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Holiday Season Candles

12/19/05 - This is the season for candles with a third of annual sales coming during the two-month period of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year's.

The $2 billion candle industry, which peaked in the 1990s, has shown signs of slowing. Annual sales growth, once 10 to 15 percent, has slowed to 2 to 3 percent, according to the National Candle Association. A.C. Nielsen figures show candle and candle accessory sales in mass merchandisers, supermarkets and drug stores dropped 2.7 percent in the 12 months leading up to Nov. 5. Those figures don't take into account specialty stores.

Maine's Village Candle has made adjustments and is still growing. So has Yankee Candle Co., the leading maker of premium scented candles. Despite the slowing market, most large candle makers are still going strong, the NCA says.

"As with any trend, there is an initial spike in sales while consumers try the new items. Sales are now flattening out and normalizing due to the market maturing," said Tammie Deauseault, vice president of product development at Village Candle. Village Candle's sales began softening in 2000. The company shifted directions in 2003, focusing less on specialty stores and more on grocery and drug stores. The company also launched a new line of candles that costs less than its premium line. Village Candle's supermarket and drug store sales grew 54 percent in the past year, to more than $17 million.

Massachusetts-based Yankee Candle is cutting costs by closing as many as 20 stores, reducing its work force and raising prices in response to rising energy costs as well as the growing cost of paraffin wax.

"It was just this incredible boom in the 1990s. Suddenly people seemed to be interested in candles. It was also the same time that people became interested in scented candles. The two trends merged together," said Barbara Miller from the National Candle Association.

Despite the maturing market, there's still plenty of room for growth, said Rick Ruffolo, spokesman for Yankee Candle. Candle makers are expanding into new markets, joining the market for plug-in scents and other home fragrances. Village and Yankee have lines of fresheners for cars and trucks, Village has patio candles that repel insects.

Candles Get Light from LEDs

11/10/05 - Candles are nothing new, but how about candles with embedded LEDs? These candles glow not only from their flame but from the LED (light emitting diode--these are now being used in some types of lighting because they last much longer than traditional bulbs) within the wax. You can get candles with rainbow LEDs that alternate through a spectrum of colors.

Tariff Case Could Affect Holiday Candle Sales

9/09/05 - The National Candle Association cautions U.S. retailers and importers that a pending tariff case extending anti-dumping duties on Chinese candles could negatively affect holiday sales revenues. At issue is a 1986 ruling stating that all scented and unscented dinner candles, self-standing candles, votives, and container candles containing at least 50 percent petroleum wax are subject to anti-dumping duties, currently 108.3 percent. Chinese manufacturers have circumvented the ruling by adding palm and vegetable-based waxes to keep the percentage of petroleum wax below 50 percent.

In 1986, palm and vegetable-based waxes were rarely used in candle-making. Earlier this year, the U.S. candle industry petitioned the U.S. Commerce Department, alleging the Chinese actions. In July, the International Trade Commission determined that the anti-dumping duty should remain in effect, and that candles containing any amount of petroleum wax were "domestic-like" products. Although a ruling by the Commerce Department is not expected until January 2006, the duty would be applied retroactively to candles that entered the U.S. as of February 15, 2005.

-- "Dumping": (selling excess inventory at drastically reduced prices).

Yankee Candle Introduces Fragrances and Accessories for Holiday 2005

Yankee Candle's Fall and Winter 2005 collection includes a multitude of fragrances and accessories that add warmth, coziness and cheer to home decor. Christmas Wreath, a favorite holiday scent of freshly cut pine boughs in rich deep green, is offered in a full range of commodities this year with a new label sure to become a classic. A novelty red ceramic house filled with this fragrance - its windows and door festive with wreaths - is new and exclusive for retailers. In addition, Christmas Wreath ceramic accessories are offered in shades, candle trays, wax potpourri burner, votive holder, tea light holders in three patterns to look like wrapped gifts, and a hanging potpourri burner.

The company's new scents for season include:

New for Christmas is Cranberry Peppermint dressed up in fresh, contemporary red and green striped accessories. Cranberry Peppermint has a fruity tang of tart cranberries with the cool scent of peppermint in cheerful red.

New and Exclusive this season is Holiday Twinkle with the sparkle of fresh pine with a hint of citrus and spice in a festive dark green. When paired with Holiday Topiary accessories, a classic holiday statement.

Back by popular demand is Christmas Wish with the aroma of warm vanilla cookies sprinkled with sugar sparkles.

Another favorite is Peppermint Cocoa, a lush chocolate fragranced with a peppermint twist.

Cheerful Jack Frost brings its invigorating mix of ice cool peppermint and sweet vanilla cream. Pair him up with New Quilted Snowman ceramic accessories.

The market for candles and home fragrances reached $8.4 billion in 2004, growth of 14.1 percent over previous year. Driven by consumers' desire for their homes to smell good, some 80 percent of all adult Americans bought some kind of home fragrance product in the past year, including candles and candle accessories, sprays, plugs-ins, room fresheners, potpourris, air fresheners, air purifiers and more. As consumer demand for fragrance for their home grows, more marketers are exploring opportunities in home fragrancing alternatives.

While candles remain consumers top pick for home fragrance, the market for other home fragrance products is growing faster than that for candles. Delivering home fragrances has been a source of new product innovation.

People are burning candles in the garden, selecting new fuels, such as soy and oils; and shopping for candles and lighting accessories in places like the local Wal-Mart or grocery store where whole aisles are devoted to the category. Savvy marketers and retailers will address these and other trends in the changing ways consumers are using and shopping for candles, home fragrances, lighting accessories and air filtration products.
Yankee Candle Introduces New Fragrances and Accessories for Fall

Yankee Candle's fall 2005 introductions include two new fragrances, accessories and a completely new product. The Housewarmer Room Perfume will be introduced in September in six of the company's Housewarmer fragrances. Each Room Perfume comes in a sculpted glass vase with coordinating shade.

The company's new fragrances for fall are Mandarin Cranberry and Autumn Wreath. Mandarin Cranberry is available in candles and home fragrance products. It is a rich fragrance with a citrus tang. Autumn Wreath, which is also offered in a range of products, combines the spicy warmth of autumn leaves with cinnamon apples.

The company is introducing two ranges of candle accessories for fall. The Rooster Collection features the popular motif in bright red, gold, orange and green painted ceramic. The roosters are available in large and small candle shades and plates, wax potpourri burner, votive holder and two tea-light designs.

The Stoneberry Collection features delicate raised berries in red and gold on a pale green ribbed ceramic. It is available in small and large candle shades and plates, votive holders and tea-light holders.

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