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Thursday, March 31, 2011
Easter candy is sold in an amazing assortment of flavors, sizes, and styles. Do you know when the marshmallow chick entered into the picture? Or the jelly bean? Perhaps you are too busy eating candy to even wonder. If not, read on and get in on a little bit of Easter candy trivia.

Easter is a special holiday that often generates a sugar-induced coma to those individuals who happen to overindulge in the sweetness that fills Easter baskets, hides in plastic Easter eggs, or sits in fancy packages. From the pastel sweetness of marshmallow chicks and bunnies to the rich texture of chocolate-covered whipped cream eggs, candy lovers are as sure to be in candy heaven as Peter Cottontail is to be hopping down the Bunny Trail on Easter day.

While Easter is a religious holiday, there has always been a place for special treats from the Hot Cross Buns that were served centuries ago to the chocolate eggs that were created during the early 1900s. These first delectable eggs of chocolate were hollow treats create from a paste of Cacao beans. Eventually, the chocolate-making process improved enough to allow chocolate candies in the shape of bunnies, birds, and flowers, as well as the traditional eggs. Chocolate candy is perhaps the favorite of many individuals, but what would Easter be without marshmallow chicks and jelly eggs?

Marshmallow chicks came onto the Easter scene in the early 1950s. Before mechanization took place, it took at least 27 hours to make a single marshmallow chick, known today as a peep. It wasn’t until the 1960s that marshmallow candies destined for Easter basket were made in the shape of bunnies. Today, marshmallow eggs have joined this Easter candy lineup. Marshmallow chicks and bunnies are sold in a variety of colors. The original yellow color is still one of the highest sellers, but these marshmallow candies are also sold in pink, purple, and blue.

Jelly eggs, or jelly beans as they are more commonly known, have been popular Easter candies since the 1930s. Due to their distinctive egg shape, jelly beans were associated with the idea of Easter candy since the Easter Bunny was already rumored to have been given the task of delivering Easter eggs as a sign of new life each year at Easter. Today, jelly eggs are sold in a fruit-flavored variety as well as a spicy variety. Of course, modern trends have become intertwined with jelly eggs and now they are produced in a wide assortment of varieties, flavors, and sizes.

No matter what type of Easter candy is your favorite, you have lots of deliciously sweet choices to pick from. Even the large candy companies have gotten in on the fun of creating Easter candy, wrapping their current candy bars in pastel-colored wrappers or decorating the candy with tiny bunnies or chicks. Have fun and create an unforgettable Easter basket by purchasing a nice assortment of chocolate bunnies, marshmallow chicks, and jelly beans.

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Sunday, March 27, 2011
The Corporate / Community Easter Egg Hunt Event

Corporate events featuring Easter egg hunts are one of the most popular community events. While the children might believe that Peter Cottontail actually came over and hid hundreds or thousands of candy filled Easter eggs just for the kids to find, you and I both know that someone other than the Easter Bunny took care of that for you.

Brightly-colored candy filled Easter eggs are easy to see, so kids have no problem finding them. Each plastic egg is filled with an assortment of delicious candies. Some of the varieties that your little one might discover when they crack open their plastic egg include sour patch kids, Swedish fish, warheads candy, tootsie rolls, frooties, smarties, and big bol bubblegum – all the traditional sweet treats.

Of course, parents and other loved ones need to supervise children under the age of three to ensure their safety. After all, the pastel-colored candy wrappers are almost as enticing as the candies. Remembering Easter egg hunts from days gone is one of the fondest memories that children have when they grow up. Why not give the kids in your neighborhood something to remember with a medley of brightly-colored candy filled Easter eggs? With all the time that you save by purchasing Candy filled Easter eggs instead of having to fill hundreds of plastic eggs, you can spend the time with family and friends actually enjoying the anticipation of a fun-filled Easter egg hunt.

Our experience with Easter Egg hunts goes back a while. O’Ryans Village grew from our video store, O’Ryans Video. In 1997 to gain awareness for our video store, we came up with an idea to have an Easter Egg hunt. We had made candy, specifically old time candy a big part of our store at this point and was thinking of ways to let people know what we had. Our store had a very big lot behind it and we thought it would be a great place to stage an Easter Egg hunt. Our plan was a huge undertaking that I still believe has never been orchestrated by a small Mom and Pop business such as ours was then.

We had a few friends that we called on to help out. One worked for the local radio station in town. Together we produced some great ad spots on the radio station featuring none other than Peter Cottontail hopping and “boing” –ing across the airwaves announcing the great Easter event to take place at our store. As part of the deal. the radio station was going to send a DJ and his crew to our store to do a “remote”, set up shop In front of our store and broadcast the event LIVE! No margin for error.

We also convinced the pizza place in our neighborhood to provide pizzas for the event, allowing him some positive exposure. We rounded up all the help we could get and commenced filling thousands of plastic eggs filled with our candy. Knowing not what kind of turn out we would get, we were preparing big. Fingers were crossed and collective breaths were held.

10:00. On the morning of the hunt, the radio crew showed up and began setting up. We had assembled a staff that included every family member and friend possible to help out with the hoards of people we hoped would show up. The hunt was to commence at 1:00 PM. There was a shopping center across the street from our store. As we were setting up we noticed “Early Birds” staging themselves across the street in the shopping center’s parking lot along with some curiosity seekers roaming around our store.

12:00 Noon. The Live broadcast went on air The crowd began to grow and swell in size. We began to wonder, “What have we done?”

12:30. We had filled and closed our modestly sized parking lot, the shopping center parking lot was packed and traffic jams developed down the aisles, cars were parked up and down the street as far back as any of us could see.

12:45. The Police had showed up! Not to arrest or fine us, but to direct traffic. Wow! You would have thought Barney or The Power Rangers were there. Nope! Just a man sized Easter Bunny running around greeting our guests. Obviously the 1500 Easter Eggs had been planted in the back lot hours before. We had setup up six gates leading to the Hunting grounds. The kids were crowded into the gates awaiting the whistle that would signal the opening of the gates.

1:00.Our rented Peter Cottontail asked, “Are you ready?” The roar of cheers from the crowd of eager egg hunters was comparable to a 747 jet taking off from our lot! The whistle shrieked and the gates opened. The kids hit the back lot like a California gold rush. We should have planted 5000 eggs I thought to myself. Everyone got some though and we added to the kids treasures with pizza, donuts, juice, and loose candy from our back stock in the store. A great time was had by all. It took an hour or so for the crowds to disperse and the radio crew to pack and leave.

Surely something we’ll never forget. Our kids still talk about it. The locals talked about for years after. We closed the store and went web only in 2001.Our former customers still stop us in the grocery store and such places to say Hi and the Great Hunt of ’97 comes up in the conversation. Those kids are now adults, but their faces still light with excitement when they re-live it in the conversation. Those faces will stay with me forever.

You don’t have to plan such a huge production for your hunt, you can if you want, but just a gathering of your neighbor friends or church members is a lot of fun too. We have provided Candy filled plastic Easter eggs for Easter egg hunts on every scale imaginable from backyard family gatherings to huge hunts of a private country club that distributed the Easter eggs across their golf course dropped from a helicopter. Let us know your plans and we’ll help ensure it’s success.

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