The great candy cane conspiracy of 2011

The holidays are almost upon us and I don’t want to spoil them for you.  But there’s something I must share.

Now I’m not into conspiracy theories (well, maybe a little), but has anyone noticed the shortage of candy canes? I’m not talking about those second-rate peach or root beer flavours. I mean the genuine peppermint kind.  The ones that come in several sizes – regular, cigar-width and mini – and are wrapped in the kind of cellophane you can never completely remove.  

You know the ones I mean.

Well, this year, you can’t find them anywhere. I mentioned this to several people including my friend Dana Hughens. She’s a self-confessed candy-cathiest and so was oblivious to the situation until she began shopping for them and noticed how hard they were to find.

So it’s happening.

I first clued into the trend a few years back, when some stores ran out of the traditional treat by Christmas Eve.  I figured there was just an extra rush, you know from last-minute shoppers like me.

But this year, a full two weeks before the holiday I searched high and low for them and they were nowhere to be seen.

Why is that, you may ask? I believe it’s due to an International Candy Cane Cartel manipulating the supply to drive up prices, cause a pent-up demand and increase the seasonal indigestion we get from overindulging (one of the cane’s medicinal benefits).       

Who’s responsible for this?  I don’t have proof, but I suspect the mastermind is Conan O’Brien. If you watched his show, you mayhave noticed Minty the Candy Cane, another one of his stooges, was back. And surprise, surprise, Minty had no shortage of the green, white and red sticks at all. How did he procure them?  And why is Team Coco’s studio audience the only beneficiary? 

Think about it. Without candy canes you get indigestion. When you get indigestion you can’t sleep.  When you can’t sleep you turn to late night TV. And when you’re watching late night TV, the choice is only too clear: infomercial or Conan.  And there you have it – Conan and his crew become both the source of hilarious off the wall entertainment and gastric relief too.  I get heartburn just thinking about it. (And if you want a further example that I'm onto something, I was going to post this in the morning but my site went down.  Coincidence??? Or more chi-candy-canery.)

So remember this when someone offers you a bona fide candy cane during the holidays: they’re probably part of the Cartel.  Except for me, of course.  I managed to score a couple of boxes carefully hidden behind some of the melon variety at a local convenience store.  Trust me, they’re legit. And available… for a price.

And, even if you don't have any of the real candy canes around the house this year, I want to wish you and yours Happy holidays and all the best in 2012!


About Martin Waxman

Martin Waxman is a digital, social media and communications strategist, content marketer, social media trainer and instructor and co-founder of three PR agencies. He blogs at myPALETTE and hosts the Inside PR podcast.


Martin, You're absolutely right on this. I went looking for traditional candy canes in mid-December when I was stocking up on ingredients for a marathon Christmas baking session. I had a hard time finding them, even at Bulk Barn where they have everything. There was cherry, raspberry, root beer, cinnamon, maple syrup, etc. but I had to go to a few stores to find the normal ones. And then I had to used my teeth to get the plastic wrap of each of them so, if anyone reads this who ate my candy cane bark, now you know.

Dana Hughens
Dana Hughens

Conan is the Candy Cane Cartel!?!? Crazy! Crazy, I say. And very convincing. I think you are on to something, Martin!