Behind the scents

Fuel for your candles

From pumpkin to gardenia, there's an endless array of scented candles to choose from. But if you look closely, you'll notice that not all candles are made of the same type of wax — even if they look nearly identical.

See, wax can be considered the 'fuel' of your candle, and like scents, there are a variety of different wax materials that candles can be made from.

Because of this, in simplified terms, the market for candles can be segmented into two categories, mass-produced, and premium/luxury.

Most candles use paraffin, the most inexpensive type of wax. Although paraffin is suitable for holding fragrance and color, it tends to create soot as it burns. It’s also not very eco-friendly, as paraffin is a non-degradable byproduct of petroleum.

On the other hand, luxury candles tend to use higher-end alternatives to paraffin, such as coconut wax, beeswax, and soy wax.

Candles have come a long way since their initial use as a major source of light, and they continue to grow in popularity with more than 1 billion pounds of wax used in producing the candles sold each year in the US!

Scents of the Midwest

One such manufacturer is Hanna’s Candles. Hanna’s is located in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and has been in business since 1988.

What’s interesting is that Burt Hannah and his wife began producing potpourri in their basement, until customers began suggesting that they expand into candle production.

By 2000, Hanna’s Candles was bringing in more than $60 million in revenue. Despite the competitive nature of the candle business, and the potential of lower costs if he outsources his production overseas, Burt Hanna still makes his candles in the US.

In 2013, Walmart announced a plan to spend an additional $50 billion on products made in the USA over the next ten years, to work with suppliers with operations in the US, or those looking to re-shore manufacturing operations.

Soon after, Hanna’s Candles was accepted as a supplier for Walmart’s Made in America campaign, and to this day, its candles are still sold through the Walmart channel.

For Walmart, buying from a US-made company decreases the lead time by a minimum of four to six weeks for new products to appear on its shelves.

And to fulfill demand from Walmart, having the right inventory is very important for a company like Hanna’s.

Good thing bops is around!

Supply chain hero who contributed to this newsletter