For the last U.S.-based manufacturer of the red and white striped candy cane that is a ubiquitous North American holiday season treat, the sugar supply deal struck between Mexico and Washington is anything but sweet.
The competitors of Ohio-based Spangler Candy Co have, over the years, moved their plants south to Mexico and beyond to gain unfettered access to the cheaper sugar supplies there. That was part of a shift in manufacturing out of the United States that President Donald Trump has vowed to reverse.
Spangler’s Chief Executive Officer Kirk Vashaw has kept the candy cane industry alive in the United States at his plant in Ohio, where his firm churns out 200 million candy canes a year.
But the new sugar supply deal will make things tougher still for Spangler, as an agreed rise in the minimum price for Mexican sugar will drive up Spangler’s raw material cost.