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January 05, 2004

Marketing Natural Wax and Paraffin Candles Successfully Together


Marketing Natural Wax and Paraffin Candles Successfully Together
Natural waxes are a growing segment within the candle making industry. Although candle makers have been using natural waxes since the beginning (bees wax, whale fat, etc), it is only until the last few years that the natural waxes have really taken hold as a viable wax choice accepted by the industry. There are more natural wax choices than ever before, and include such types of wax such as soy, palm wax, soy/palm blends, and paraffin blends that contain natural waxes in the formula.

The marketers of natural waxes have been able to take a footing in the industry. They promote and advertise many claims that natural waxes are soot free, the cleanest burning, a healthy alternative, etc. and they have been able to successfully market to the LOHAS (Lifestyle Of Health And Sustainability) market. The term LOHAS describes a purportedly, rapidly growing $200+ billion U.S. market for goods and services that target consumers who base their buying decisions on their perceived values of environmental and social justice issues. There is an increasing number of candle makers and manufacturers who use natural waxes in their operation and are enjoying increased business by adding natural waxes as a line of candles.

Candlewic offers both types of wax so that our customers may decide for themselves which type of wax is suitable for their customers needs.

Most candle makers are using paraffin wax in their current operation and it is reasonable to assume their success is attributed to some sort of benefit they give to their customers who are currently purchasing candles made from paraffin wax. These candle makers do not want to risk losing their current customer base, but they do want to gain some of the market share of the natural wax segment. This can be achieved by creating a business plan that adds incremental sales without cannibalizing their current paraffin brands. By keeping the following points in mind, the candle maker can offer both paraffin and natural wax candles together in order to build sales volume rather than substituting one for the other.

1. Do not disparage. “If you cannot say something nice about somebody, do not say anything at all,” is a very important rule to remember. Regardless of the wax you use, if your candle is made in such a way that you get a complete burn, it will burn cleanly and soot free. For example, you probably are not currently marketing your votives as cleaner burning than your jar candles because potential customers would assume your jars are of poor quality.

2. Brand Equity. When adding a line of natural waxes, try to determine why your candles are selling well for you. Ask yourself if it is performance, price, aesthetics, etc. Then ask yourself if your brand name is what reinforces the purchase and conveys the attributes from your list. Depending on your results, you may, or may not, decide to put your current brand name on the natural candle line.

3. Choice. Let your customers know you are offering them a choice of waxes so they can choose the type of wax their candle is made from. Not every customer is concerned with ingredients as long as the candle smells and performs well. If your customers are asking for natural waxes, offer it as an option but do not forget about the current paraffin buyers that made your business what it is today.

4. Quality. Regardless of the type of wax you choose, always strive for the best quality possible. Having the wrong wick or an inappropriate amount of fragrance can result in smoking or a poorly burning candle regardless of the type of wax used. By spending a little extra effort on the R & D bench, you can create perfect performing candles.



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Why does Candlewic ask me if my shipping address is Residential or Commercial?

This seemingly trivial little question that the Customer Service Representatives here at Candlewic ask is actually extremely important to candle makers of all sizes. A commercial address works hard for the candle maker in many ways.

The most obvious reason a commercial address is so important is the savings in shipping. Although UPS shipments are slightly cheaper to commercial addresses, these savings are not the true heart of the savings. The real savings occur when a trucking company, AKA a common carrier, can ship your order to your commercial address via a truck. Pricing for pallet loads can be as low as $50 for over 2,000 lbs of wax – that is less than three cents per pound! If you are within a three-hour radius from us, our trucks can deliver as much as 6 pallets of wax for $50 – that is less than half a cent per pound!

Another great reason the commercial address is so important is that it is one of the many requirements it takes in order to receive a dedicated customer representative here at Candlewic. These hard working folks work with you on many aspects of your operation. They can solve problems, help with new product introductions, send samples, recommend shipping options, or how to consolidate your orders for maximum savings over the year. Please contact feel free to contact us for further information on obtaining a dedicated customer service representative. But remember, a commercial address is only one of the requirements. Some other requirements include a tax ID, able to accept pallet shipments, and you will be asked to provide dependable credit references.

Quick Facts:
Number of Jars Filled Per 100-pound Batch

Last month we discussed how common it is that jars are named by their fluid capacity in ounces. In most cases this is not equal to weight of wax. See the December issue of the Enlightener for further details. The following information will help you plan your container production. For each 100-pound batch of wax, you can fill approximately:

Jar Size Qty Filled Part #
4 oz 448 HEX-1, DJ-016, 992, 97098
5 oz 358 DJ-014
9 oz 200 HEX-2
10 oz 180 DJ-012A, DJ-013, DJ-019
16 oz 112 DJ-007A, DJ-008, 70995, 75369
22 oz 81 70996
32 oz 56 70947, 70997



January 2004

Layering Natural Wax.

This month’s feature article introduced ideas on how to add a line of natural waxes along with your current paraffin candles. This month’s project offers a way to layer different colors of natural wax in order to increase your offering of natural waxes. By layering different colors, you will give yourself a simple way to make your candles more marketable to selected groups without the cost of making a customized label. This is a great way to create fundraisers, holiday themes, or specialty candles for specific wholesale customers without the increased cost of customized labels. Simply layer the colors of your holiday, team, organization, etc. and it creates an instant theme candle with little extra cost of materials.

Jars or Molds
Natural Wax
2 Different Dye Colors
2 Pouring Pots



Step 1
Select, clean, wick, and prepare your jars or molds as you normally do. Take a moment and plan out where the fill lines are going to be. For example, a patriotic jar may use equal amounts of colored wax for uniform stripes of red, white, and blue, while an egg shaped mold seems to look best if you change color at its widest point.

Step 2
Be sure to select the appropriate wax for jars or freestanding candles. Prepare both colors of wax at the same time in order to be ready for “show time”.

Step 3
Heat jars or molds when necessary and pour your first layer. Note your ambient temperature (room-temp), your pour temperature, and start the timer.

Step 4
You have some flexibility for this step. The time and temperature of the second layer of wax changes the final result. Your individual taste will decide when and how hot to pour the second color. In general, you want to wait long enough for the first layer to set up enough so the second color does not mix with the first color, but not too long that the wax pulls from the sides. If the wax pulls from the sides, the second color slips between the first color and the mold, which creates what is considered by most to look undesirable. By adjusting the second color’s temperature and timing, you can create hard or soft color transition lines. Hard means a flat, distinct line of color change and soft means a softer faded color change. The ambient temperature and size of your candle affects the timing. Smaller candles will take less time (half hour) while larger candles make take as long as 2 hours between pours. Cooler ambient temperatures decrease time, while warmer temperatures increase times.

Step 5
Repeat the same time and temperature for the rest of the colors so all color seams are uniform. As you take notes and get more experience, the timing and temperature starts to become second nature. You can even learn to mix hard color changes and soft color changes on the same candle for a unique look that will sure to dazzle your customer.

Hot Off The Press:
We all know the old adage, “Knowledge = Power”. Candlewic has just expanded their offering of books. This new section of the Enlightener will preview a new book or reference material for candle and soap makers. You can never have enough books to peruse for new ideas, new techniques, or to use as an aide for educating your employees. This month’s book is titled Basic Steps to Candles (Candlewic part # BK-6) written by Delores Frantz. It has over 60 candle projects with full-color photos. Although geared more for the beginner, the many different types of candles shown in the book will inspire larger manufacturers with new product ideas as well. This book compliments our most popular book titled Essentially Candles (Candlewic part # BK-2), which offers very detailed explanations of raw materials.
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