It was often touted that sin industries were recession proof, the 1930s are often characterized by their speakeasy's and mob run gambling dens. However if you read the news lately you see it reported that both liquor and gambling are down in this current recession, however sweets are still in fashion.
"The recession seems to have a sweet tooth. As unemployment has risen and 401(k)’s have shrunk, Americans, particularly adults, have been consuming growing volumes of candy, from Mary Janes and Tootsie Rolls to Gummy Bears and cheap chocolates, say candy makers, store owners and industry experts.
Theories vary on exactly why. For many, sugar lifts spirits dragged low by
the languishing economy. For others, candy also provides a nostalgic reminder of
better times. And not insignificantly, it is relatively cheap."
So that explains the sweets boost but why have people stopped drinking away their problems...
"a manifestation of Calvinist guilt over both the present failures of the economy and its prior excesses. A deliberate effort to deny oneself pleasure."
So candy may be the cheapest "high" but as the NYT suggests high end candy is also heading into the tank as people pile on the Hershey's to get a bit more bang for their buck, and if quality candy gets the ax craft beer doesn't stand a chance.
If your like me, and believe me I'm a cheapskate, and you like quality but don't really want to pay for it allow me to make the suggestion of a little DIY, the BookFinder way. Make Taffy, Tiger Butter, Turkish Deliht, Peppermint Patties, Fudge, Truffles, Peanut Brittle and more.. Just like grandma used to make. Tiger Butter is very expensive in the stores but stuipidly easy to make and SOOO good, same can be said for any Fudge.
Now candy may be dandy, but I would happily exchange a pile of sweets for a cold beer with my dinner and since I'm not a spendthrift and happen to live in a country where liquor is taxed to an incredible degree, I brew my own beer to help keep my extravagances under control!
If you are a little overwhelmed at first, try going to a local "You Brew" shop and get a feel for the process before trying it out in your basement, most shops will help you make a variety of beers and wines for about half the price you pay in a store for the finished product and when you branch out on your own the cost drops from there.
For christmas the last couple of years my wife and I have included a bottle of home made wine along with some of the afformentioned candy, cookies and preserves making a cheap but envyable gift basket.