Welcome to Rental item of the week, where every Thursday we highlight pros and cons of a different rental item. We provide an in-depth review and suggestions on how to incorporate the rental into your next event. Our goal is to inspire event planners to be creatively bold and move outside the normal event scope.

Large fluffy pile of blue and pink cotton candy

Cotton Candy machines are our most popular concessions rental. They can be picked up by customers, delivered, and even staffed. They are a wildly popular choice for school carnivals and birthday parties. This sweet treat is known for its pink or blue colors (vanilla and blueberry), but can be ordered in several other flavors including lime, watermelon, strawberry, bubblegum, apple, banana, cherry, and more.

The act of making cotton candy can be viewed as more of an art than it is a science. Any individual is capable of creating cotton candy, but getting it to look like pink treat you see in the movies can be very challenging and requires quite a bit of practice. Most cotton candy is gathered out of the machine using a paper cone. The best practice for gathering is to rotate the cone while moving it around the outside of the collecting ring. By rolling the cone in your hand like you were having it travel around the ring, you are able to collect a fairly substantial amount of the sugar product. Moving methodically will allow the candy to gather evenly, making it look nice and fluffy. After there is enough treat on the stick, it is suggested that the cotton candy be placed in a bag face town, with the handle of the cone poking out of the top. By grabbing both corners of the bag and flipping it around a few times, you can seal off the top and trap air in the bag. This keeps the cotton candy fluffy and prevents it from being squished before consumption.

If you choose to switch flavor of cotton candy and are only using one machine, you can simply add the other flavor on top of the existing one. This will create a brief period where the floss coming out of the machine will be mixed (i.e. pink and blue will create purple cotton candy). Once all of the previous flavor has been used and is out of the machine, the next color will start.

While all of this work can be done by anyone, Is there a preference to hire staff to operate the rental? There are a few things to consider when deciding on staffing for cotton candy. First, is there a person that can be dedicated to making the dessert during your whole event? At a corporate event, the answer is probably ‘no’, while at a school carnival, there will typically be a large number of parent volunteers that can spend their time laboring over cooked sugar. The other thing to consider is how nice you want the end product to look. A staff member from our event planning company is much more likely to produce beautiful, fluffy, pink, cotton candy than a chunky deformed rock of sugar.

If your event is a fundraiser or non-profit that needs to make back some of the costs for hosting the event, cotton candy can be used to help offset costs. One carton of product makes around 60 servings that can be sold for three to five dollars each. Even at the low end that means one carton can produce $160 in profit after offsetting for the cost of the carton. This rental can easily cover it’s own costs in addition to offsetting some of the cost the rest of the event incurs.

There are other elegant options for presenting and using cotton candy. It is not necessary to just hand out giant amounts. You can use cotton candy as a garnish on beverages or on top of various desserts. It could even be used a decoration on an elaborate dessert display. If your event is outdoors, you need to be mindful of the rain. Cotton Candy melts on contact with water. If your event is out doors in the Seattle area, make sure to rent a canopy.

Cotton candy is loved by many and disliked by few. Providing such a delicious experience at your next occasion will certainly aid in the production of a memorable event.