FAIRFIELD, Ohio — Jungle Jim's International Market here prides itself on its eclectic mix of products and unconventional merchandising displays. So it's probably no surprise that the single-store operator is bucking lackluster industry sales trends for sugar-free candy.
“Sales have steadily climbed over the past few years,” said Marion Stricker, candy buyer for Jungle Jim's. “One reason is that I seek out many different sugar-free seasonal items, especially for the Easter and Christmas seasons. The greater the availability, the greater chance people will purchase it.”
Stricker mentioned a few sugar-free chocolate candy lines that do extremely well: Russell Stover, followed by Esther Price. On the hard-candy side, she cited sugar-free candies from Plyley's, LaGrange, Ind., which she called “extremely tasty,” adding, “There's a following for this brand.”
Jungle Jim's merchandises sugar-free candy in its own section. “It's actually becoming too small for all that we now offer,” said Stricker.