Spangler and the OU Make a Dandy, Candy Combination

The addition of the OU symbol on Spangler Candy Company packaging as a result of its Orthodox Union certification has had positive results on Spangler Candy’s flagship brand, Dum Dum Pops®, and paved the way for potential sales to additional consumers with special dietary needs. “Spangler Candy Company sells products all over the world, and we often hear from consumers asking whether our products are kosher,” said Pat Hurley, Spangler Candy’s Director of Technical Services and International Sales. “We previously were certified kosher pareve, but the OU symbol takes us to an even higher level. We knew it would be a challenge that would be worth the effort. Now we take calls from consumers who just want to thank us. Retailers — both national and regional — also appreciate that products meet the specific needs of so many of their customers.”

At Spangler Candy Company, eight million Dum Dum Pops® roll off the production lines every day! In 2006, Spangler Candy, makers of Dum Dum Pops® and more candy canes than anyone in the world, celebrated one hundred years in business. Spangler Candy is a privately owned company that has been manufacturing and marketing candy since 1906. Products include lollipops, candy canes, and marshmallow circus peanuts. Spangler’s most familiar brand names are Dum Dum Pops®, Dum Dum Chewy Pops™, Saf-T-Pops®, Spangler® Candy Canes and Cane Classics®. Spangler also manufactures, markets, and sells the licensed brand names of Jelly Belly® Candy Canes and Disney® licensed characters on select candy items.

Spangler began in 1906 when Arthur Spangler acquired the Gold Leaf Baking Powder Company for $450 and moved the operation to his hometown of Bryan, Ohio. He changed the name of the company to Spangler Manufacturing Company, and continued making baking powder, baking soda, corn starch, laundry starch, spices and flavorings. Arthur’s brothers, Omar and Ernest, eventually joined him in the business. In 1911, Ernest suggested the company enter the candy market and the company introduced the Spangler Cocoanut Ball, Spangler’s first candy brand. By 1920, the name of the business was changed to Spangler Candy Company, reflecting the products that had become its sole focus.

Dum Dum Pops joined the fold in 1953 when the Spangler brothers bought the trade name and equipment from the Akron Candy Company, building it into the company that now makes nearly two billion Dum Dum Pops each year. Known as “the little lollipops that bring big smiles,” today Dum Dum Pops is a well-recognized brand and Spangler Candy’s flagship product. Dum Dums often are used as small expressions of kindness and gratitude, whether as giveaways at the doctor’s office, rewards from parents for good behavior or perfect-sized customer thank-you’s, earning the distinction of “America’s Favorite Giveaway Lollipop.”

In 1954, the Spanglers purchased the machinery and trade names of the A-Z Candy Company, then the largest manufacturer of candy canes in the nation. Today, Spangler Candy manufactures three million candy canes a day at two locations, Bryan, in Ohio, and in Juarez, Mexico.

Dean L. Spangler, grandson of Omar Spangler, presently serves as President and CEO of Spangler Candy. The company manufactures eight million Dum Dum Pops every day in 16+1 flavors from Butterscotch to Watermelon and more, plus the famous Mystery™ flavor.

In October, 2006, Spangler Candy Company’s manufacturing plant in Bryan and its co-manufacturing facility in Juarez were both certified kosher by the Orthodox Union. This certification allows Spangler products to be consumed by all who observe kosher dietary laws, as well as others with special dietary requirements, such as Moslems and Seventh Day Adventists. In addition, certification serves as a guide to millions of individuals who are vegetarians or lactose intolerant. All Spangler products made in Bryan and Juarez are kosher except for circus peanuts.

The kosher certification process was not difficult for Spangler Candy. “I found it easy to get our factory certified,” Mr. Hurley said. “Today many of the high end ingredient suppliers furnish kosher products and it was only a matter of checking our current ingredients to verify that they fit the kosher qualifications. The formats were straightforward and easy to work through.”

Rabbi Mordechai Teren, OU RFR, shares Mr. Hurley’s enthusiasm. “Spangler has demonstrated a true interest in doing things right. They are an exceptional company and I have enjoyed working with Pat Hurley and his assistant DaWanda VanBuskirk. They are unsurpassed in maintaining the kosher files and have developed an excellent kosher facility,” he declared.

“Orthodox Union certification is just one more benefit to our candy items,” said Jim Knight, Director-Marketing at Spangler Candy.“Part of the reason that Spangler Candy Company has been able to stay in business for one hundred years is that we are attentive to the desires and demands of the marketplace. This certification is another means to help us continue to do that.”

OU Kosher Staff