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Our blog is your source for concession industry tips and tricks. Whether you’re looking for unique ideas for fundraising, want information on creating a successful sweet shop in your grocery store, or need new ways to promote your gourmet popcorn business, we have plenty of information to inspire you. You’ll find new menu recommendations, marketing ideas, seasonal suggestions, and more. Feel free to scroll through all of our posts or browse by category to find relevant information for you.


Beyond the Candy Aisle: Upgrade Your Retail Snack Experience

How Retailers Get Results with Popcorn, Fudge, and Nuts

It’s time for retailers to ramp up their snacking options. Consumer behaviors reveal that the so-called “snackification” trend is not only real, but also one not to be ignored. Technomic’s 2022 Snacking Consumer Trend Report shows that a remarkable 75% of consumers snack at least once per day with those under age 35 leading the way as the most frequent snackers. The purchasing power behind snacking is tremendous. How can retailers seize this opportunity and offer snacks that are both appealing and profitable?

person in grocery aisle holding shopping basket

Snacks that Meet the Needs of Both Consumers and Retailers

Thinking beyond the candy and chip aisles, three snacks that perform well across the board are popcorn, fudge, and nuts. Data from Technomic’s 2022 Snacking Consumer Trend Report shows:

  • 55% of consumers purchase candy (chocolate or other) to snack on at least occasionally;
  • 42% of consumers purchase nuts; and
  • 41% of consumers purchase popcorn.

Gourmet Popcorn

The gourmet popcorn business is booming! It is one of the most popular snacks that’s easy to make and has year-round sales potential. From caramel corn to cheese corn, kettle corn, candy glazed, or savories, there is something for every taste. (Explore the top reasons for selling gourmet popcorn.)


For a decadent, sweet treat that has high profitability, wide market appeal, and emotionally connects with customers, fudge is ideal. Fudge can make a great gift or the perfect indulgence. It can be customized for signature flavors or seasonal favorites. Simple to make, it is relatively shelf-stable and easy to package. (Find out why to sell fudge here.)

Frosted/Glazed Nuts

Make nuts even more irresistible when they’re coated in a glaze of delicious flavor! A seasonal favorite, you can make custom flavored nuts in fall or winter flavors. Make your own creations by choosing from a variety of nuts including almonds, pecans, peanuts, cashews, and more. Customers enjoy that frosted/glazed nuts offer the best of both worlds, a healthier alternative, yet still an indulgent treat. (See why a frosted nuts business is a worthwhile venture.)

Freshness Matters

The benefit for stores is that each of these products can easily be produced fresh. Fresh snacks open a world of opportunity. Why should you choose fresh? First, this offers significant profitability over traditional packaged products. Fresh popcorn, for example, can earn up to an estimated 85% profit margins. Adding gourmet flavors means even more sales potential. Second, it is a way to add to the customer shopping experience and encourage in-store traffic. Making product fresh engages customers’ senses and attracts attention. Third, by producing your own products, you can customize the flavors specifically for your customer base. Signature items are associated with your brand and customers can’t get those products anywhere else.

box of fudge in wooden box

Optimal Selling Opportunities for Popcorn, Fudge, and Nuts

You can cater to a wide audience with freshly made snacks. One of the key advantages that popcorn, fudge, and nuts all offer is that they can be sold in multiple ways.

  1. Snack Packs: Encourage individual purchases by packaging in snack sizes. Create a promotional offer by pairing it with other lunch items like a sandwich or drink.
  2. Shareable Sizes: Create shareable packages that work well for families, office potlucks, or other types of get-togethers.
  3. Party Platters: Ideal for parties, you can create a party platter or sampler that showcases multiple flavors.
  4. Gift Packages: Also, consider putting together gift packages suitable for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, employee recognition, and other special occasions.


woman holds bag of popcorn and smiles

How to Make Caramel Corn, Fudge, and Frosted Nuts with One Machine

Producing fresh gourmet popcorn, fudge, and frosted/glazed nuts doesn’t have to be complicated. The Combo Kandy King from Gold Medal can produce all three from the convenience of one unit. This means less concerns about making space and budget allotments for multiple machines.

With custom paddles and drums for each product, the Combo Kandy King is equipped to be a state-of-the-art production workhorse for delicious treats. The membrane controls have the capability to adjust temperatures and cook cycles for each product. The temperature sensor with digital display means increased accuracy and efficiency, improving the production process. There is a pre-alarm feature for caramel corn, so your batches are always properly coated. Plus, the simple-to-use cleaning mode helps with ongoing maintenance, ensuring the longevity of the machine. It has a compact, space-saving design and does not take up a lot of valuable workspace.

The Combo Kandy King takes away the guess work for operators. It is designed to provide consistent, high-quality batches. Use it to create rich caramel corn or other flavorful glazed popcorn varieties using Signature Blends®. Make mouthwatering fudge recipes in a wide range of flavors. (Get ideas in our fudge recipe category!) And cook up the most irresistible frosted/glazed nuts, great for snacking, parties, trail mixes, or gift baskets.

Embrace the “snackification” trend and earn great benefits! Say goodbye to candy bars and chips and give your customers the fresh and craveable snacks they enjoy! And you’ll enjoy products that deliver sales and profitability time after time. It is a win-win!   

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