Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Great Wall of Sathers

Sathers Display
Downtown Seattle Post Office

In the lobby of Seattle's central post office there is a small newsstand with a strikingly organized display of Sather's "2/$1.00" candies, arranged in alphabetical order and numbered for easy reference. I was inspired to learn more about the company and surprised to discover a strong affinity between this display and Sathers' corporate identity.

Since it was founded in 1936 by Minnesota grocer, John Sather, Sathers has had many incarnations; most recently it joined with another venerable candy company, Farley's, in 2002 and went on to acquire such brands as Chuckles, Now and Later, Rain-Blo, Super Bubble, Fruit Strip, Trolli, and Brach's. As a "re-bagger", Sathers had existing relationships with many such companies, buying bulk quantities of their products, then repackaging them for sale to consumers. According to Wikipedia, it is as a marketer rather than as a manufacturer that Sathers has made its mark; "The Sathers company is considered to be the innovator behind packaged 'pegboard' or 'hanging bag' candy, now one of the candy industry's primary marketing programs for general line candies." It's hard to imagine that the potential of the pegboard has ever been exploited more fully than at the Seattle PO.

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