|Photo credit: Cristopher Rodriguez (left), Patrick Doheny (right), Flickr|
This year, Sweetest Day will take place October 21, the third Saturday in October. While the holiday is more significant for candy makers in the Great Lakes region (Buffalo, Cleveland and Detroit being the biggest Sweetest Day cities), the holiday is gaining in popularity throughout the country every year. Some RCI members even report sales from Sweetest Day exceeding Mothers Day.
|Al Herz, RCI Board President 1929-1930, poses with the Little|
Rascals as they treat orphans in his local community with boxes
of chocolates and entertainment on Sweetest Day in 1928.
The history dates back to 1922 when Herbert Birch Kingston, a candy maker from Cleveland, decided to give candy and small gifts to the city’s orphans and shut-ins, all who are often forgotten and neglected. With the help of friends and neighbors, he distributed these small remembrances on a Saturday in October. For years to follow, other Clevelanders began to participate in the tradition, which came to be known as "Sweetest Day.”
In time, the idea of spreading cheer to the underprivileged broadened to include everyone from family and significant others to coworkers and acquaintances with a kind act or a small remembrance. With a little help from movie stars in the 1930s, the idea quickly spread to other cities all over the country.
Sweetest Day is not based on any single group’s religious sentiment or on a family relationship. It is a reminder that a thoughtful word or deed enriches life and gives it meaning.
For many people, remembering takes the form of gift-giving. For this reason, Sweetest Day offers an unique opportunity to offer all kinds of gift items. Falling midway between Father's Day in June and Christmas in December, Sweetest Day provides an occasion for the opening of fall merchandising programs and the promotion of various products, not the least of which is candy and boxed chocolate.
Other Ideas to Promote Sweetest Day
- Remind your customer of Sweetest Day through social media, email and in-store signage.
- Send press releases about Sweetest Day to your local media and let them know of ways your business can help customers celebrate.
- Be prepared to explain Sweetest Day and to make suggestions regarding appropriate gifts, keeping in mind that the possibilities are limitless.
- Create a prominent display of merchandise for Sweetest Day.
Stay connected with RCI through Facebook for more tips and inspiration dedicated to the retail candy maker. Not a member? Click here to learn how RCI can help you build your sweet business.