Rush Hour

Glowing Report

Candles aren't just for dinner parties or power outages anymore. Marketed in an increasing variety of creative and funky shapes, sizes and scents, candles are revamping our homes, offices and even our sense of well-being.

The latest scented candles sport such captivating names as Zest for Life and Peaceful Nights, and inviting shapes, such as seashells, chocolate candies and the lifelike fruits and vegetables in ACG Green's Candlez line (at left). Sales of candle accessories are red-hot, too, with elaborately formed holders shaped like everything from musical notes to bird cages.

And as other consumer trends go, so go candles, says William Llanes, regional sales manager for ACG Green in Santa Fe Springs, California: "Our coffee candle is really hot right now," appealing to men in particular. Next on ACG's agenda: Wake up and smell its teacup candles, scented with chamomile tea and apple cinnamon.

Is it all about control, with consumers seeking to influence the very air around them? Or perhaps candles' popularity is part of the pre-millennium trend toward the ethereal. Whatever the explanation, retailers and wholesalers don't expect this flame to burn out anytime soon.

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This article was originally published in the June 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Rush Hour.

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