The Colorful Characters of Shari Candies!

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I’ve written before about my appreciation of private label or store brand candy packaging and how it offers all manner of variety in what could otherwise be a fairly repetitive category.  Oftentimes, private label candy packaging is simply the name of the store emblazoned on a mostly plain design, but occasionally it shines as some of the most interesting found on shelves, as has been the case with Walgreens and their “Nice!” brand packaging.  And while private label candy is typically created for a specific store in mind, that is not the case with today’s topic.

Shari Candies is a line of peg-bagged private label confections differentiating itself with bright packaging and a colorful mascot — a mascot who finds himself in all manner of costume, depending on the product he’s hawking.  Make the jump to check it out:

[Editor’s note:  It’s been brought to my attention that, by definition, the Shari Candies presented today are not actually private label items due to their availability across multiple retail outlets.  For now, I’ll continue categorizing them as such because I feel retailers utilize them in the same way as typical private label candy offerings.]

As I said, Shari Candies are not created with any particular store in mind.  Rather, these are offered as a value priced option for whomever might want to carry them.  I first noticed Shari Candies in a Hobby Lobby back in Nebraska a few years ago and more recently spotted them at a Jacks 99-Cent store here in New York City, but I know I’ve seen them in other spots.  Jacks is where I picked up most of the couple dozen Shari Candies offerings I’ll be posting today, but checking out the Shari Candies website, it’s clear that I’ve only scratched the surface of their product line.  Eventually I hope to track down packaging examples of the full variety that Shari Candies offers.

I really dig that each of these packages features the Shari Candies mascot (is it a chipmunk?) illustrated in a unique costume/scenario that connects to the specific candy that pack contains.  I think the packages for these are pretty fun, so without further ado, here they are:

