Judson-Atkinson Candies Suspends Production

Candy maker shuts down over high sugar costs

SAN ANTONIO -- Candy maker Judson-Atkinson Candies Inc. has suspended manufacturing to explore other opportunities, citing the high cost of sugar and other raw materials, as well as the state of the economy as contributing factors in this decision, said the Coalition for Sugar Reform.

"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. "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."

Based in San Antonio, Judson Candies was purchased by the Atkinson family in July 1983, forming Judson-Atkinson Candies. 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.

"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."

The Coalition for Sugar Reform represents consumer, trade and commerce groups, manufacturing associations and food and beverage companies that use sugar--including confectioners, bakers, cereal manufacturers, beverage makers and dairy companies--as well as the trade associations for these industries.