Archive for December, 2010

Right on the heels of my last post about 2010 candy product launches, a new candy bar has come to market: Bosco Milk Chocolate Bars. And, yes, it’s the same “Bosco” as Bosco brand Chocolate Syrup.

If you’re not familiar with Bosco Chocolate Syrup, it’s a brand that’s been around since 1928. Dick Van Dyke and Virginia Graham hawked Bosco back in the ’50s:

In 1960, Bosco Chocolate Syrup made a cameo in Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller, Psycho. The syrup was used as “blood” in Janet Leigh’s unforgettable shower scene.

Bosco Syrup also appeared on Laverne & Shirley (Bosco chocolate milk was Squiggy’s favorite drink) and Seinfeld. In the Nov. 1995 “The Secret Code” episode of Seinfeld, George Costanza reveals that his ATM PIN is “Bosco.”

Scott Sanders, vice president of the family-owned Bosco Products, Inc., says his dad, Steve, was contacted by Shrek 2 personnel to get permission to use the “I love Bosco” jingle. It made the 2004 film’s soundtrack.

And now, in the new year, big and small screens have a new prop star: the 3.5-ounce Bosco Milk Chocolate Bar.

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Free Bosco Products Giveaway!
Bosco Milk Chocolate Bars are available exclusively on Candy.com through January! Pre-orders are available now; first shipment begins Mon.,  Jan. 10.

Try a bar and tell the Candy.com community what you think. EVERYONE who comments on ANY Bosco product (fond Bosco memories, anyone?) will be entered to win a Bosco T-shirt and a Bosco Variety Pack. So … spill your thoughts!
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According to Paul Pruett, CEO of the Praim Group and manager of Bosco’s chocolate brand, the new all-natural milk chocolate bars are formulated to taste like Bosco Chocolate Syrup.

Unlike the syrup, however, the milk chocolate bars aren’t vitamin-fortified. Scott says fortifying the bars was a consideration, but that it presented technical complications and didn’t quite match the needs of the broader target market the bars are expected to attract.

Bosco Chocolate Syrup was originally created by a Camden, NJ-based physician to help with digestion. The extra thick syrup was later marketed as a “milk amplifier” and included iron and Vitamin D. Today, the product (which Scott describes as “fudge-like”) is positioned as an all-natural ice cream topper and milk syrup, and is fortified with B Vitamins.

At brick-and-mortar retail outlets, Scott and Paul both say the ultimate goal is for Bosco Syrup and Bosco Milk Chocolate Bars to be merchandised together, but they acknowledge the fact that the buyer for those two categories isn’t always the same person. It’s a big hurdle, but Paul says, “We’re bullish on that partnership.”

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Taste

Aroma

Appearance

Price


Candy products come and go. Some you don’t miss, others you miss terribly.

I miss the braided caramel and chocolate Marathon bars and Bub’s Daddy Bubble Gum (especially the apple flavor).

I don’t miss the Peter Paul Caravelle bar.

I wish Tootsie Roll Industries would offer a box of just red Dots. I also wish a manufacturer would come out with a really good drug store version of an English toffee bar with a thick layer of milk chocolate. Heath doesn’t do it for me. (My kids wish for edible Japanese erasers, but I have a feeling those are already invented.)

Looking back on 2010, several brands/line extensions were “invented,” including Jelly Belly Honey Beans, M&M’s Pretzel, American Licorice Co.’s Natural Vines, and Gimbal’s Honey Lovers.

Also in 2010, a handful of vintage brands made surprise comebacks like Bonomo Turkish Taffy, McCraw’s Flat Taffy, and Astro Pops.

Heading into 2011, are there any candies you’d like to see invented, reformulated (e.g., I wish Nestle Crunch Bars could be made with quality chocolate), or coaxed out of retirement?

Anything’s possible, so post your ideas below or on Facebook. You never know who’s reading.

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Described as “the true blue Willy Wonka,” “eccentric,” an “oddball,” and a “savant,” David Klein, I recently found out, is all of these things, and more.

David Klein is the inventor of Jelly Belly jelly beans, and he’s got quite a story. Last week, I talked with David about his new documentary, Candyman: The David Klein Story, produced by his son and daughter-in-law. I’d been hoping to see this film, which chronicles David’s Jelly Belly journey, so I felt like I won a first prize when he offered to send me a copy.

So far, I’ve watched this feature-length film twice. It’s quirky and a little addicting. Ellia Kassoff, the owner of Astro Pops, LLC, says he’s watched it four times.

I am drawn to this film because David is a walking candy Wikipedia. If I were writing a historical piece on the industry, he’d be the first guy I’d call. Ask David a question about a candy brand and he’ll tell you when it was invented, the company that manufactured it, when the brand changed hands, and the people behind it all.

I am also drawn to this film because of David’s character. He is wacky (he writes all of his notes on paper plates) and would probably drive you nuts if he were your dad, but he’s got a heart of gold and an entrepreneurial spirit that trumps The Donald’s.

I’m no film critic, so I won’t go into details about the film (see the Candy Professor’s review), but I will share a few good takeaways I got from my call with the Candyman:

- From the beginning, David sold jelly beans as individual flavors. “If I only sold an assorted box, I’d only have one spot in the store. By forcing retailers to buy single flavors, I got much more shelf space.”

- David got the idea for intensely and realistically flavored jelly beans while watching “Happy Days.” He got the idea for the brand name, “Jelly Belly” while watching “Sanford and Son.”

- David’s all-time favorite candy is not jelly beans. It’s actually Junior Mints (and Queen Anne’s Caramellos, but they are extinct).

- David wishes the manufacturer of Junior Mints (Tootsie Roll Industries), would come out with a Junior Mint peppermint patty.

- David is working on a new line of jelly beans that he says will “revolutionize the jelly bean business.” If all goes to plan, the new beans will roll out before Easter 2011.

- The outlandish rhinestone cowboy outfit that David wore on “The Mike Douglas Show” set him back $4,760.

Candyman: The David Klein Story is now playing on The Documentary Channel, which is primarily available through satellite television services DISH Network (Channel 197) and DIRECTV (Channel 267).

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There has been quite a bit of talk on Twitter and the food blogs this week over the classic combination of peppermint and chocolate.

Slashfood came out with a slide show of The Best Peppermint Treats. (Spoiler alert: Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark Squares, Dove Peppermint Bark Promises, and Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses made the cut.)

Cybele May of CandyBlog.net just gave Russell Stover’s Peppermint Bark Snowman a favorable review.

Today on MarthaStewart.com, editor Amy Conway, posts a super-simple Candy Cane Ice Cream Sandwich made with crushed candy canes and chocolate wafers.

This all makes me wonder …

What’s your favorite Peppermint-Chocolate Treat?

Is it …

- Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark Squares

- Dove Peppermint Promises

- Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses

- York Peppermint Patties

- Andes Mints (did you know Andes Mints are now available as baking chips? I just spied them at Target!)

- Junior Mints (must see heart-shaped Junior Mints!)

- Williams-Sonoma’s Peppermint Bark

- Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s

… or something else?

Name your peppermint-chocolate poison after this post or on Facebook. Mine? Dove’s Peppermint Bark Promises. One bite, tons of choco-pepperminty bark.

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