We all love candy. There are hundreds of ways to make it and there are hundreds more waiting to be discovered. That’s why each region, each country, has its own specific formula for making this tasty product. In the case of Candy Pop, it has been quite an adventure.
Everything began in October of 1989 when a group of associates decided to create a new candy company in the Mexican industry: Dulces Vero.
Dulces Vero became very popular due to its “paletas.” In Mexico a “paleta” is equivalent to the American lollypop: a stick made of wood or plastic with hard candy in one of the extremes. The paleta for which Dulces Vero became quite popular was a lollypop covered with chili, one of the favorite flavors of the Mexican population.
With time, the associates began to have differences in strategy. After 15 years of collaboration, Javier Ibarra and his son created Candy Pop S.A. A couple of years later, this company became one of the main leaders in Mexico’s candy industry, with three locations in the city of Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco. Implementing Good Manufacturing Practices has been a main strategy at the company, and this has paid off in the quality of its products.
The Secret of Success
Javier Ibarra Jr. says the secret of success has been in the high quality of the products. Its most popular product is “Rebadanita,” a lollypop made with watermelon and covered with a chili-flavored coating. Another product that has become quite popular in the market is a marshmallow filled with different flavors of jelly, including strawberry, pineapple, watermelon, tamarind and chili.
“And there are more,” says Javier Ibarra Jr. The “Bolitocha” is a small candy with a round shape, filled with chili. And, recently, the company launched a new line of differently flavored lollypops
Unfortunately, all of this success has a high price. As incredible as it may sound, the main competitors of Candy Pop are pirates who want their share of the market. The Rebanadita has become so popular in Mexico that it is being copied and distributed throughout Mexico by competitors. Ibarra says there has been an “invasion of Chinese candy in the last few years.” The difference is that these pirates aren’t able to match the level of quality of the lollypops made by Candy Pop. And because quality is lacking, these fakes are often sold at lower prices to compete.
What about formal competitors? Ibarra explains that there is no direct competition in this market. Although there are several manufacturers of Candy in Mexico, other companies don’t make similar products. There are always differences, but says Ibarra, this kind of competition strengthens the market because it offers the customers a wide variety of products from which to choose.
Quality, quality, quality
Although they are quite successful, the managers at Candy Pop know that this success comes from long years of effort and hard work – experience accumulated over 14 years. To ensure that it maintains quality the company is in the process of acquiring Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points certification as well as ISO certification. That way the company will become one of the best in the national and international industry.
Once Candy Pop obtained Good Manufacturing Practices, it forced its providers to do the same. “It’s like a chain. As a consequence a lot of people have found out that Candy Pop has implemented quality systems and that has helped us a lot,” says Ibarra.
Another competitive advantage of Candy Pop is its use of the latest trends in candy manufacturing. For example, the machine that fills the marshmallows with jelly is imported from Holland. A machine for making chocolates is expected to be installed shortly. Other technologies are imported from Germany, Spain and Italy.
Candy Pop also performs much of its own research and development, employing laboratories that do preliminary testing products prior to a launch. In some instances Candy Pop seeks help from other laboratories or companies dedicated to the manufacturing of candy, which helps the company determine the best ingredients for its products.
There is a revolution in the global economy, especially among emerging nations like Mexico, whose companies have discovered that there is a huge potential in selling its products outside the domestic market. Candy pop currently is selling to one client in the United States: Alberts, providing the chain with a special version of Rebadanita, which is made differently from its counterpart in Mexico, with no chili flavor. Although, since receiving approval from the Food & Drug Administration, Candy Pop expects to be making a chili-flavored candy for the U.S. market soon. Its success with Alberts so far has been quite favorable: The company recently purchased two tons of Rebadanita for the U.S. market.
What about other markets? Now that it has a solid position in the market, Candy Pop plans to create an area of International Business. By looking for new markets (such as Europe and South America) and new investments, Candy Pop will be able to sweeten its own business while satisfying the country’s sweet tooth.