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CANDY AT EASTER IS AN AMERICAN TRADITION

 RICHMOND, Va., April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Candy eggs and jelly beans are synonymous with Easter. For the American confectionery industry, Easter is the second most popular holiday for candy. Only the Christmas holiday season tops it. This year, Easter confectionery sales should reach $881 million according to the National Confectioners Association.
 "The tradition of giving candy at Easter may be stronger than ever since people are realizing that candy can be part of a healthy diet," said James L. Rogula, vice president of American Candy Company. "Candy is lower in fat, calories, cholesterol and sodium than many other snack- food products. A half-ounce of jelly beans contains no cholesterol, very little fat and sodium and only about 50 calories." American Candy Company has its headquarters in Richmond, with manufacturing facilities in Selma, Ala., and Oklahoma City.
 American Candy Company is pleased to give the Easter Bunny a helping hand this holiday season and thinks that 1993 should be another good year for Easter candy. In addition to jelly beans, the company produces "Hide and Seek" eggs. These confectionery eggs with marshmallow centers are popular for Easter egg hunts since they are available in pastel colors and are individually packaged in cellophane packets. Jelly chicks and rabbits are also in demand.
 A popular addition to the Easter candy line is Bunny Pops. These giant twirled lollipops are produced in pastel Easter colors and sport a wrapper printed with an Easter bunny.
 Under a licensing agreement with The Walt Disney Company, American Candy Company produced Parade Pops. These fruit-flavored lollipops have Mickey and Minnie Mouse dressed in their best Easter parade finery on the wrappers.
 Some other facts about the connection between Easter and candy are:
 -- Eggs are a popular form for Easter candy since the egg represents the new life that returns to nature about Easter time. The United States inherited the custom of Easter egg hunts from Europe, where it had flourished in the early 1800s.
 -- While the exact date when candy Easter eggs and jelly beans became an American custom is not known, Americans reportedly began making confectionery eggs in the late 1800s. The tradition of Easter egg hunts began in Philadelphia at this time.
 -- Lollipops have grown strongly in popularity in the last 10 years. This can be attributed to the baby boomers having babies and creating a ready, growing market of younger children.
 -- Women are more likely than men to give candy as a gift for the Easter holiday. According to a national survey conducted by Response Analysis Corporation, 66 percent of women vs. 59 percent of men will give candy.
 -- Younger respondents in the same survey are more likely to give confectionery gifts at Easter. Of those respondents 18 to 34 years old, 79 percent plan to give confectionery vs. 38 percent of those 55 years old and up.
 -0- 4/1/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Photographs of mouth-watering Easter candy are available./
 /CONTACT: Sara Means Geigel, public relations manager, The Pinkerton Group, for the American Candy Company, 804-287-3369/


CO: American Candy Company ST: Virginia IN: SU:

SM -- NYEFNS6 -- 1811 04/01/93 07:06 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 1, 1993
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