Archive for the ‘Ghirardelli Chocolate Co.’ Category

30 Oct

Candy Hall of Fame 2012 0

NCSA Candy Hall of Fame Head Table

On Oct. 19-21, the National Confectionery Sales Association held its 113th annual Candy Hall of Fame induction weekend in Tampa, Fla. Induction into the Candy Hall of Fame is a huge honor for candy industry professionals, much like induction into a sports-related hall of fame. This year, Candy.com was lucky enough to attend!

Nominated by their peers, Candy Hall of Fame members come from all walks of the candy industry: brokers, sales personnel, manufacturers, retail buyers, wholesalers, industry suppliers, retail confectioners, and others allied to the industry.

It’s pretty spectacular to sit amongst leaders of major candy companies like Jelly Belly, Ghirardelli, Mars, Hershey’s, Atkinson Candy, Necco, Goetze’s, Just Born, Brown & Haley, Ferrara Pan, Ferrero, Haribo, Promotion in Motion, Spangler, Smarties, etc.

The generations of candy history that is shared over the weekend is mind-blowing, as is the genuine collaboration between companies and competitors for the good of the industry.

Candy Hall of Fame 2012

2012 Candy Hall of Fame Inductees

This year, 12 confectionery professional were inducted into the NCSA’s Candy Hall of Fame, including (Standing from left in photo above) Fernando F. Pujals, Fernando C. Pujals & Bros., Inc.; A. Robert Fortunato, Sledd Co.; David G. Onorato, The Hershey Co.; P. Timothy Quinn, Mars Chocolate North America; Paul D. Minger, Walgreen Co.; Philip J. Shankman, Shankman & Assoc., Inc.; Pierson Bob Clair III, Brown & Haley. Seated from left: Anthony M. Rufrano, Maxim Manufacturing & Marketing; James S. Bourne, Hilliard’s Chocolate System; Judith K. Cooley, The Hershey Co.; James M. Finelli, The Promotion In Motion Cos., Inc.; and John H. Pola, Jelly Belly Candy Co.

Also  during this weekend event, top confectionery and snack product introductions in six categories, were honored. Product nominations across six categories came from candy and snack buyers, brokers and suppliers, and were narrowed down to 30 items by a panel of industry experts. Each nominated product offers significant innovation and/or sales potential to the candy and snack categories.

The winners in each of the six categories were:

1. Chocolate: – Air Delight Kisses and Bars, The Hershey Company

2. Licensed/Limited Edition:  Crunch Girl Scouts Line, Nestle USA, Inc.

3. Non-Chocolate:  Jolly Rancher Crunch ‘N Chew, The Hershey Company

4. Snacks: Brownie Brittle, Sheila G Brands, LLC

5. Premium/Gourmet: Dark Roca, Brown & Haley

6. Seasonal:  M&M’s White Chocolate Candy Corn, Mars Chocolate North America

Congratulations to the Class of 2012 and to the new product winners. Special thanks to the NCSA and its executive directors, Steve Forester and Teresa Tarantino, for hosting this special event. We had a ball!

Here are a few shots of the celebration …

NCSA Candy Hall of Fame Reception

The “After Hours” party on Sat. Oct. 20 was sponsored by The Hershey Company. Chocolate was plentiful!


Lunch at Clearwater Beach

Lunch on Clearwater Beach with wonderful candy industry friends (from left) Hans Becher, Ferrara Candy Co., Inc.; Mark Lozano, TNA North America; Jen Harmon; Sheryl Godwin, Godwin Associates; Gloria Becher, Bobbie McMichael; Joe Melville, Candy.com; Wayne Godwin, Godwin Associates; and Eric Atkinson, Atkinson Candy Company.

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My ridiculously cool neighbor is watching my kids this summer and asked them to come up with a “Blue Sky List.” Huh?

A Blue Sky List, I found out, is all the things you’d like to do in a summer. Doesn’t that sound divine? And 10X better than a to-do or bucket list?

So, my daughter came up with …

1. nona’s house (Nona is my neighbor’s mom and has a pool. Love Nona.)
2. bowling
3. look at Bull Dogs (Fiberglass bull dogs painted by local artists for auction at end of summer.  They’re pretty cool.)
4. ice cream
5. ride bikes
6. play outside
7. make forts
8. tag
9. movies on rainy days
10. nelson lake (A favorite spot for hikes)
11. go out for lunch
12. put put golf
13. art
14. sleep overs
15. climb trees
16. bike ride

And my son came up with …

1. hockey
2. stick and puck (More hockey. Ouch on the pocketbook.)
3. baseball
4. golf
5. football
6. tag
7. play at pool
8. jump on the tramp (Next-door neighbors have a trampoline that’s been a bit hit)
9. have a good summer
10. eating contest
11. have sleepovers
12. play minute to win it
13. mini golf
14. ride bikes
15. hang out

What’s cool about these lists is that they’re pretty similar to what I would have come up with in the late 1970s when I was 10. (I didn’t know about “Minute to Win It” or have a neighbor with a pool or trampoline, so they’ve one-upped me there.)

All this list-making got me thinking Blue Sky. Here’s what I’ve got on my summer radar:

1. Go to our local outdoor French Market
2. Jump on a train to Chicago with my kids/husband for cultural events, and drag them all to Armitage Ave. boutiques.
3. Walk to our downtown ice cream shop and library, but not in that order
4. Eat Salt Water Taffy (the more chocolate pieces the better)
5. Make S’mores over a campfire, but try out different candy bars, like Ghirardelli, Cadbury, or Ritter Sport bars (maybe even take it a step further and try out different marshmallows, like StrawMallows or chocolate-bottomed Peeps)
6. Swiming, anywhere
7. Write about candy, on my front porch

I’m a simpleton, so if I achieve at least five of these items, I’m calling Summer 2011 bombdiggity.

What’s on your Blue Sky List?

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Taste

Aroma

Appearance

Price


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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Are you staring at your computer screen like a deer in the headlights because you have no idea what to get Aunt Tilly, Grandpa Harry, or Cousin Eddie? Never fear.

I’ve got six goof-proof gift ideas for you. All will arrive by Christmas if you order by Wed., Dec. 22.  (Click on each photo for product details.)

A gift pretty enough to double as a centerpiece.

Hand out these milk chocolate bars to difficult relatives during the holidays and watch sparks fly.

For die-hard Bonomo Turkish Taffy fans, this gift is better than a shiny new car or sparkly diamonds.

Here's a gift Santa would covet. Ghirardelli packed its reusable sleigh with cookies, hot cocoa, and a handful of chocolate squares.

Godiva's gift basket not only looks impressive, but it also covers a major food group.

This spirited chocolate trio has New Year's Eve written all over it.

And here’s a gift for you. It’s my goof-proof recipe for English Toffee that tastes like Heath Bars. I have never ruined a batch, and that’s huge for me. So, I’m dead serious when I say these are “goof-proof.”

To-Die-For English Toffee

1/2 pound butter (2 sticks)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

In heavy saucepan melt butter. Add sugars and water. Mix well. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. When candy thermometer measures 300 F, remove mixture from heat.

Quickly and carefully pour mixture onto ungreased cookie sheet. Spread with a knife to form an even layer. While toffee is still hot, sprinkle on chocolate chips and spread. Sprinkle nuts over chocolate. Refrigerate until candy is set. Break into pieces of desired size.

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