Candy Brands: Ferrara Pan
Friends and family will likely remember “Paula’s Red Hot Marathon of 2006.” No, it wasn’t a fiery run; it was my shamless order of three cases of Red Hots direct from the manufacturer to be shipped to my door, and the consumption that ensued. I’m blaming the new baby hormones.
Red Hots have always been my candy of choice. There’s something about that hot flavor getting stuck in my teeth that epitomizes how a candy should behave. And let me clarify: Red Hots are the BRAND; the generics are called cinnamon imperials. I’ve had the knock-offs, and believe me, there is only one Red Hot.
Ferrara Pan is the creator of the Red Hot, and the company brand has an interesting history. Created as a namesake for the founder, Salvatore Ferrara, Ferrara Pan was founded in 1908 in Chicago, Illinois. The word “pan” in the company name indicates that some of the candy they make is “panned”. This process involves building candy pieces from single units, such as grains of sugar, nuts or candy centers, tossing them in revolving pans while adding the flavor, color and other candy ingredients. This process continues until the pieces become the desired size. Finally, the candy gets a high polish with an edible vegetable wax, which gives it an attractive appearance.
In terms of branding, the company has retained a functional, yet personality-infused continuity with its line of products: Red Hots, LemonHead, Atomic FireBall, Jaw Busters, Boston Baked Beans, Black Forest Gummies, and Ferrara Chocolates. With the exception of the Boston Baked Beans, I can look at their candy lineup and know exactly what I’m getting.
Check out the company’s virtual tours of “How Panned Candy Is Made.” And if you see a box (or bag) of Red Hots at the convenience store, pick one up for me.