Shari Candies - Assorted Gum Balls - 3_5 oz candy package - 2015

Shari Candies – Assorted Gum Balls – 3.5 oz candy package – 2015

Shari Candies - Starlight Mints - 7 oz gummi candy package - 2015

Shari Candies – Starlight Mints – 7 oz gummi candy package – 2015

Shari Candies - Spice Drops - 7.5 oz gummi candy package - 2015

Shari Candies – Spice Drops – 7.5 oz gummi candy package – 2015

Shari Candies - Spearmint Leaves - 8 oz gummi candy package - 2015

Shari Candies – Spearmint Leaves – 8 oz gummi candy package – 2015

Shari Candies - Sour Neon Worms - 10 oz gummi candy package - 2015

Shari Candies – Sour Neon Worms – 10 oz gummi candy package – 2015

Shari Candies - Smarties - 4.5 oz candy package - 2015

Shari Candies – Smarties – 4.5 oz candy package – 2015

Shari Candies - Red Twists - 4 oz candy package - 2015

Shari Candies – Red Twists – 4 oz candy package – 2015

Shari Candies - Orange Slices - 8 oz gummi candy package - 2015

Shari Candies – Orange Slices – 8 oz gummi candy package – 2015

Shari Candies - Milk Caramels - 4.25 oz candy package - 2015

Shari Candies – Milk Caramels – 4.25 oz candy package – 2015

Shari Candies - Lemon Drops - 5 oz candy package - 2015

Shari Candies – Lemon Drops – 5 oz candy package – 2015

Shari Candies - Jelly Beans - 5.5 oz candy package - 2015

Shari Candies – Jelly Beans – 5.5 oz candy package – 2015

Shari Candies - Gummi Worms - 5 oz candy package - 2015

Shari Candies – Gummi Worms – 5 oz candy package – 2015

Shari Candies - Gummi Fish - 6_5 oz gummi candy package - 2015

Shari Candies – Gummi Fish – 6_5 oz gummi candy package – 2015

Shari Candies - Gummi Bears - 5.5 oz candy package - 2015

Shari Candies – Gummi Bears – 5.5 oz candy package – 2015

Shari Candies - Gum Drops - 8 oz gummi candy package - 2015

Shari Candies – Gum Drops – 8 oz gummi candy package – 2015

Shari Candies - Fruit Slices - 8 oz gummi candy package - 2015

Shari Candies – Fruit Slices – 8 oz gummi candy package – 2015

Shari Candies - French Burnt Peanuts - 4 oz candy package - 2015

Shari Candies – French Burnt Peanuts – 4 oz candy package – 2015

Shari Candies - Cinnamon Disks - 7_5oz candy package - 2013

Shari Candies – Cinnamon Disks – 7_5oz candy package – 2013

Shari Candies - Cherry Sour Balls - 5oz candy package - 2015

Shari Candies – Cherry Sour Balls – 5oz candy package – 2015

Shari Candies - Caramel Creams - 4_5 oz candy package - 2015

Shari Candies – Caramel Creams – 4_5 oz candy package – 2015

Shari Candies - Butterscotch Disks - 5.5 oz candy package - 2015

Shari Candies – Butterscotch Disks – 5.5 oz candy package – 2015

Shari Candies - Bit-O-Honey -3 oz candy package - 2015

Shari Candies – Bit-O-Honey -3 oz candy package – 2015

Shari Candies - Atomic Fire Balls - 8oz candy package - 2013

Shari Candies – Atomic Fire Balls – 8oz candy package – 2013

Shari Candies - Circus Peanuts - 8.5 oz candy package - 2015

Shari Candies – Circus Peanuts – 8.5 oz candy package – 2015

And that’s all of the Shari Candies packages I’ve collected so far.  Eventually I’ll be back with more!

When gathering together the pieces for today’s post, the mascot on them struck me as familiar so I went through my files and came across this box:

K-Mart - American Fare - Bears Gummi  - 5 oz candy box - 2012

K-Mart – American Fare – Bears Gummi – 5 oz candy box – 2012

This box features the same mascot from the Shari Candies gummi bears package yet was made for a K-Mart private label brand called “American Fare” which was on shelves around 2012.  It was produced by CandyASAP, the same folks who produce Shari Candies, so this is a great example of the Shari Candies branding and mascot being re-purposed for use as a specific store’s private label.  To me, that’s pretty fascinating and it makes me wonder how many times Shari Candies has lent their mascot to a retailer’s private label brand?

For now that’s everything I’ve been able to gather on the colorful characters of Shari Candies.  I hope you enjoyed seeing the variety presented here today and eventually I hope to revisit the topic with even more examples of Shari Candies packaging to share.

See you next time!

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About Jason Liebig

A New York City based writer, editor and sometimes actor. After spending much of the 1990′s in the comic book business helping tell the stories of Marvel Comics’ X-Men as series editor, he has since split his time between developing his own entertainment properties while still consulting and working on others. Having been described as “the Indiana Jones of lost and forgotten candy”, Jason is one of the country’s premier candy collectors and historians with his discoveries appearing in countless blogs, magazines, newspaper articles, and books. Always happy to share his knowledge and unique perspectives on this colorful part of our popular culture, Jason has consulted with New York’s Museum of Food and Drink and has also been a featured guest on Food Network’s Heavyweights, France’s M6 Capital, and New York’s TheActionRoom.com. My Google Profile+
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3 Responses to The Colorful Characters of Shari Candies!

  1. David S. says:

    How fun! Not to venture off of the candy topic, but these cute lil’ critters faces remind me of the (newer) Quik rabbit. :o)

  2. Dan Hoehn says:

    I’m also curious about what the mascot is supposed to be. If not a chipmunk, maybe a groundhog? The candy is named after the company founder’s daughter. I believe it was sold in 2003 and the plant in Mankato closed shortly after. My mother worked there for a couple years I think and my grandmother for about ten years. They all had to wear light blue smocks. When my mother worked there(early to mid 70s) the employees were allowed to take home all of the outdated candy that they wanted at no cost. It was mostly chocolate. Me and my siblings were sad when she stopped working there. I still have a small wooden barrel from there that used to hold candy. I wish I could remember what the old labels looked like but I’ve forgotten.

  3. Tim Klingforth says:

    That’s a gopher…at least that’s what I was going for when designing it — Really enjoyed conceptualizing the Gummy Sharks & Crocs, Bit-O-Honey and Ju-Ju Coins to name a few. Sad when Shari Candies closed down in Mankato – wonderful people to work with. Cheers, Tim

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