Chew on this: Americans are lining up to buy Swedish candy

Yet another TikTok trend is selling out small businesses.

If you see a line snaking around the block on New York City’s Lower East Side, you might assume a limited-edition sneaker is about to drop.

A variety of multicolored gummy candy on a purple background.

But, it turns out, the wait might be for a pink paper bag filled with technicolor gummies. Swedish candy is trending online and everyone wants a bite.

The fad was, of course, born on TikTok where salivating users watched creators sample sour, skull-shaped gummies from BonBon, a confectioner with locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

And demand quickly spread, becoming a full-blown national trend and driving customers to candy businesses, per Eater.

  • At BonBon, customers can scoop their own candy into bags at brick-and-mortar locations or order premade gift boxes online (ranging from $18 to $75).
  • One of BonBon’s founders said that after the first viral TikTok video, online orders surged overnight from ~20 to 1k+ per day.
  • The brand, which previously had one to two people overseeing its ecommerce orders, now has 15 staff members working six days a week to keep up.

Other Swedish and Scandinavian candy shops — Sockerbit in Los Angeles, Karameller in Vancouver, and Sukker Baby in Toronto — have also seen increased demand.

It’s not the first time a candy trend has taken over social media: Candy salad, candy ASMR, and freeze-dried candy have all had their moments.

Sweet Swedes

As with any trend, someone, somewhere was doing it first. In this case, it was the Swedes.

Trips to the candy store are serious business in Sweden, where “lordagsgodis,” meaning “Saturday sweets,” is a tradition that dates back to the 1950s when medical experts recommended only consuming sweets once weekly to limit tooth decay.

The fun family outing is also a popular way to teach kids about finances. Data from 2020 shows that ~70% of Swedish children get a weekly or monthly allowance, and many spend it on candy.

It comes as no surprise that where there are weekly family trips to the candy shop, there are happy people. Like really happy: Sweden came in at No. 4 on the 2024 rankings of the world’s happiest countries.

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