Official Press Release
Bonomo Turkish Taffy, the classic “smack-it, crack-it” candy brand enjoying a nationwide resurgence in popularity since its return after more than 30 years, today announced a unique sales program exclusive to comic shops that will help raise funds for The Hero Initiative, the federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need.
“We were searching for just the right way to reconnect our brand to its original fans, as well as introduce it to a whole new generation of consumers,” said Kenny Wiesen, president and CEO of Bonomo Turkish Taffy, LLC. “Our heyday as the long-lasting candy you could enjoy while reading your favorite comic book was from the mid-50’s through the mid-70’s, the same era during which many of the creators aided by the Hero Initiative did their most memorable and influential work. So in bringing Bonomo Turkish Taffy to comic fans through comic shops, we felt we ought to give something back to help those that were such a vital part of our shared heritage.”
“Every Smack Gives Something Back”
Starting in September, for every 1.5 ounce bar of Bonomo Turkish Taffy sold through comic shops, Bonomo will donate 25 cents directly to the Hero Initiative. The candy is available in four of its most popular original flavors – Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry and Banana – and may be ordered by comic retailers through Diamond Comic Distributors in promotional countertop display boxes of 24 bars each.
“Our mission is to find ways to help support the many creators that have essentially built our industry and by partnering with Bonomo Turkish Taffy, we’re offering a unique way for fans to show their support,“ said Hero Initiative President Jim McLauchlin. “We appreciate the respect Bonomo has for comics and comic creators, and look forward to seeing them succeed in comic stores.”
“We’re thrilled to be working with Bonomo Turkish Taffy and the Hero Initiative to aid comic book veterans in need. They’ve given so much to our industry – and our livelihoods – that it’s just one small way we can pay them back,” said Bill Schanes, Diamond Comic Distributor’s VP-Purchasing.
The program was conceived and developed for Bonomo by pop culture advertising and marketing firm, Bonfire Agency, LLC.
“Bonomo was a frequent advertiser in comic books throughout the 1960’s,” added Steve Rotterdam, co-founder and Partner of Bonfire. “That was when comics were sold in every candy store in every neighborhood across the country, often within arm’s reach of a bar of Turkish Taffy. But times have changed and the vast majority of comics today are sold in specialty stores catering to incredibly passionate, highly influential and often difficult to connect with fans of popular culture. We knew that in reintroducing Bonomo Turkish Taffy to these consumers, we would need to do so in a way that would have meaning to them. Given the important mission and focus of the Hero Initiative, establishing a partnership made so much sense.”
“Comic shops presented a tremendous opportunity for us,” said Rich Warrell, Director of Sales and Marketing at Classic Caramel, Bonomo’s exclusive manufacturing and sales distribution agent, “but we felt we needed greater relevance to the environment and its consumers than simple nostalgia. Bonfire’s thinking on our behalf was spot on and we’ve been thrilled by preliminary feedback from comics retailers, many of whom were themselves fans of the candy back in the day.”
Bonfire is developing a targeted advertising campaign for the brand that will run in comic books and online at fan sites starting in the fall. The agency is also working with Bonomo to develop advertising, promotional and marketing programs that will broaden awareness and increases sales of Bonomo Turkish Taffy in other markets.
About Bonomo Turkish Taffy, LLC
In the summer of 2010, after years of research and testing, Bonomo Turkish Taffy, LLC reintroduced the classic “smack-it, crack-it” Turkish Taffy® bars, close to 30 years after the beloved chewy candy disappeared from store shelves. Utilizing the brand’s original “Coney Island” formulation, packaging and flavors – Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry and Banana – the bars, along with bite-size twists, are manufactured in York, PA. Bonomo Turkish Taffy is available online, in candy specialty stores and, soon, in comic shops from coast to coast. For more information, visit www.bonomoturkishtaffy.com
About The Hero Initiative
The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterday’s creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life and avenue back into paying work. It’s a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment. Since its inception, The Hero Initiative has had the good fortune to grant over $400,000 to the comic book veterans who have paved the way for those in the industry today. For more information, visit www.heroinitiative.org or call 626-676.6354.
About Classic Caramel, LLC
Classic Caramel is a caramel, taffy, chew, and nougat manufacturer with its plant located in York, PA. The company markets nostalgic branded merchandise, such as Bonomo Turkish Taffy®, Slo Poke®, BB Bats®, Kits®, & Flipsticks™ to the retail trade. In addition, the company has an extensive base of ingredient, private label, bulk, and contract manufacturing customers. Classic Caramel is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Warrell Corporation, based in Camp Hill, PA. For more information, visit www.WarrellCorp.com.
About Diamond Comic Distributors (DCD)
Diamond is at the nexus of comics and pop culture. Based in Baltimore, MD, DCD is the world's largest distributor of English-language comic books, graphic novels, and related pop-culture merchandise, serving thousands of retailers worldwide. For more information, visit Diamond on the web at www.diamondcomics.com.
About Bonfire Agency LLC
Bonfire Agency LLC is the marketing community’s first advertising and promotional agency specializing in helping brands reach and deepen connections with highly influential, but difficult to engage, pop culture consumers. This demo, labeled by some as geek or comic culture, is comprised of incredibly passionate, tribe-wired fans of everything from comic books, video games and action films to underground music, sci-fi inspired television and cutting edge adult comedy. Bonfire’s mission is to find ways to build relevant bridges between brands and a diverse audience of consumers that just might become their most effective advocates. The agency was founded in January 2011 by marketing veterans and pop culture specialists Steve Rotterdam (former Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing at TimeWarner's DC Comics) and Ed Catto (former Senior Vice President at Ogilvy and Reed Exhibitions). For more information, visit www.BonfireAgency.com.