It’s National Candy Month — and Northern Kentucky has more to celebrate than deliciousness

By Andy Furman
NKyTribune reporter

June is National Candy Month – and Northern Kentucky has plenty to celebrate, given that it is home to three major candy companies who are some of the best candy providers in the world.

Not counting the source of hundreds of jobs in Northern Kentucky — and a big addition to the economic development bottom line.

National Candy Month, founded by the National Confectioners Association was first observed in January of 1974. Sales of confections would often drop after the busy holiday season, according to published reports, and new year resolutions would kick into high gear making sweets a restricted diet item for months. The observance would later mover to May and then settle into its current place in June.

So, candy and treats get recognized all month long for their contributions to the way we celebrate our past times and mark special occasions. It’s a time to celebrate the authentic, fun treats that candy companies have been producing for more than 100 years. For those who love chocolate, candy, gum, and mints, those who appreciate the strong economic impact of responsible and fun industry – this is the month made for celebration.

Northern Kentucky’s candy giants are:


For more than 115 years, Ferrara has created sugar confections that enable moments of sweetness, celebration, and connection for candy lovers – of all generations. The company is a leading sugar candy company, not only in the United States – with a distribution center in Northern Kentucky – but in Brazil, with global sales in more than 409 countries.

Ferrara’s Florence facility. (Ferrara website)

Ferrara’s team of more than 8,300 employees create and deliver hundreds of products sold under 30-plus popular brands like Brach’s, Jelly Belly, NERDS, Sweetest, Laddy Taffy, and Trolly to more than 67 million U.S. households annually and popular Dori snacking products in Brazil under brands such as Dori, Gomes, Pettis, and Yogurt 100, according to the company’s website.

The Ferrara’s Northern Kentucky plant is open 24 hours and located at 500 Weaver Road, Florence.

Galerie Candy

Galerie Candy, 3380 Langley Drive, Hebron, was founded by Richard Ross, a creative entrepreneur with a passion for candy and – making people smile – so says the company’s website.

Galerie’s Finder’s Keepers

The company’s mission — To provide outstanding customer service while delivering fresh, innovative confectionery treats and gifts with a combination of quality and value. The retail store sells candy products that include: ceramics, plush, sequin, tin, interactive toy items and more. Galerie is a design-driven company, bringing more than 1,200 items to market every year.

In addition to the Galerie, Finders Keepers and The Jelly Bean Factory brands, licensed product lines include: Disney, Star Wars, Marvel, Hershey, Minions, Trolls, Peppa Pig, SpongeBob, Paw Patrol, LOL Surprise!, Warner Brothers My Little Pony and more.

Perfetti Van Melle

Perfetti Van Melle, with its Erlanger warehouse at 650 Erlanger Road, is open 24 hours. It is an Italian—Dutch multinational company of confectionery and gum. It was founded in 200` with the merger of the Italian-based company Perfetti SpA and the Dutch-based company Van Melle NV.

The Perfetti facility in Hebron

Perfetti Van Melle is owned by the Italian Perfetti family and the Dutch Van Melle family and is headquartered in Laminate, Italy and Breda, Netherlands.

It is the sixth-largest confectionery manufacturer in the world, and employs 17,000 people via 30 subsidiary companies and distributes its products in over 159 countries. Its NKY location employs nearly 500.

Some of their brands:

Jolly Rancher
Ferrera Pan
Air Heads

Mentos, according to the company’s published reports, is their most innovative, unconventional brand.

Candy Month

We celebrate candy year ‘round, especially on these dates: Halloween, Easter, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and the Fourth of July. Now, we have reason to celebrate all through the month of June.

According to the National Confectioners Association, for every one job created in the confectionery industry, seven more are supported in related industries. That includes the farmers, the processors, the distributors and more.

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