Archive for August, 2010

I know it’s still August, but I already hung a fall wreath on my front door. I couldn’t help myself. My kids are back in school and I’m sniffing fall leaves from the front porch. I also just bought my daughter a pink wig for her Halloween costume, so I’ve got trick-or-treating on the brain before Target has its “Halloween Headquarters” candy aisles up and running.

Since I’m way ahead of myself (and mass retailers), I thought I’d take the opportunity to share some unique Halloween candies that you may not find locally … but you will find online.

Jack-O-Lantern Truffles If you want to go highbrow this Halloween, Lindt’s milk chocolate truffles wrapped in pumpkin-motif foils will get the attention of even the biggest Halloween candy snob.

Candy Corn Taffy Think outside of the box this Halloween by putting candy corn taffy in your candy dish instead of traditional candy corn. This might sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, but trust me, change is good. If you can’t bare the thought, try adding roasted peanuts to your candy corn. The sweet-and-salty mix is perfect for tailgating.

Pumpkin Pie Nougat Fluff How cute are these little nougats that taste like pumpkin pie? Make a colorful party favor by putting a handful of these pretty pumpkin chews at the bottom of a clear cello bag and top with a box of Dots Candy Corn.

Black Licorice Skulls Here is another Halloween bulk item that scores a 10 on the cuteness chart …

Pop Rocks Pumpkins Pop Rocks were as popular as Dum Dum Pops and Tootsie Rolls when I was a kid, but we never got them in our trick-or-treat bags. It was probably because there was an urban legend floating around that Pop Rocks exploded in your stomach if you washed them down with a soda. Now that time has proven that these candy rocks can safely be paired with a Diet Coke, they are the perfect giveaway for modern day trick-or-treaters.

Orange & Black Mint Twists If you’re gearing up for an October wedding, birthday party,  baby shower, or general Halloween bash, this minty, yet festive bulk item would look killer in a tall glass candy dish.

Halloween Licorice Pastels I am a Good & Plenty fan, so I felt it necessary to include these chewy orange, black, and yellow licorice tubes in my list of unique finds. Like the Orange & Black Mint Twists, Halloween Licorice Pastels would add zing to any candy buffet table or treat bag.

Halloween Early Birds! Save 5% on Candy.com’s Halloween Candy by using Coupon Code “early5.” Offer applies to both wholesale and retail orders. Hurry, this offer ends August 31.

DeliciousStumbleUponFacebookTwitter
Read more

Last week, a friend told me that Skittles has more than 8 million Facebook fans. I checked this Saturday, and sure enough, Skittles has 8,682,144 friends. When I checked again last night, Skittles was up to 8,727,245 friends. That’s 45,101 friends joining the party in 48 hours.

Hmmmm. This made me wonder how many Facebook friends other top US candy brands have amassed … and what it would look like if I matched up the 25 best-selling candy brands in the US with each brand’s number of Facebook friends. My unscientific results may startle you.

Sales Rank*      Brand (Manufacturer)              Facebook Fans

25                       Ice Breakers (Hershey)              21,051

24                       Orbit White (Mars)                     566,854

23                       Dentyne Ice (Kraft)                     7,343 (Canada)

22                       Tic Tac (Ferrero)                         933,074

21                       Hershey’s Kisses (Hershey)       84,532

20                       Trident White (Kraft)                   (see Trident, No. 6 spot)

19                        Butterfinger (Nestle)                  527,262

18                        Milky Way (Mars)                       none found

17                        Starburst (Mars)                         3,971,587

16                        3 Musketeers (Mars)                  126, 713

15                        Dove (Mars)                               38,476

14                        Skittles (Mars)                            8,720,108

13                        Twizzlers (Hershey)                   54,829

12                        Twix (Mars)                                984,655

11                        Eclipse (Mars)                            none found

10                        Extra (Mars)                               95,879

9                          Kit Kat (Hershey)                       889,183

8                          Stride (Kraft)                              689,771

7                          5 (Mars)                                     1,462,127

6                          Trident (Kraft)                            329,249

5                          Orbit (Mars)                               566,851

4                          Snickers (Mars)                         596,860

3                          Hershey’s                                   1,014,925

2                          Reese’s PB Cups (Hershey’s)   3,515,716

1                          M&M’s (Mars)                            1,152,646

(*Sales Rank based on retail sales data from Symphony IRI Group, a Chicago-based market research firm for the 52 weeks that ended on Sept. 6, 2009. Data collected from supermarkets, drugstores, gas/C-stores and mass market retailers, excluding Walmart.)

Extrapolating from my “research,” Facebook friends and product sales don’t really correlate. Skittles is by far the most popular US candy brand on Facebook, but it’s not in the top 10 for sales. Tic Tac has close to 1 million friends, but the itty-bitty mints rank 22 out of 25 for sales. Even so, it’s interesting to see which brands are using Facebook as a major marketing platform, and which are not.

