From custom chocolate ships to Filipino-favorite crew snacks, Nassau Candy has become a major supplier to the cruise industry.
The New York-based company is geography gifted for ships sailing from the U.S., with warehouses near New York, Miami and Galveston, plus coverage for ships on the Great Lakes and sailing from Southern California, said Andrew Reitman, executive vice president, national brand confections, adding that the company has about 15,000 different products it offers.
“We offer six-day-a-week refrigerated delivery through our own fleet of temperature-controlled vehicles,” said Reitman, who noted in late October that the company had just supplied gummy eyeballs for use in one cruise line’s Halloween-themed martini.
Nassau Candy is also a large producer of nuts; and imports fruits and other items from growers in California. Other items include grab-and-go snacks, hard-to-find beverages, health and beauty products and other commodities, and even embroidered clothing.
“We have a nimble purchasing and sourcing team. If something is on a cruise request, we are the type of player that sources it,” he said.
Private label programs see the company making custom products including packaging, ranging from casino giveaways to turn-down chocolates.
Seasonal items popular on cruise ships range from Christmas candy to valentines’ chocolates, easter eggs and much more.
“We have a big seasonal program and we’re good at sourcing under tight timelines,” said Reitman.
Coming out of Covid, he said business was getting back to normal, and the supply chain had strengthened, with some challenges remaining in sourcing imported European products. Volumes are up thanks to larger ships in North America. The company will be a supplier to new vessels from Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and others.
Customer taste profiles are constantly changing, said Reitman, pointing to chili being the latest in flavor.
For the cruise lines, single-use plastics are gone and the companies are asking for compostable and biodegradable products, he said.