expand. It now includes products such as beeswax (yellow and white), soy based waxes (votive and pillars), palm based waxes and newer products such as Astorlite Q and Astorlite P.
One of the important things to note when expanding to some of the newer products is that there will be a new learning curve required. Each of the products identified above have different manufacturing requirements and burning issues than standard paraffin candles. Always make sure you review the manufacturing requirements of each and test burn your finished product.
In the upcoming issues we will focus on some of the unique candles that have been made in the past and some of the popular themes that can be introduced today. Some of these products include chunk candles, ice candles, sand candles and embed candles using gel.