Brach’s Confections was founded by German immigrant Emil J. Brach in 1904 in Chicago, IL. Known for its seasonal sweets like Candy Corn and Conversation hearts, this candy company has been slinging confections for over a century and Americans love it!
How A Single Candy Kettle Turned Into Seasonal Sweets We All Know And Love
Brach’s Confections was founded by Emil J. Brach in 1904 in Chicago, IL. An aspiring businessman and previous candy salesman, Brach left his job selling sweets on the streets to start his own candy storefront with the last $1,000 of his life savings.
With a single kettle and the help of his two sons Edwin and Frank, Brach’s began production of milk maid caramels that were sold for 20 cents, half the price of most caramel confectioners at the time.
Rightly named Brach’s Palace of Sweets, the storefront was an immediate success in the local commuting slinging sweets to the community members of the greater Chicago area. By 1911, Brach’s had become so popular that the brand was making over 50,000 pounds of candy every single week.
In 1948, tragedy struck Brach’s production facility when a gas spark combined with corn starch in the air caused a catastrophic explosion, eliminating nearly half of the factory’s production space. The blaze killed 11 employees and injured another 18. It’s said that it took over 2,500 firefighting personnel to put out the fire.
But in tragedy came triumph as Brach’s leveraged the opportunity to build a new factory space that covered a massive 2 million square feet. At this time Brach’s employed over 4,500 workers and was producing over 4 million pounds of candy every single year, making it the largest manufacturer of candy products in the entire world.
In 1966, long after the passing of founder Emil Brach, his sons sold the company to American Home Products Corporation, who continued the production of Brach’s products like caramel, jelly eggs, candy corn, mint bars, almond bars, and swing bars.
During this time, Brach’s earned a reputation for being one of the powerhouse players in the candy space accounting for over ⅔ of the U.S. market for bagged candy–nearly 7% of the $9 billion candy industry.
Currently, Brach’s is recognized as the biggest producer of the Halloween-favorite, candy corn, as well as the Valentine’s Day classic, conversation hearts. The brand also dabbles in seasonal sweets such as candy canes, jelly beans, peppermint stars, and continues to produce Milk Maid Royals Flavored Caramel bites.
You can find Brach’s products in a wide variety of food retailers including grocery stores, pharmacies, brick-and-mortar candy shops, and of course, in our digital aisles right here.
Who Owns Brach’s Confections?
- Brach’s Confections is currently owned by the Ferrara Candy Company.
What Products Does Brach’s Candy Make?
- Brach’s produces pan candies such as caramel, candy corn, peppermint stars, conversation hearts, jelly beans, jelly eggs, and candy canes.
Where Can You Find Brach’s Candy?
- Brach’s Confections can be found in brick-and-mortar candy stores, supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies, and online in our digital aisles.