Chocolate Care

In-Store Guidelines for Bulk Chocolate                                                            

  • Best Shelf life is maintained at 68 degrees, relative humidity 50-55 percent.
  • Do not position case in direct sunlight.  This increases the in-case temperature.  Long exposure to sun will damage the chocolates.
  • When restocking trays, be sure to rotate the product.  One way of doing this is by replacing the candy and turning the tray around.
  • During warm months when the product is shipped with ice, remove ice from the boxes and let the chocolates stabilize for 24 hours before handling the chocolates.
  • Upon receiving the bulk product, mark the received date on the outside of the boxes for rotating purposes.
Refrigerated Case Care
  • It is important to vacuum the inside and underneath the case on a regular basis focusing on the corners and crevices where crumbs may gather.
  • If you carry candies with exposed nuts, it is helpful to place those on the lower shelf to eliminate crumbs falling into other trays.
  • Approximately once a quarter, remove all contents and clean inside and underneath the case with a mixture of water and bleach. 
  • Also, you can spray the mixture in the air grills and allow the case to run for several hours while empty.  This will sanitize the areas that are unreachable.  A box of baking soda placed in the bottom of the case will help absorb the bleach odor.

 In-Store Guidelines for Packaged Chocolate

  • Normal store temperature (68-72 degrees) will maintain product freshness.
  • It is not necessary to refrigerate gift packages.  Do not display packages in direct sunlight.


Type of Blooms in Chocolate

 Fat Bloom

Fat bloom is recognized as a grayish coating on the surface of the chocolate.  It can develop on dark, milk, or white chocolate, but is most evident on dark and milk.  When touched lightly with the finger, it has a greasy appearance and is easily wiped off or smeared.  Fat bloom is caused by:

  • Improper tempering of the chocolate in the manufacturing process.
  • Incorrect cooling methods, including covering cold centers.
  • Warm storage conditions.

 Sugar Bloom

Sugar bloom has a grayish appearance and in a mild for may resemble fat bloom but is not easily removable with the touch of a finger and has no greasy feel.  In a more severe form, it has a crystalline appearance and is rough to the touch.  It can form on milk, dark, and white chocolate.  When viewed under a microscope, small sugar crystals are noticeable.  Sugar bloom is caused by:

  • Storage under damp, humid conditions.
  • Removal of chocolate from cold storage without adequate wrapping protection (shrink wrap) or removing the wrap prior to the chocolate reaching the temperature of the outside environment.
  • Condensation formed on the chocolate due to removing the candy from its showcase when its temperature is lower than the dew point of the room.  Refrigerated showcases that have operating temperatures below 68 degrees can cause sugar bloom.

Shelf Life

The high ends of the following timelines are for product maintained in the optimal recommended environment.

21 Days from Stick applied date

  • Apples

3 Months

  • Cherries
  • Sugar Free and No Sugar Added
  • Popcorn (In Cello Bags)
  • Caramel (Extruded)

6 Months

  • Toffee
  • Pretzels
  • Clusters
  • Nut Bars
  • Brags
  • Caramel Discs/Squares (Hand Cut)
  • Pralines
  • Any item with exposed nuts (Big Wig, Sundae Bash, Brags, Etc...)
  • Nut or Soft Truffles (Italian Cream and Carrot Cake)
  • Popcorn (in Mylar bags)

9 Months

  • Products enrobed with PEANUT BUTTER
  • Nutty Butter
  • Nutty Fudge Love
  • Sugar Free Sanwich Cookies
  • Peppermint Bark

12 Months

  • Truffles (NO NUTS) and Truffles on a stick (NO NUTS)
  • Products with enrobed with PEANUT BUTTER
  • Annaclairs- enrobed
  • Mint Sticks

Date Codes

How to read our Julian Date Code (to determine date product was produced.)


Date Code - 42740050

4 - The year 2014

274 - The 274 date of Julian calendar EX: 274 (Oct. 01, 2014)

0050 - Internal lot Tracker Code


Products should have a minimum of 2-3 months shelf life upon receipt.

21 Day from Stick applied dateo Apples• 3 Monthso Cherrieso Sugar Free and No Sugar Added o Popcorn (In Cello Bags)o Caramel (Extruded) • 6 Months Chocolates with enrobed nuts o Toffee o Pretzelso Clusterso Nut Barso Bragso Caramel Discs/Squares (Hand Cut)o Pralineso Any item with exposed nuts (Big Wig, Sundae Bash, Brags, etc…o Nut or Soft Truffles (Italian Cream and Carrot Cake)o Popcorn (in Mylar bags)• 9 Monthso Truffles (NO NUTS) and Truffles on a sticko Products with enrobed with PEANUT BUTTERo Mint Stickso Annaclairs-enrobed• 12 Monthso Hard Truffles (Swiss Mint, Triple Chocolate)o Candy Barso Oreo’so Peppermint Bark