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Astro Pops Have Made a Comeback!

If you were saddened to see Astro Pops disappear from the planet in 2004, guess what? They’re back at Candy.com. And the new rockets are WAY bigger than the originals. The modern-day Astro Pop is 2 pounds, the original was 1 ounce.

“It’s got the wow factor, but people can still eat it, not just look at it,” says Ellia Kassoff, CEO of Leaf Brands, LLC., the company that acquired the Astro Pop brand from Spangler Candy this past May.

When I talked with Ellia this past Friday, he said he was hugely disappointed when Astro Pops fell off radar in 2004 and decided to bring the rocket-shaped lollipops back to Mother Earth.

Ellia doesn’t have a candy background, so to revive the brand, he’s relying on his passion for the product, his marketing background, and his family tie to the Leaf Confectionery Company. (Leaf introduced Rainblo gum balls and reintroduced malted milk balls under the name Whoppers, among other things.)

“The whole Leaf family is excited to see candy back in the family,” says Ellia.

Back when Spangler owned the Astro Pop brand, it was touted as the “longest lasting lollipop on earth.” To bring the tagline up to today’s standards, Ellia has plans to roll out different sizes of Astro Pops based on how much time you’ve got. (Note to Ellia: I do hope you’ve carved out a good bit of time to figure out how many licks it takes to finish off a range of Astro Pop sizes.)

Ellia says the biggest size will probably be a 5-pound showpiece, which is based on the number of calls he’s getting from people interested in giant Astro Pops for wedding centerpieces. (I would think birthdays, graduations, and bar/bat mitzvahs might be a better fit for a rocket theme, but I certainly have been to my fair share of outer space weddings.)

The 2-pound Astro Pop, which is now available at Candy.com, has the same flavors as the original pop: pineapple (yellow), cherry (red), and passion fruit (green). It is pretty remarkable that passion fruit and pineapple were flavors used back in the M*A*S*H era.

If you’re one of the first 500 customers to buy an Astro Pop on Candy.com, you’ll receive a limited-edition version that’s numbered. And, if you place your order by Thurs., Dec. 17, you’ll have your rocket by Christmas.

Historical Note: In case you’re curious why Astro Pops fell off the planet for a while, here’s the story: This past May at the Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago, Astro Pop, LLC announced its acquisition of worldwide rights for Astro Pops from the Spangler Candy. (Spangler Candy is the company behind Dum Dum PopsCandy Canes, Circus Peanuts, and Saf-T-Pops.) Spangler bought the brand from Los Angeles-based Nellson Candy Company (the original inventor of the Astro Pop) in 1987, but ended up discontinuing the line in 2004. Many cried. One guy did something about it.

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First Astro Pops® Since 2004 to Ship

The first Astro Pops® since 2004 are ready to ship.  The first Astro Pop® will be a special 2-lb. version of the original Astro Pop®, handmade in the US! The first 500 will include a certificate with the production number.  While the company hopes you don’t buy them to collect, they still know that so many of you are ‘die-hard’ Astro Pop® customers, and will buy one to collect and one to eat.  They had to do something very special for you.

The idea of the ‘Giant Astro Pop®’ came from a discussion they had with the manufacturer only a week ago.  As everyone has been waiting for the original size,they are a very complicated product to make since the original manufacturing equipment for Astro Pops® were sold for scrap years ago.  Each day, they received so many calls and emails BEGGING to give Astro Pops®, for Christmas, so they decided that they could make a special, handmade version just  to give as Christmas presents.  So……five days later, the wish for an Astro Pop® in-time for Christmas is reality!

Here are the details:

Starting now, you can pre-purchase the Giant Astro Pop at:

On-line at: www.candy.com
In stores at: Dylan’s Candy Bar (Go to: www.dylanscandybar.com for locations)
Powells Sweet Shoppe (Go to: www.powellssweetshoppe.com for locations)

***If you are a wholesale customer, please call ASAP to make sure you can purchase the product for your stores.

Production is limited each day initially so they will sell-out quite fast.  Make sure you go to your local Powell’s and Dylan’s to pre-order!!

Ellia Kassoff
Astro Pop, LLC.
949-497-0077
www.astropopcandy.com

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Astro Pops® Are Blasting Off Again!

Astro Pop, LLC. has Acquired the Worldwide Rights for Astro Pops® with Plans to be re-introduced in the Fall!

Chicago, IL — May 25, 2010 — Today at the 2010 SWEETS & SNACKS EXPO, Astro Pop®, LLC has announced the acquisition of the Worldwide rights for Astro Pops®, one of the most popular candy suckers of all time from Spangler Candy of Bryan Ohio. Bee International will also become the exclusive distributor for Astro Pops® in the US.

Spangler Candy in 1987, acquired the Astro Pops® Brand from the Nellson Candy Company of Los Angeles California. Astro Pops, rocket-shaped lollipops, were reputed to be the longest lasting lollipop on earth. In September of 2004, Spangler discontinued the product line.

“As a big fan of Astro Pops®, I was so unhappy that Spangler stopped producing the pop, that I decided to buy the rights and re-introduce the brand” said Ellia Kassoff, CEO of Astro Pops®, LLC. “The product had a huge following for over 40 years, but the product didn’t fit in Spangler’s long term strategy.  I believe Astro Pops® needs dedicated marketing where there is one product focus and we believe we can accomplish that feat.”  “The plan is to re-introduce Astro Pops® in the fall.  Right now, we’re talking to several manufacturers, with the focus on making the pop, exactly as people remember it.  Once we narrow it down, we can start creating the pop.  We also plan to certify the pops as Kosher, which will expand the product to a larger and growing kosher market worldwide.” Mr. Kassoff says.

Nostalgia is big and Astro Pops® are part of the nostalgic culture of America

For over 40 years, Astro Pop®s have been a favorite among people all over the world.  Millions of the famous pops had been sold in countries such as Italy, India, Canada, Mexico, UK and Israel.  There are many websites and Facebook™  Fan Pages, touting the unusual cone-shaped pop with three different flavors as well.  People are always looking for nostalgic brands that bring them back to their childhood and Astro Pop® is one of those brands that people remember, and now want to share the experience with their children.

“I’m receiving calls from all over the country as people find out Astro Pops® are coming back.  It really makes their day”, Ellia Kassoff comments. “In tough times, people revert to what makes them happy and candy, (especially nostalgic candy), fill the need.”” We’re also receiving calls from candy stores everywhere, saying they still get many people walking into their store every day, asking for an Astro Pop®!” They can’t wait to stock them back on their shelves.

Expanding the Product line for Astro Pops®

Spangler did a great job at introducing new flavors to the Astro Pop® line, including Rappin Raspberry®, Astro Patriot Pop®, Astro Awesome Hot®, Astro Confetti Pop® and Astro Banana Split Pop® and Astro Carmel Apple Pop®.  We plan on re-introducing many of these flavors, plus adding some of our own.  You will have to wait and see!  We are also introducing new novelty items, t-shirts and POS displays to strengthen the brand in-stores, making sure the re-introduction goes well and customers can identify the product.