Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 15

ASHER'S CHOCOLATES
more exposure. Beginning in December,
Asher's dark chocolate-covered graham
crackers will be dished out to passengers
traveling in Delta Airlines' first class and
business class.
It's not the first time the company has
done this. Two years ago, Asher's chocolate-covered pretzels were dispensed
to American Airlines' passengers. "It's
like putting millions of business cards in
people's hands," Asher says. "It's really
great exposure for us."

Gooey Goodness
Roughly 9 million pounds of chocolate pour out of Asher's two factories in Pennsylvania each year. Its
125,000-square-foot building in Souderton houses a candy factory, corporate
headquarters and shipping area. The
company's 100,000-square-foot factory
in Lewistown is dedicated to producing
specialty candy lines.
Asher's produces about 1,000 different
types of candy. Although the company
is always cooking up new ideas, many of
its recipes have remained the same for
more than 100 years. Its most famous
sweetmeats include chocolate-covered
pretzels, dark chocolate-covered sea salt
caramels, almond buttercrunch, cordial
cherries, peanut butter smoothies and a
pecan caramel patty.
"Our chocolate-covered pretzels in

milk, dark or white chocolate are the
king of the castle," Asher says. "But
closely behind them is the dark chocolate sea salt caramel. That's one of our
fastest-growing movers."
Dark chocolate appears to be a growing force in the confectionery world.
Ten years ago, 90 percent of chocolate
sold by Asher's was milk chocolate.
Today, it's a 50-50 toss up between dark
and milk chocolate. "I think people
perceive it to be healthier," Asher says.
"And along with dark chocolate, there
is a trend towards the savory, where
chocolate is paired with different types
of salts and pepper."

Sugar-Free Pioneers
Asher's has been making sugar-free
chocolate since the late 1960s - earlier
than competitors. "We are one of the
pioneers in sugar-free chocolate," Asher
says. "I think we do the best sugar-free
in the world. There are a lot of good
chocolate makers out there, but when it
comes to sugar-free, I will put my bragging hat on. We are top notch."
Asher admits the first piece of
sugar-free chocolate the company
produced wasn't great. "But we've come
a long way since that time frame," he
adds. "I think for some of our candy
pieces, it's hard to tell if it's sugar-free
or regular."

Upfront

Roughly 25 percent of Asher's sales
come from sugar-free products. The
trend started in the early 2000s. "Then it
bottomed out and now it's coming back
a little bit," he says.

Odd Request
When it comes to customers, Asher's
knows how to go the extra mile. The
company believes in listening to its
customers and tries to make their wish
its command - even when the request is
somewhat odd.
A few years back, American rock band
Primus asked Asher's to make promotional candy bars for its tour. But there
was a catch.
"They wanted the bars to be named
after their songs," Asher says. "So we did
a Bastard Bar and then they wanted us
make a special bar for their song called
Pork Soda." Not only that, but Primus
wanted it to taste like pork.
"But we're a kosher company," Asher
says. Still, that didn't stop the company.
Asher's was determined to give Primus a
pork-flavored candy bar.
After searching far and wide, Asher's
found a company that manufactured
bacon-flavored soy bits. "So we combined those bits with Cola Pop Rocks
and it became a limited-edition candy
bar," Asher says. "I once saw it selling on
eBay for $90." O
Asher's produces about 1,000 types of candy,
and many of its recipes have remained the same
for more than 100 years.

Volume 58, Issue 2

RETAIL-MERCHANDISER.COM

15


http://retail-merchandiser.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018

Contents
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - Cover1
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - Cover2
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 1
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - Contents
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 3
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 4
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 5
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 6
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 7
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 8
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 9
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 10
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 11
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 12
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 13
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 14
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 15
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 16
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 17
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 18
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 19
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 20
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 21
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 22
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 23
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 24
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 25
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 26
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 27
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 28
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 29
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 30
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 31
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 32
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 33
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 34
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 35
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 36
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 37
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 38
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 39
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 40
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 41
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 42
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 43
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 44
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 45
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 46
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 47
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 48
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 49
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 50
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 51
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 52
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 53
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 54
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 55
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 56
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 57
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 58
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Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 60
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 61
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 62
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 63
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Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 80
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - Cover3
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - Cover4
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