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Not A Fluff Piece: The Story of Cotton Candy

Cotton candy has been tickling the tongues of sweet-eat enthusiasts since the St. Louis World’s Fair of 1904, where the classic carnival delight was introduced as Fairy Floss.

If you had to guess who the innovator behind cotton candy was, you’d probably assume it was either the creation of evil geniuses from the Willy Wonka factory (oompa-loopmas), or a science experiment gone wrong.

But in what sounds like a conspiracy theory, the fluffy treat was actually developed by an unlikely dentist & confectioner duo:

Different Century, Different Name, Same Sweet Taste

No, this wasn’t a twisted plot to incite more cavities among Americans, thereby driving dental business to the Father of Cotton Candy (the dentist).

Having invented the first electrical cotton candy machine in 1897, dentist William Morrison and confectioner John C. Wharton beheld the powerful potential of their brainchild in St. Louis. They sold 68,655 boxes, enjoying a $25 profit for their efforts—a small fortune in 1904. The duo immediately obtained a patent for the cotton candy machine, recognizing their mouthwatering carnival food was unique and desirable.

Not-So-Heavy Machinery

Just a year after its introduction, cotton candy machines were being sold to stores all over the United States, and the fluffy favourite swept the nation!

The cotton candy machine hasn’t changed much since its conception; heating the sugar to a liquid state, then pushing the liquid through a screen to create strands of sugar. Of course, upgrades and modifications have been added to allow cotton candy machines to function faster and with more efficiency, but in principle, it’s still very similar to its humble beginnings.

And while cotton candy is used more creatively these days – like a fun topping on sundaes – the authenticity and charm that comes with a concession stand spinning its own cotton candy can never be replicated.

No Fuss, No Muss

Cotton candy is low maintenance, making it the ideal carnival food, sporting event treat, or amusement park snack. Cotton candy takes little effort – and even less money – to produce, positioning any concession stand for a highly profitable return.

As Versatile As it is Sweet

Your concession stand should think outside the packaging when it comes to cotton candy. Of course, the beloved guilty pleasure can stand, and sell, on its own. But your business wouldn’t be capitalizing on all of the value of this classic concession stand staple.

One of the best parts about cotton candy is how it can be utilized as an ingredient to enhance other sumptuous snacks:

Imagine the textural bliss cotton candy would add to a rich ice cream. How about placing a tuft in a donut hole, and adding cotton candy flavouring to the sprinkles? It’d be sure to win the day at any venue or event! Even using cotton candy flavouring in popcorn would have customers lining up outside of your concession stand for miles, intrigued by your ‘spin’ on this undeniable classic.

Electrical cotton candy makers have been integral in helping concession stand businesses taste sweet profits for well over a century.

At Wonderland Food & Equipment, we carry the tastiest cotton candy and the most reliable cotton candy makers on the market. With our cotton candy equipment, supplies, and packaging, you’ll be sure to replicate the authentic charm (and popularity) of this nostalgic treat.  

Sweeten the deal for your customers this year, and check out our cotton candy selection today!