People all over the world are becoming increasingly worried about an imminent energy crisis. As a result, they are buying candles by the billions. Candle stores from Albuquerque to Zurich are selling out faster than they can make them. Wholesale distributors are complaining about having backlogs of several months or more on shipments. Even ornamental and decorative candles are being snapped off the shelves in a buyers' frenzy as the threat of worldwide power outages becomes more of a reality.
While the crisis in Japan is taking precedence over anything we've seen before, the candle shortage is a very real spin-off crisis and not expected to get any better in the months to come.
Jasmine Hollowax has been making sand candles since the early '60's in the Haight-Ashbury District of San Francisco and she claims that not only is she finding it hard to find wax but her supplies of sand are also in decline. "The sand candle is about the easiest candle to make," said Jasmine, "but without wax and sand, it becomes a candle maker's nightmare."
The inexplicable decimation of bees in the United States has also contributed to the decline in beeswax, a preferred wax for many candle makers. Dumont Hiasakite, a candle maker who refuses to use inferior materials for his candles, says that if the situation doesn't get better by June, he is going to have to close the Candle Emporium shop he's owned in Boston for four decades.
"It's ironic," says Hiasakite. "Most businesses fold because they become obsolete and there just isn't a demand for the product anymore. In our case, it is the opposite. With the energy crisis worldwide, it is just a matter of time before candles will be the only source of immediate power people will be able to find to provide light and help keep their food warm.
"Hoarders know this and are buying candles faster than gold. Especially the big, giant candles you thought you'd never have a reason to own before," he said.
In a related story, Glenn Beck has replaced the advertising on his Fox News show to accommodate the increased demand for candles. He is no longer touting gold as the most lucrative investment these days but instead is telling his viewers to buy candles, with this message. "Gold is pretty and it used to be a solid investment, but folks, gold won't light your way in the darkness or heat a can of chili on the coldest of nights. Buy candles now before they're all gone."
As a result, wax commodity prices have skyrocketed with an ounce of wax going for more than $1,000.