Case Studies

Everson Distributing Inc.: Hitting the Candy Distribution Sweet Spot

  • Written by: Everson Distributing Inc.: Hitting the Candy Distribution Sweet Spot
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For over 50 years, Everson Distributing Inc. has been a leader in private label packaging distribution. With a long tradition of quality, efficiency and personalized customer service, the Chicopee, Mass.-based company has earned not only the AIB International Food Safety Audit service’s superior rating, but also the loyalty of its customers.

Small Company, Big on Customer Satisfaction

Founded in 1919 by Howard T. Everson, the company’s first deliveries were established by handshake deals and brought to local mom-and-pop shops with Everson’s own truck. William H. “Bill” Everson joined his father in the family business in 1950, introducing candy into the product mix in the latter part of that decade and packing candy in his sister-in-law’s cellar in the early 1960s. William Everson’s untimely death in 1969 resulted in the business being operated for the next two decades by his wife Agnes with the help of other family members. Everson Distributing has since evolved into a high-end operation, with a 20,000-square foot state-of-the-art facility, home to the company’s production center, warehouse and around 45 employees.

The evolution of the company’s technical operations is not the only change Everson Distributing has seen in its long history. Initially a distributor of a variety of food products, the company has since narrowed its focus to commodity, sugar, no-chocolate candies. Products can include, but are far from limited to, gummi bears, spice drops, butterscotch discs, neon sour worms, star drops, silver mints, jelly beans, red raspberries, neon sour bears, orange slices, peppermint discs, circus peanuts and spearmint leaves. Yet, despite Everson Distributing’s transformation, the family-owned company still adheres to the Everson family’s commitment to high standards.

Today, Robert “Bob” Everson – Howard’s grandson, who represents his family’s third generation in the business – oversees the company’s day-to-day operations as president. With Everson Distributing since 1969, Bob Everson has essentially grown up with the company, maintaining it as a close-knit operation dedicated to personalized service.

“We’re able to ship smaller minimums and be more responsive in terms of new items clients are looking for,” Everson explains, describing how the smaller size of Everson Distributing is used as an advantage.

As a private label distributor, the company works hard to help its clients design and develop a candy packaging program that is uniquely suited for their businesses. Everson Distributing helps clients communicate to their customers the commitment to quality and value that their names represent. For convenient, however, Everson Distributing also offers its own brand, Treasure Treats.

Steady Business through Troubling Times

Everson Distributing ships to throughout the New England area and to New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and as far south as Alabama. With the economic downturn, the company has seen an increase in business, with much of the country turning to candy in these difficult times.

“The candy industry has always done well in a poor economy because it is like comfort food,” Everson observes.

Despite Everson Distributing’s continuing success, the company has faced some challenges to the way it conducts business, namely an increase in the cost of sugar. “With sugar prices increasing, we have unfortunately had to put the increased cost on customers, which takes time,” Everson explains.

Everson Distributing has also continued to adapt to stricter regulations in food safety. “We have hired additional staff to maintain our safety records,” Everson says. “We have also trained our staff on safety standards and food quality.”

Yet, despite these challenges, Everson is optimistic about the future of his company. “We are becoming a major player within the food industry,” he says proudly. “In terms of future growth, we would like to see 10 to 15 percent a year, but of controlled growth.”

The company has structured its business around a core set of principles and beliefs that have guided Everson Distributing throughout the years. First, the company recognizes that candy is loved by pretty much everyone, and that many customers have a strong sense of nostalgia for many of the candies that the company distributes. With that in mind, Everson Distributing works not only to meet customer expectations, but to exceed them, and to provide fast, reliable service.

The company also prides itself on innovation. If there is a new business method that’s better than one of the company’s current practices, the leadership will be sure to adopt that method. Finally, Everson Distributing views its suppliers and its customers as partners, and always treats them with honesty and fairness.

With beloved products, a legacy of quality, and an efficient and hardworking production team, Everson Distributing Inc. will no doubt continue to enjoy sweet success for quite some time to come.

Published on: March 16, 2013

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