An Offer to Buy 2000 Candles

A marketing executive recently found my Etsy store and was intrigued with my macaroni and cheese candles. “Could you produce 2,000 of these?” he asked via email. “We would need these fairly quickly as part of a marketing campaign.”

one of my macaroni and cheese candles

I offered to sell him 10 which was the entirety of my stock for both Shop Nevada and Etsy. I explained that Tasty-Candles is only a part-time business and that all of my candles are hand crafted. During the work week I can produce two mac and cheese candles per day. On weekends I could produce four per day. With a production capacity of eighteen of these candles per week, it would have literally taken me one hundred and eleven days to fill an order for 2,000 candles. Don’t even get me started on the complexities of packing and shipping this many candles.

Since I exhausted my supply of pillar wax last week, I won’t have any production capabilities at all until my supplier is able to produce and ship this wax. Given their supply chain issues, it’s unlikely I will have any pillar wax in stock until the end of the first week of March.

The advertising executive asked me where I got my mac and cheese fragrance from. I saw no point in withholding this information. After telling him what he wanted to know I got another thanks for my complete transparency regarding my production capabilities.

I cannot help but wonder who the executive’s client was. Was it Kraft? With a market share of 76%, they dominate the boxed macaroni and cheese niche. Other producers of similar products include Annie’s, Back to Nature, Cracker Barrel, Horizon, ShurFine, Stouffers, and Great Value.

In any event, that was that. Two thousand candles sold for $13.50 each would have grossed $27,000 (exclusive of shipping costs). As it is, I sold no candles. While sales are starting to pick up in the Shop Nevada store, I have yet to sell a single candle in the Esty store.

The idea of a scented candle that simulates the aroma of a food product is not a unique marketing idea. In 2016, KFC produced a limited edition of a fried chicken container candle with the aroma of 11 herbs and spices.

2016 limited edition KFC candle

These candles were not available in any brick and mortar or virtual store. In order to get one of these candles, KFC asked people on social media to suggest ideas for KFC merchandise. Those people who put forth viable suggestions received a KFC container candle.

I cannot help but look at the container candle and wonder why anyone would want a container candle when they could have had one of these. Pictured below is a production test model that I made a few months ago for an old style 2 piece chicken meal from back when KFC still sold corn on the cob. My candle included a drum stick, thigh, corn, and biscuit topped with butter.

As with many of my test models, I never put this candle into production. The herbed chicken scent didn’t quite smell like fried chicken. I may revisit this in the future by blending the herbed roasted chicken aroma with a French fry scent. In the meanwhile this candle sits in my workshop as a one of a kind curiosity.

my KFC style candle

Not to be outdone by KFC, McDonald’s also introduced a burger scented candle in 2016. These candles came in six different colors and each candle smelled like a different ingredient: bun, ketchup, pickle, cheese, onion, and beef. In order to get the full “burger smell,” it was recommended that customers buy the full set and to light all of them at the same time.

2016 McDonald’s candles

Unlike McDonald’s, the 2010 White Castle limited production run was said to have actually smelled like a real hamburger. Although this candle didn’t look like a burger, the ceramic container was made to resemble an iconic White Castle box. These empty ceramic containers are still available for purchase today through Amazon and eBay.

My hamburger candles look like the real thing. Pictured below is one of my new line of cheeseburger candles. They smell of bread, beef, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, and pickles.

one of my cheeseburger candles

I remain completely mystified as to why these candles remain unsold.

At this time my best selling candle is a Philadelphia style cinnamon roll such as the one pictured below. Philadelphia style rolls come with a topping of toasted pecans and caramelized brown sugar.

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