Judson-Atkinson Candies, Inc. Suspends Production, Blames Sugar Costs

Nov. 3, 2011
Manufacturing at Judson-Atkinson Candies, Inc. has been suspended to explore other opportunities.

Manufacturing at Judson-Atkinson Candies, Inc. has been suspended to explore other opportunities. The company cites the high cost of sugar and other raw materials plus the state of the economy as contributing factors in this decision.

“It is a shame to see a hard-working family company like Judson-Atkinson close its doors, especially this close to the holiday season,” said Larry Graham, chairman of the Coalition for Sugar Reform and president of the National Confectioners Association. “This unfortunate story is yet another example of why reform of the current government-controlled U.S. sugar policy is so desperately needed. We urge policymakers to end this archaic program in order to protect American confectioners, food manufacturers, and other small businesses from the crippling effects of record-high sugar prices.”

Based in San Antonio, Texas, Judson Candies was purchased by the Atkinson family in July 1983 – forming Judson-Atkinson Candies, Inc. – though the company’s history dates back more than 100 years. Known for sweet treats like chewy pralines, salt water taffy, fruit drops, and jelly beans, the company grew to employ approximately 100 workers over the years. After ceasing manufacturing operations, all but a few employees are now out of work because the company cannot continue to pay employees while paying existing bills.

“Unprecedented price competition, together with increasing sugar and other raw materials costs plus the state of the economy, has led to this decision,” said Amy Atkinson Voltz, president of Judson-Atkinson Candies, Inc. “This has been a very difficult decision for the owners; however our business and costs trends are consistent and similar to many businesses like ours around the country. We are incredibly proud of our employees and wish to thank them and our customers for their loyal support.”

Earlier this year, another small family-owned company, Yarnell’s Ice Cream, was forced to abruptly close, resulting in the loss of 200 good jobs for employees in Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi. Yarnell cited the rising cost of sugar, cream, fuel, and other commodity prices as causing significant financial damage to the company and other ice cream manufacturers.

For more information on pending sugar reform legislation and why reform of U.S. sugar policy is needed to protect the nation’s consumers, food manufacturers, and small businesses, visit www.SugarReform.org.