One of the biggest ways new Candypreneurs lose money is on spoiled candy. Mostly this happens from overbuying “good deals” with too slow of a demand to move that candy before it goes bad. However there are a number of others ways candy can spoil. It is important to be aware of any threat that may be present and take preventative action against your stock turning bad on you.
All candies are high in sugar and low in moisture, which is why they have potential to last so long. With the exception of rancid fats in Chocolate products, the chances of old candy actually making someone physically sick is very low. The high sugar/low moisture content of candy is not a suitable environment for dangerous microorganisms to grow.
Chocolate candies such as M&M’s and Reese’s Pieces are at high risk for melting. Melting will cause cracking in the candy coating, clumping and the appearance of white spots. While most short term damage is in the appearance of the product, it is still unsuitable for sale. After an extended period of time the fat within the chocolate will go rancid, however this is not likely unless the candy is over a year old.
Soft Candies such as Mike n’ Ikes and Good & Plenty will be subject to hardening over time. With heat exposure they will melt and clump together, and high moisture will cause them to become saturated and runny. Skittles and Runts will fade with sun exposure becoming unsellable..
Gum and gumballs will also dry out, with chicklets it is going to be less of an issue, but if you have ever bit into a hard and dry gumball, you know how unpleasant it really is.
The biggest factors in spoilage are heat, moisture and sun exposure. To remedy all of those issue it is best to place machines inside temperature controlled buildings, which is usually pretty simple. No matter where the machines are placed they will always be subject to the threat of both bugs and time. Having your machine subject to insect infestation can be downright horrible for business, images like that are imprinted within the mind of the viewer and will not be forgotten anytime soon. A bug problem is hard to come back from, so keeping the machines clean and routinely spraying the base with pesticides is very important for long term business.
In time all candy will turn bad, whether it takes a few months or the excess of a year. To combat the threat that time posses it is best to not keep excessive stocks of product on hand. There may be a sale from time to time that you think you can take advantage of and stock up on, but if the product is going to be sitting around for more than two months do not give into the idea.
Keeping your candy fresh is important and by constantly having to buy or order more product in order to stock machines, you are aware of the amount of spoilage and waste that occurs. It is always good to have about a months supply on hand.
If candy is moving slowly and turning bad in one or two locations, then try to figure out the reason why it is happening. Are your sales particularly slow? Is sun exposure a problem? Heat? Think creatively come up with a solution. If sales are slow try changing the type of candy once or twice, and maybe re-position the machine. If the machine still isn’t making money then move the machine.
This business is quite literally about raking in quarters, if you have a few machines that do not perform then they simply cut into your profit. In some cases it is more beneficial to take the machine out of service than to constantly service and restock it with no profit. Between the cost of travel, product and labor it does add up very quickly, and there is only one way to fight back which is to sell more.