Candy sales soar in recession

March 25, 2009 5:53:33 PM PDT
It's seems when there is a recession, America develops a sweet tooth.Many businesses are struggling right now. But some indulgences are still in the budget.

Candyality opened15 months ago, featuring personality pairing with the perfect confection as well as some of those retro favorites. It's not just kid stuff.

"It tastes good and feels good. I think it's nice to treat yourself," said Jenny Sturch, Candyality customer.

As the business owner prepared for the impact of the recession, something unexpected happened.

Terese McDonald says her sales are up 80 percent since this time last year.

"My sales have been really soaring here. I'm having a hard time just keeping up with the stock," said Terese McDonald, Candyality owner.

Customers say they're willing to pay for a sugary splurge even when the economic outlook appears uncertain.

"'s nothing compared to going to the theater where it can cost a lot more," Kaled Abdelal, Candyality customer.

Sams Wine and Spirits noticed something interesting recently too.

"The last couple months we've seen a bit of a surge in traffic in people coming in," said Efrain Madrigal, Sam's Wine & Spirits Wine director.

Madrigal says despite the recession sales have not dropped off. He credits a shift in consumer habits. Although he's seeing wine drinkers looking for slightly less expensive bottles, there are more people buying.

"Doing things like buying your own bottle of wine at the store versus getting a bottle at a restaurant, that's a more cost effective way to do it. So you can treat yourself to that luxury," Sheila Garg, Sam's customer.

It appears customers aren't ignoring their taste for a great glass of wine. They are just drinking it at home.

"For us, cooking a great meal at home and enjoying a nice bottle of wine with that meal, brings us a lot of utility," said Andy Shapero, Sam's customer.

Who's to say whether these recessionary habits will continue when the economy turns up. But for now some local merchants are grateful that Chicagoans continue to appreciate some of life's luxuries.