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Life is Sweet in Sioux City

April 28, 2015

May Day Baskets you’re preparing for the neighborhood kids this year just might have an Iowa connection – Palmer Candy Company of Sioux City. Famous for its Twin Bing candy bar, Palmer’s started operations in 1878 and is the oldest, family-owned candy business still in existence.

Invented in 1923, the Bing is a Midwest favorite made of cherry nougat covered with roasted peanuts and topped with chocolate. Producing hard candy like lemon drops, peanut clusters and chewy caramels, today a majority of its current products were dreamed up by individual employees in the last 10 years.

The company maintains a manufacturing and distribution facility that covers more than 300,000 square feet. In addition to its branded Bing bars, hard candies and LaFama Chocolates, the company also does private label manufacturing and produces bulk candy for bakeries, grocery stores and other retailers. 

President & CEO, Marty Palmer attributes much of the company’s recent growth to the hardworking Iowans they employ. “Our team members are some of the finest people I know,” said Marty Palmer, president and CEO, Palmer Candy in Sioux City. “There is no doubt that our tremendous growth over the past 10 to 15 years is directly related to the work ethic of our employees.”

Did you know?

  • Iowa is home to 33 of the largest 100 food manufacturers/processors (Source: Food Processing Magazine, 2012)
  • Iowa is the largest producer of corn, pork and eggs. (Source: USDA, 2013)
  • More than 900 Iowa food processors generate more than $37 billion worth of food products annually. (Hoover’s Database, 2014 and U.S. Census, 2011)
  • Iowa alone produces one-eleventh of the nation’s food supply. (USDA, 2011)

Learn more about Iowa's food production dominance here.



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Iowa Economic Development Authority
200 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
Phone: 1.515.348.6200
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