PPAI Magazine April 2024

SURPRISE AND DELIGHT. Those are top goals for just about any promo, and it’s hard to go wrong with a sweet treat when you want to make a connection that sticks. “Candy and other food gifts are a great way to say thank you and put a smile on your clients’ or employees’ faces,” says Nadav Raviv, a 2023 PPAI Rising Star and senior national account executive with Ohio-based distributor GBS BrandConnect. “One of the best ways to utilize branded treats is through anniversary or birthday programs that drop ship directly from the factory to your soon-to-be happy end user.” Options run the gamut from humble hard candies and classic mints to custom-molded chocolates and brandname treats in promo packaging. Chelsea Williams, a 2023 PPAI Rising Star and owner/ CEO of Spark Branded Solutions in Tennessee, says she “can’t say no to chocolate.” She likes brand names for the trust factor and has had a lot of success with custom M&Ms. “I’ve done them for universities in the university colors – corporate colors, too,” she says. “You can’t beat those, and that brand name is very recognizable.” Williams suggests candy as a natural fit for hospitality clients, or for room drops at events or desk drops for employees. She and her team look for options that mirror a client’s branding or messaging, and she’s excited about the variety of choices from HPG’s SugarSpot line. For a client whose logo is a pineapple, the Spark team is pitching a pillow pack filled with gummy pineapples and labeled with their logo on the packaging. “It’s just a really great touch point and makes their client see that they’re going the extra mile,” Williams says, “and it’s really low cost, but really high impact.” The packaging and decoration can be as important as the contents. For a client celebrating its debut on the stock market with ticker TAFI, the Spark team pitched – what else? – a desk drop of taffy in custom-printed canisters. Williams advises taking full advantage of all available opportunities for customization, as well as pairing an edible gift with reusable packaging or an item that lasts, like drinkware or a bag. “A lot of people are asking for edible items that also have something that they can keep after the gift is gone,” she says, “and I’ve seen suppliers do a much better job of incorporating a hard good, or maybe it’s the way it’s packaged.” Weather is also a factor with anything edible. With 2023 the hottest year on record, even hard candy posed a shipping challenge last summer. “We found that out the hard way with gummy bears,” Williams says. “We were going to have to do two-day shipping with ice on those, too, so I think just about anything edible like that in the summer you have to. If you’re really insistent on having candies or something edible, it’s just non-negotiable.” Candy Crush Make an impression that sticks with custom candy promo, whether it’s a retail brand name or one of the industry’s many unique options. By Rachel Zoch Pixel-Shot / Shutterstock.com 16 • APRIL 2024 • PPAI Essentials | Good Taste