For Christians who would rather celebrate Christ on Halloween instead of its pagan origins in Samhain, a company called Scripture Candy based in Alabama is offering blessed candy wrapped in bits of Scripture and inspirational messages to share with those who come to your door even as the company’s owners struggle to survive President Donald Trump’s trade war.
“In 1991, while listening to ‘Focus on the Family’ on the radio doing a program on the occults and Halloween, GOD gave me the inspiration about turning a pagan holiday into something to glorify GOD. Since we give out candy as ‘treats’ during the holiday, if we could wrap the ‘Word’ around the candy, every piece we gave out would have the possibility of planting a seed in a person's life,” Brian E. Adkins, co-founder of the company explained on their website about how Scripture Candy began.
Adkins went on to join forces with co-founder Michael McCarron who told The Christian Post Tuesday that they have now been in business for 21 years intent on reaching the world with the Gospel one piece of candy at a time.
Previously the products were sold at major Christian bookstores but as shifts in consumer habits have decimated those brick and mortar stores the owners have had to resort to new outlets. Products created by the company for the season include Harvest Cards and Pops Bag that retail for $7.99 on Amazon, a 50-count tub of Jesus Harvest Seeds for $20, along with a variety of other products McCarron says can currently be found at stores like Walmart, Walgreens, and Rite Aid, in addition to their Amazon store.
“You got these people coming to your door and as a Christian, you could be a lazy Christian, [you can] stay at your house, leave your light on instead of turning it off and when they come to your door, pass out a piece of candy that has the Gospel on it, an uplifting message. That’s how the whole thing got started and [it] took us a while to get it up and running,” McCarron explained about the usefulness of Scripture Candy products.
“We have churches that do trick-or-treat that don’t want to do the door to door thing, we do have Christians that still participate in it, they might be older and don’t have kids,” he said.
While Halloween may not be as big as traditional Christian holidays like Easter or Christmas, McCarron says the demand for their products during the celebration is substantial.
And for those wondering where Scripture Candy is manufactured, McCarron explained that the company uses 16 different manufacturers from around the world, including China where a Christian company is also a partner.
“The cool thing about the China stuff is that we’ve gone out there, met with the manufacturer, gone to church with them in China and so we have a strong Christian manufacturer there that … brings in workers and exposes them to what we’re doing too. So it’s kinda of guerrilla marketing to help witness in that country where sometimes it can be extremely dangerous,” McCarron said.
He explained that he would have preferred to do his manufacturing closer to home. But when they first started out, large companies weren’t willing to do business with Scripture Candy either because they weren’t able to make large enough orders or due to the Christian nature of their products.
“We were forced to go overseas where people were like, they didn’t really care about minimum runs. We don’t care what you put on the wrapper we’ll run it. We try our best to get stuff here in the USA. We get stuff from Canada, we have a lot of U.S. based companies that have their factories in Mexico, because of the sugar tariff. That’s the only way that US companies compete by having a factory across the border and then we do bring in some stuff from China so it depends on the company,” he said.
When asked how the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China has affected his business, McCarron called it “brutal” but he believes President Trump has the right instincts on trade.
“Oh my heavens. We were hit. We were brutally hit. It’s been tough. We’re hoping that it will eventually go away …. I will tell you I think it’s the right strategy for our country that’s being done. It’s just hard being on the receiving end, being the guy sucking it up making it happen. I understand the rationale and I agree with the rationale but it hurt us pretty hard so we’ve had to really get creative,” McCarron explained.
“At a point we’ve actually had Dollar General send us a letter telling us ‘hey, we will not incur any price increases’ and we were already selling to them at such bare margins that at a point we can’t sell it. We’re actually paying you to put our product in,” he added. “It hurt.”
Among the Chinese imports affected by Trump’s trade tariffs are sugars and candies, cane sugar and candies with no cocoa.