October 01, 2001

The New Candle Market

 
 

"The En-Light-ener" October 2001
Candle Making Newsletter

Welcome to the En-light-ener, Candlewic's newsletter for the candle making community.

We wish to thank everyone for their continued support and positive feedback that we have received regarding our new website and newsletter. We truly appreciate these comments and it helps us to address the various needs of our customers. As you may have noted, our product line continues to grow to meet the continued changes in the candle market. Because our business is devoted solely to the candle market, we are able to address any needs you may have as a candle maker.
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The New Candle Market
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It is no secret these days that the candle market has become more competitive. Retailers and consumers have become “price sensitive” on many type of candles. One of the essential requirements to grow a candle company in this new market is to expand your product offering. This will assist to grow your company in two ways. First, it allows you to grow the products that you are offering to your existing customer base; and secondly it allows you to market to new accounts, which previously where not purchasing your products.

These days, many of the non-traditional candle retailers now offer some type of candles to the consumer. Supermarkets now offer candles in three or four different departments, hardware stores now carry a line of candles, health stores and even the local stores selling tobacco products offer candles. With these “new” retailers you can, in many instances, cater your new products to those specific markets.

The new product offering can be as simple as offering a new line of fragrances, filling new containers or providing new shapes or sizes of pillars. Popular sizes now include squares and octagons. And in the very near future, Candlewic will offer a new 3-inch aluminum ball mold that’s sure to create a lot of interest.

If your specialty has been in filling containers, you may now want to look at offering a small line of pillars and/or votives. While many candle companies struggle to find a cost-effective means of producing votives, they have almost become an essential offering because it is a product the consumer can purchase as a “test” of your candles. This may lead to future sales of larger containers and pillars. For some candle companies the votive has become the equivalent of a “loss leader.”

Other ways of expanding your product offerings include exploring new types of candle products. These would include natural wax candles, gel candle, special quartz-look waxes (Astorlite Q) or some of the past types of novelty candles which are beginning to make a resurgence.

Many of these products offer unique opportunities for the smaller candle companies to utilize their strong attributes such as the ability to react quickly to hot trends, capture local interest and fully utilize the artistic ability of their staff. The gel candle is the best example to identify. Candle companies can create candles to match the local economy, beach designs can be very popular, fruit candles and flower gel candles in coordination with local events are always popular.

The use of natural waxes in your candle allows you to take your products to a whole new market. The offerings in natural wax continue to expand. It now includes products such as beeswax (yellow and white), soy based waxes (votive and pillars), palm based waxes and newer products such as Astorlite Q and Astorlite P.

One of the important things to note when expanding to some of the newer products is that there will be a new learning curve required. Each of the products identified above have different manufacturing requirements and burning issues than standard paraffin candles. Always make sure you review the manufacturing requirements of each and test burn your finished product.

In the upcoming issues we will focus on some of the unique candles that have been made in the past and some of the popular themes that can be introduced today. Some of these products include chunk candles, ice candles, sand candles and embed candles using gel.

For more information or to purchase products mentioned here use these links:

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HOW TO KEEP THE WICK CENTERED IN A VOTIVE
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One of the most common concerns of companies hot pouring votives is how to keep the wick centered in the candle. We would offer some of the following suggestions.

- Use a pre-wick assembly with a 33 mm sustainer base. Sometimes called a self-centering sustainer base, this fits perfectly in the bottom of the votive cup and ensures that the wick remains centered.
- Use a votive pin (M-63-P) which will ensure that the wick is centered through the entire candle. An added advantage to this is that it will also allow you to use a cotton, paper or cordless wick.
- Many of the large candle companies will drill the candle after it is completed. This offers the same advantage as above. In order for this method to be effective it will require the right equipment.

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FAQ
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How Do I Know Which Gel To Use?
Penreco offers three different grades of gel in their Versagel line: Low Density (CG-1), Medium Density (CG-2) and High Density (CG-3). The type of candle you are making, amount of fragrance you anticipate adding and in some instances your shipping destinations will determine which gel you should use. In general the CG-1 allows the smallest quantity of fragrance to be added (2-3%), but with larger wicks it will allow the largest burning pool in the candle. One concern when using this product may be shipping during warmer months. The CG-2 allows about 3-4% scent be introduced and seems to work best for wax embeds. The CG-3 allows 4-5% scent be introduced but because of the density even using the largest size wick will only allow a burning radius of about 2 inches.

For more information or to buy candle gels online, go to: http://www.candlewic.com/gels.htm


What Is Causing “Sweating” Or Beads On Top Of My Candles?
Generally, when you are getting liquid beads on top of the candle or the inside the glass container it is the fragrance which is “leaking” out of the wax. If you are already adding Vybar, increase the usage slightly, if you are not using Vybar start by using a small percentage--somewhere between one-half and one percent. You may also want to decrease the amount of fragrance used in the candle.

Another solution if the candle is sweating from the scent is to try using the Scenti-Masterbatch, a patented, solid fragrancing system designed for heavy scent loads. This could solve the problem without adding Vybar and you could actually increase the fragrance level rather than reducing it.


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