I am always a fan of the underdog, so if Mars does decide to create a Facebook page for Milk Way, I want to be the first BFF.

What candy brands have you “friended”?

DeliciousStumbleUponFacebookTwitter
Read more

Yesterday, creativity struck in my house. (Run!) My daughter and I huddled in the kitchen to make candy crafts—and spend a near-final summer hour together before the school bell rings.

Now, I’m not a crafty mom, but that’s what makes this exercise all the better. If I can turn out a few candy masterpieces, you can, too! My 9-year-old daughter is artistic, but as genes would have it, I turned out to be the antithesis of Martha Stewart. (Notice my globs of frosting on photos below.)

So, a quick Google search is all we needed to get the following three easy and inexpensive (beautiful words in the Great Recession) candy projects flowing.

Candy Airplane
Inspiration:
Family Fun

Materials:
- Sticks of gum (I used Wrigley’s Extra)
- Smarties (Did you know Smarties now comes in chocolate, bubble gum, and X-treme sour varieties? I did not. What rock have I been living under?)
- Peppermint Life Savers
- White paper
- Small, colored rubber bands (I bought tiny Goody brand hair rubber bands at Target)

Super simple instructions:
1. Thread rubber band through the holes of two Life Savers, then balance the roll of Smarties between them, across the rubber band.
2. For wings, balance stick of gum on top, perpendicular to the Smarties, and pull the rubber band up and over each side of the gum to hold it all in place.
3. Decorate wings with tiny stickers, drawings, or messages.

Candy Boat
Inspiration: National Confectioners Association‘s downloadable
Candy Craft Booklet
Materials:
- Orange slices
- Peppermint Lifesavers
- Pretzel sticks
- Rips licorice squares (a fairly new product, but I found it at Target.)
- Gummy bears
- Can of white icing
Super Simple Instructions:
1. Turn each orange slice curve side down (like a boat).
2. Place pretzel stick in center of each orange slice.
3. Cut Rips licorice square diagonally to create two triangles. (Instead of Rips to make the sail, you can wrap a fruit roll cut into triangular shape around pretzel.)
4. Attach licorice “sail” to pretzel with frosting.
5. Attach lifesaver to side of orange slice with frosting.
6. Add gummy bear on top of orange slice and attach with frosting.
Candy Automobile
Inspiration:
The Stir
Materials:
- Hostess Ho Hos snack cakes
- Smarties
- Lifesavers
- Bunny Peeps or Teddy Grahams
- Peach rings
Super Simple Instructions:
1. “Glue” the following treats together with frosting:

- Car body: Hostess Ho Hos snack cake
- Driver: Teddy Graham (Bunny Peeps work better, but I had to improvise since it’s August.)
- Seat back: Peach ring (I used mini Nutter Butter cookies, which were a decent stand-in.)
- Tires and Steering Wheel: Life Savers
- Car lights: Smarties

Have you made any easy candy crafts lately?
Upload your finished product pics at Facebook.com/candydotcom.

DeliciousStumbleUponFacebookTwitter
Read more

If you are an Elvis fan, particularly poly-jumpsuit-era Elvis, check this:

The oversized (a smidge over a foot) Elvis PEZ dispenser comes with a gold-plated TCB (that’s “Taking Care of Business” for Elvis neophytes) necklace and six rolls of PEZ candies. If that weren’t enough, the battery-operated dispenser plays “There Goes My Everything,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “American Trilogy,” “The Wonder Of You,” and “Promise Land.”

Have I died and gone to heaven?

If Elvis doesn’t do it for you, the Winnie the Pooh and Friends collection may win you over. I’ve always been fond of little Piglet.

You can bring these classic characters up to the iPhone era with chocolate-flavored PEZ refills, which PEZ Candy, Inc. introduced in 2008.

Beth Mora-Panepinto, product marketing manager at PEZ Candy, Inc., says it took the company two years to get the chocolate candy flavor “just right.” According to Beth, consumers frequently report that the chocolate tablets taste like Nestlé Quik Nesquik. Who didn’t like drinking that stuff as a kid?

This fall, Beth says to keep your eyes peeled for the following new PEZ products:

Not sure which is cooler—packaging or product.

Hello back-to-school gift.

Hand out this vamp at Halloween and instantly become a block star.

PEZ Trivia Takeaways (bet you didn’t know this stuff)
1.
The first PEZ dispenser was created in 1948 and was designed to look like a cigarette lighter to encourage people to quit smoking and eat candy instead.

2. The name PEZ comes from the German word for peppermint, pfefferminz, taking the P from the first letter, E from the middle, and Z from the last letter.

3. The most popular PEZ dispenser sold to date? Santa Claus.

DeliciousStumbleUponFacebookTwitter
Read more

Taste

Aroma

Appearance

Price