Archive for March, 2011

Wedding season is in full bloom—and magnified by the April 29 Royal Wedding.

Word on the bridal beat is that the “it” color for weddings is regal purple. According to TheKnot.com’s recently released 2010 wedding survey, purple was selected by 1 out of 5 brides (21%) for their wedding—up 50% since 2008. Losing popularity with brides is brown, which apparently plummeted 16% last year.

Colored Sixlets are one of Candy.com's most popular wedding candies.

Since purple (especially lavender) is such a hot wedding color and 14% of brides in the TheKnot.com’s survey said they had a candy buffet at their 2010 wedding, I put together a “Purplicious” board at Pinterest.com and filled it with a range of purple candies (see my attempt at a reproduction below).

Perhaps the young royal couple will see the Pinterest board and be inspired to treat their wedding guests to a candy buffet outfitted with All-Natural Lavender Honey Tea Spoons. Purple honey spoons could be the perfect accompaniment to the rumored royal fruitcake. :)

(Click on photos below for product details and to see Candy.com’s entire purple candy collection.)

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20 Mar

First Sign of Spring: Peeps Show 0

In honor of the first day of spring today and American Chocolate Week, March 20-26, I put together a Peeps show. What!?

Let me explain. Over the past few days, I’ve noticed a handful of newspapers sponsoring “Peeps Diorama” contests, including The Washington Post and The Denver Post. I must live under a rock since this is the first time I’ve heard of such a contest, and some are on year five.

Since it was a drab, rainy morning here in Chicago today, I talked my kids into making a Peeps diorama and sweetened the deal with American chocolate snacks: a Hershey’s Symphony bar and a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Almond bar. (My weak attempt at tying in the celebration of American Chocolate Week.)

We agreed on a “Hush, don’t make a Peep,” theme and collected the goods: shoebox, Peeps, edible grass, cotton candy, wrapping paper, construction paper, glue sticks, and scissors.

Sixty minutes and several chocolate squares later, we came up with …

Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail with visions of jelly beans peeping in their heads.

It’s a far cry from The Washington Post’s 2010 winner …

"Eep!" was based on the Pixar movie "Up."

(See slideshow of The Washington Post‘s 2010 winning entries.)

and the The Denver Post’s 2010 winner …

"Peepatar" was based on the 3-D blockbuster "Avatar."

(See slideshow of The Denver Post‘s 2010 winning entries.)

Even so, we had a great time tucking our Peeps into their box beds. It was a creative, kid-friendly project that would be fun to roll out at spring birthday parties, Easter gatherings, and future rainy days. If you get inspired, send me your finished-project pics.

Happy Spring 2011!

Photo credits:
The Washington Post
, Bill O’Leary
The Denver Post
, Cyrus McCrimmon

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11 Mar

Sweet Flavor Trends 2011 0

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Contest Update: The winner of the $25 Candy.com gift certificate is Michele Clark Powell! Michele answered the question posted below, “What NEW jelly bean flavor would you like to see made?” with “Potato Chip.” Congrats Michele and thanks to all who participated!
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Flavor trends in the sweets arena are fascinating and fickle. Last year at the Sweets & Snacks show in Chicago, honey, bacon, and coconut had the press talking and manufacturers making. Coconut is apparently still hot as Mars will be launching its Limited Edition Coconut Twix next month right before Easter madness. Not sure of bacon’s confectionery future.

(As a side note, check out LAWeekly’s Top 10 Kit Kat Flavors You’ve Probably Never Tried. No sign of honey, bacon, or coconut in these Kit Kats.)

Bell Flavors & Fragrances, one of the big flavor development houses, released its Top 10 Sweet Flavors in 2011, which does include a variation of coconut. Bell says its sweet list is based on its customer requests over a 12-month period, trend scouting, and outside research resources like Mintel.

1. Chocolate Soufflé
2. Honey Vanilla
3. Red Velvet
4. Caramel Macchiato (I’m surprised about this one. It seems so Starbucks 1999.)
5. Yumberry (Had to look this one up. It’s a real fruit grown mainly in China. It’s pretty, but apparently pretty tart.)
6. Coconut Crème
7. Sweet Potato
8. Ginger Peach
9. Mint Citrus
10. French Toast

I don’t know if I’d eat a Sweet Potato gummy bear, French Toast Tic Tac, or a Yumberry jelly bean, but I might have said that of pomegranate six years ago.

Yumberries

With all this flavor talk, I’ve got a good Friday contest idea. Answer the following question after this post or on Facebook or Twitter and you’ll automatically be entered to win $25 Candy.com gift certificate. Here goes:

What NEW jelly bean flavor would you like to see made?

I personally would like to see Brown Sugar, Banana Fudge, or Nutella. Go wild with your imagination! If you need  inspiration, take a peek at Jelly Belly’s official 50 flavors.

I’ll announce the random winner on Monday after a nice, long short daylight-savings weekend. Have a good one!

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I’m not sure about you, but when I was a little, we only hid hard-boiled eggs for the annual Easter egg hunt. There was a year when a stray egg was found with our sniffers in May.

So old school, right?

Now that we’ve hit 2011, there are an array of plastic options. You can get pre-stuffed, polka-dotted, iridescent, golden, animal-printed, and camouflage plastic eggs (saw the camo variety at Target yesterday).

I admit that at my house, the Easter bunny has gone by way of plastic for the hunt. We find our glossy, near-neon pink, blue, and yellow eggs filled with bubble gum eggs, Nestle Crunch foiled chocolate eggs (my daughter’s favorite), jelly beans (Very Cherry Jelly Belly – my all-time favorite), Mike and Ike candies (my husband’s vice), and an occasional folded-up dollar (my son’s carrot).

I want to know what’s inside your Easter eggs for the hunt. Jelly beans, chocolate foiled eggs, toys, quarters, egg yolks? Lay it on me …

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