Archive for the ‘Candy Tips’ Category

In the event that you’re a curious cat like me when it comes to regional flavor preferences of the sweet variety, the Jelly Belly Candy Co. tracks its best selling jelly bean flavors by state and by country.

Some of the following top four flavors by country are predictable, and some are a bit surprising like America’s love of Buttered Popcorn and Licorice. According to Tomi Holt, director of communications for the Jelly Belly Candy Co., Licorice is always in the top three flavors in the US (it’s No. 1 in Alaska), which I find interesting. Licorice has never made it on the UK’s top three list. Even more interesting.

No. 1: Smoothie Blend flavors
No. 2: Bubble Gum
No. 3: Buttered Popcorn
No. 4: Strawberry Cheesecake

No. 1: Very Cherry
No. 2: Tutti-Fruitti
No. 3: Green Apple
No. 4: Red Apple

Hong Kong
No. 1: Lemon Lime
No. 2: Candy Floss
No. 3: Bubble Gum
No. 4: Coconut

No. 1: Berry Blue
No. 2: Candy Floss
No. 3: Lemon
No. 4: Lemon Lime

United Kingdom
No. 1: Beanaturals
No. 2: Very Cherry
No. 3: Green Apple
No. 4: Bubble Gum

United States
No. 1: Very Cherry
No. 2: Buttered Popcorn
No. 3: Licorice
No. 4: Blueberry

Within the United States, “Crushed Pineapple” is one of Hawaii’s top three favorite Jelly Belly bean flavors (shocker). There are some statewide surprises, though …

In Top 3: Tangerine

Idaho and Montana
In Top 3: Juicy Pear

Kansas, Georgia, and New Jersey
In Top 3: Sizzling Cinnamon

No. 1: Dr. Pepper

No. 1: Bubble Gum
No. 2: Tutti-Fruitti

Rhode Island
In Top 3: French Vanilla

Washington D.C.
In Top 3: Blueberry

Jelly Belly’s Tomi Holt says the company often gets consumer requests for savory jelly bean flavors like hot dog, nacho, and hamburger.  The “Barf” flavor (so unsavory) in Jelly Belly’s BeanBoozled line is actually a cheese pizza flavor that failed in prior taste tests. According to Tomi, foul flavors like Jelly Belly’s Skunk Spray and Barf have to be produced after hours to avoid consumer tour times. The midnight shift must be bitter.

Here on, the best-selling Jelly Belly flavor is currently Berry Blue in a five-pound case. This may have something to do with the blue hue earning wedding palette kudos at while wedding season is in full bloom.

What is your favorite Jelly Belly bean flavor? I dig Dark Chocolate.

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in Brands/Companies, Candy, Candy Tips, Candy Type, Novelty

Now that candy buffets are as common as cakes and cupcakes at weddings, baby showers, birthday parties, etc., I thought I’d check in with a handful of event planners to get their tips on building the best candy buffets, pitfalls to avoid, and trends they’re noticing. I’ve got some gems:

Tracey Baxter, Aisle Do, Charlotte, N.C.

- Offer multiple containers of the same candy to control traffic and add symmetry to the buffet design. If guests can access the same candy at two locations on the buffet, they wait in line for half the time.”

- Use scoops proportional to candy sizes. To determine if guests will get the right amount with each utensil, ask yourself, “Will this scoop provide a handful of this candy?”

- Know when to stop. Variety is important but more than 15 different types of candy presents too many options for a buffet to still be functional. Extreme variety does work well, however, when using a single candy type in multiple flavors such as jelly beans, taffy, rock candy, or chocolate gems.

- If your event is not bent toward specific flavors, name your candies something related to the theme. For example, with a nautical theme, “gummy melon O’s” could become “Melon Life Preservers.”

- Use signs to let guests know what family member or friend picked the candies and/or flavors they are enjoying.

Kim Byers, The Celebration Shoppe, Columbus, Ohio

- I spend a lot of time with others in this industry and I see a lot of candy tables. Almost every single one now has saltwater taffy on it. I think it has a great deal to do with nostalgia and the ability to get it in so many colors.

- In the past five months we’ve created printable candy table/buffet tags. They’re selling like hotcakes.

  • Candy Dish Tags from The Celebration Shoppe

Heather Kuhn, Sweetest Candy Buffets, Carmel, Ind.

- We’re seeing an interest in using multiple flavors of gourmet jelly beans and including “recipes” for eating those jelly beans together.Recently, we have had people inquiring about including unique items on their buffets, such as flavored popcorn or cake bites/balls.

Terri Altergott, ?Something Borrowed, Something New Events, Uxbridge, Mass.

- Routinely, I’m asked to create a visually interesting candy buffet. In a few weeks, we’re adding lots of bling to a candy table. Envision crystals with light dancing off of them and submersible lighting at the bottom of each apothecary jar to illuminate the table.

