BRYAN — Kirk Vashaw, chairman and chief executive officer of Spangler Candy Co., has been elected chairman of the board of trustees of the National Confectioners Association (NCA).
NCA represents more than 550 member companies in the confectionery industry throughout the country, many of which are small, family-owned businesses.
“Helping lead NCA is a great honor as well as an opportunity to communicate the confectionery industry’s positive impact on our nation’s economy and society,” said Vashaw. “Nearly 54,000 people across the United States are directly employed by confectionery manufacturers, and more than 600,000 jobs are supported in related industries, including agriculture, machinery, retail, and transportation, among others. Simply explained, for every one job created in confectionery manufacturing, another ten are supported in related industries.”
“These numbers are important in the local community as well as nationally,” Vashaw added. “Spangler Candy Co. employs more than 500 people in Bryan. This means that the work we do in our factory also supports the jobs of more than 5,000 other people around the country.”
Most people in the United States enjoy chocolate and candy two to three times per week, which averages 40 calories and about one teaspoon of added sugar per day.
“Consumers know candy is a treat,” Vashaw said.
“NCA has joined forces with the Partnership for a Healthier America, and we are working with the confectionery industry to offer smaller pack sizes and front-of-pack calorie labels to provide consumers with transparency and choice,” he said.
Candy plays a significant role in cultural traditions and seasonal celebrations, Vashaw pointed out. “Candy moments like Halloween, Easter, National Candy Month, Valentine’s Day and the winter holidays wouldn’t be the same without chocolate and candy,” he said.
“NCA is making huge strides as a thought leader in the confectionery industry,” Vashaw said. “People in our local community have personally experienced and therefore have a strong appreciation for the economic and social impact of candy manufacturing. NCA is helping us build and communicate that impact with the rest of the country, and I am very pleased to have a leadership role in making that happen.”
Spangler Candy Co. has been family-owned and operated in Bryan, since 1906. Under its Dum Dums flagship, it is one of the largest lollipop producers in the world and the only major candy cane producer in the United States.