Then, in another article, I saw this photo and caption, courtesy of the Associated Press:
CHARLES KRUPA/Associated Press
Richard Krause, the President and CEO at the New England Confectionery Company (Necco), poses with thousands of multi-colored "Sweethearts" candy at the company in Revere, Mass. Krause says Necco needs to expand its brand in the United States.
Fast forward to Valentine's Day when I posted this:
Several Yumsters were excited for me, thinking I had procured the above-mentioned giant Yum Yum heart. Let me now set the record straight: no one, I repeat, no one has sent me the mock Yum Yum Conversation Heart. The above picture was generated at www.cryptogram.com/heart.
So let me take this opportunity to say:
Hello Mr. Krause!
You certainly look like a cheerful fellow, the type of person one would expect to be president of a candy company. I hope you're enjoying your new-ish position at Necco. (I'm sure it's more fun than the stuffy and rumored-to-be-in-league-with-the-devil Procter & Gamble.)
In any case, I understand that you're seeking to "expand the (Necco) brand in the
United States." Allow me to give you some pointers:
- Capitalize on the fact that you're the oldest candy company in the United States. We're all feeling very patriotic these days and Mr. Obama is imploring us to Buy American! Get the word out that Necco Wafers are made in the U.S. with grade A edible ingredients, unlike candy from say, China, which is new and improved with melamine.
- Get hip to the times. See, you're on the cusp of retro/old-fashioned. Everyone remembers Necco wafers from their youth, but do they buy them today? Pump up the retro factor. We all want to feel young again. (Although you're on the right track with your soon-to-be-released Twilight/vampire-themed hearts. Good thinking!)
- Start an urban legend. Everyone knows that green M&Ms are supposed to
make you feel more amorous. What do black Necco wafers do? Increase your I.Q.? (Get this rumor going on college campuses and suddenly Necco wafers will take the place of Adderall and Ritalin.)
- Offer limited editions. You know your Sky Bars? They're really cool (again, the retro factor), but how can I put this gently? They're gross. Maybe you can reformulate them to taste better and have a "mystery" filling. Go beyond the
caramel, peanut, fudge and whatever that white one is. Think cool, think 2009.
Pomegranate? Caramelized banana? Colombian coffee bean?
Well, there's just a few ideas, Mr. Krause. Free of charge. On the house. Unless, of course, you have a giant heart you'd be willing to part with. I'm just sayin'.
Most sincerely yours,
Madame Yum Yum