Lia Moore, Full Circle Eventi, Clawson, Mich.

- While many containers come with lids, this often leads to broken glass and missing pieces. If you love the lids, present your display with the lids in place, but remove and store them away the moment your candy station is open.

- Consider a round table vs. a standard rectangular buffet to eliminate long lines and encourage guests to mingle around the serving station.

- Vase size is important! Use large, wide-mouth containers so guests can see what they’re getting and get at it easily. Variety in vase size and shape also keeps the eye engaged and the display interesting.

- Use thematic take-out pails or cello bags for guests to take candy home. Personalize the packaging with small stickers and ribbons.

Last tips:

- When ordering candy, be sure to place your order well in advance so that you have time to stage the buffet at home before the party and order more candy if necessary.

- Need inspiration? Check out these gorgeous candy buffets by NYC’s event planning guru, Amy Atlas.

Top photos by Amy Atlas

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in Candy, Candy Tips, Chocolate, Nostalgic/Retro, Novelty, Soft

16 Mar

Albanese Separates the Men from the Guys 0

Set ‘em up and knock ‘em back—that’s how you deal with Army Men. I wish the same could be said of Albanese’s Army Guys.

Guys, dudes, bros—you know who I’m talking about. Your brother could very well be a guy and that guy down the hall that listens to G. Love & Special Sauce? It’s conceivable that he too is a guy. You might even be a guy. While many guys prefer hanging out, chilling, maxing, kicking back, tuneskies, the phrase “beer me,” and plastic thong sandals to MREs and the constant threat of annihilation, several have adapted successfully to life in the Armed Services. Due to a perceived dominance of and ubiquity within the paradigm, market-driven approaches to the portrayal of military institutions in film, television and popular music tend to represent men  as the sole participants in warfare, thus (advertently and inadvertently) advancing  a  by-men for-men socio-historical narrative as narrow in scope as it is epistemologically irresponsible. While I applaud Albanese (USA “World’s Best”) for attempting to redress these unfortunate circumstances by naming its Gummi  jarheads “Army Guys,” I’m disappointed in the product from the standpoint of a confectionery appraiser.

Some stock guy, just trying to enjoy himself.

My eagerness to mete justice by recognizing the contribution of army guys to the course of history was blanched from the moment I opened the bag. As I bent to smell the guys, I was disappointed that instead of stale cereal and patchouli or whatever, the distinct aroma of gluey porch treatment hit my nostrils like some kind of tough man. Guys don’t smell like a classroom of kindergarteners scribbling away with permanent markers– men do! The iniquities didn’t stop there. Biting into the guys (who were supposed to taste like green apple), my mouth was offended by both their flavor and texture. We all know that guys can be a little sloppy when it comes to personal appearance and hygiene, but these guys were ridiculous. These guys tasted like uncooked egg-whites that had been sprayed with that bitter apple pet deterrent stuff that some guys use on their dogs and were approximately the consistency of old gak some guy has had lying around under his couch since 1994. Perhaps this sounds harsh. As a guy, I’m capable of exaggeration, but guys, trust me.

We appreciate the effort guys, but seriously, you’re giving guys a bad rap.

Hey, guy, here’s the link.

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in Candy, Candy Tips, Novelty, Reviews

12 Mar

Time has Come for Revenge of the NERDS! 0

Though time has passed for Valentine’s Day, and that’s the NERD variety I sampled (read: wolfed down within a minute of having opened the package) for today’s review. Sorry for being out of the loop, but when you review candies for a living you tend to work at the whim of whatever you’ve got lying around.

I mean, I got this, but srsly.

First, let me say that I’m a little cheesed at Wonka for not incorporating the brilliant “twin-chamber” gimmick into their mini-boxes. It’s amazing how a tiny strip of chipboard separating varieties of these charming, carnauba wax coated candies can turn us into slavering Captain K’nuckleses, but then we all know what savagery lurks in the hearts of men. Lucky for NERDS, they got it together when it comes to taste, so I’m willing to forgive them this pint-sized oversight.

This wittle. Are the animal pictures working for you guys?

“NERDS Valentine” is comprised of two flavors; the straightforwardly titled strawberry and the mysterious, possibly injurious “punch.” The former is, predictably, pink very sweet and slightly creamy while the latter is white, tangy and a bit like the Juicy Juice flavor that at least has the decency to specify that it’s “fruit punch.” Separately they’re satisfying, and together they’re even better, weirdly (but not unpleasantly) tasting almost like cilantro at times. Since I’m incredibly impatient with food I tend to crunch anything I’m eating to oblivion. In the case of NERDS, crunching is a necessity, but be warned, you will cough.

Happy Hearts and Pink Things!

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in Candy, Candy Tips, Reviews