Archive for the ‘Marshmallow’ Category

Day one at the 2011 Sweets & Snacks EXPO, and the show floor reflected the state of the confectionery industry—still booming.

According to the National Confectioners Association, the confectionery industry posted a 3.6% gain in 2010, and in the 52 weeks ending April 17, 2011, the highest performing major confectionery segments based on unit sales were:

Single Chocolate Bars +8.5%
Seasonal Christmas Chocolate +7.2%
Snack Size Chocolate Bars +6.4%
Hard Candy Pkg/Rolls +4.4%
Chewy Candy +3.6%
Licorice +3.6%
Sugarless Gum +2.2%

Source: SymphonyIRI Group

All of these categories were well-represented on the show floor today. Here are a few that winked at me:

Candy Corn Jelly Beans and Mint Chocolate Dips
Jelly Belly, Booth 831

It was just a matter of time before Jelly Belly would take cues from its classic Candy Corn and create a Candy Corn-flavored jelly bean. Officially available in June, Jelly Belly’s Candy Corn jelly beans have a buttery taste with a hint of vanilla. The new beans will be available year round and come in 10-pound bulk cases and 9-ounce packages.

Also new from Jelly Belly are Mint Chocolate Dips. The Mint Chocolate Dips are a new flavor in Jelly Belly’s chocolate-dipped jelly bean collection. These beans are good, too! What I didn’t realize until today is that Jelly Belly chocolate-dipped beans don’t have the typical jelly bean sugar shell; the chocolate layer is the shell.  I also learned from Jelly Belly’s director of communications, Tomi Holt, that the Chocolate Dips are slightly less caloric than regular Jelly Belly jelly beans (3.7 vs. 4 calories per bean). While writing this post, I polished off two mini bags of Very Cherry Dips and don’t feel one bit guilty.

Hard Candy Shot Glasses
Melville Candy Company, Booth 2002
Gummy shot glasses created some good buzz last year. This year, it’s hard candy shot glasses.

The family-owned Melville Candy Company has created seasonal and everyday sets of hard candy shot glasses. I like the swirled variety above—perfect for when “Bridesmaids” and “Hangover 2” come out on DVD. Also new from Melville are lava lamp-shaped lollipops. I took a photo of these today, but since I am a rotten photographer, I’ll leave them up to your imagination. Based on buyer reaction in Melville’s booth, I will say that candy shot glasses and lava lamp pops have serious legs.

Chocolate Krispy Treats
Forbidden Sweets, Booth 2463

This booth was mobbed today. And, I know why. The company’s “Chocolate Krispy Treats” on a stick are creative, adorable, and come in zillions of designs, shapes, and colors. They taste good, too, and have a six-month shelf life.

One of the Forbidden Sweets‘ owners told me that the Peanuts Gallery collection (above, left), was created for and is carried by Hallmark stores. Take a look at the crisped food collection (above right) all on sticks. Love the mushroom and pickle.

Each treat is packed on a sturdy sucker stick in a clear cello bag and measures about 4 inches in diameter. The treats ship 8 per case.

Sugar-Free Glee
Verve, inc., Booth 1456

It’s happened. Verve, inc., the makers of Glee Gum, ventured into sugar-free and now have two products in the category: Lemon Lime and Refresh Mint gum.

Both products are sweetened with 100% xylitol, a sugar alcohol extracted from birch tree bark.

Sugar-Free Glee, like the rest of the Glee Gum line, is all-natural and made without artificial coloring, flavoring, sweeteners or preservatives.

The chewy texture comes from chicle, a tree sap harvested sustainably to help conserve the rainforest. Sugar-Free Glee is also gluten-free, soy-free, corn-free, and GMO-free. Packaged in recycled cardboard rather than blister packs, each box contains 15 pieces of gum.

Chocolate Squares for Zzzz’s
Slumberland Snacks, Booth 1876
The Upstate Dream Institute in Ithaca, NY, came to the Sweets & Snacks EXPO with “Slumberland Snacks Chocolatey Sleep Squares: The bedtime delight that helps you sleep through the night.”

I kid you not. (Full disclosure, I have yet to try these nighty-night squares for fear of nodding off in the middle of the trade show floor, but they are intriguing. Additional disclosure: Sleep Squares actually launched at the 2010 Natural Products Expo East Show in Boston, but they’re new to me, so I’m plopping them in this post.)

According to Slumberland Snack’s Web site, the sleep mechanisms in these squares are “Traditional herbs: Blue Vervain, Passionflower Extract, L-Theanine, Hops Extract Brain Fuels: L-5-HTP, Choline L-Bitartate, and Melatonin.”

If I have the guts to try these tomorrow—day 2 of the show—I’ll let you know how I fare. ?The product is currently available in two sizes: a 7 count (one week’s supply) and a 30 count (one month’s supply), and comes in three flavors: Original, Raspberry, and Orange.

Zanies Marshmallow Candy
Spangler Candy Company, Booth 1937

This Christmas, the Spangler Candy Company is introducing its newest marshmallow product, Zanies Wacky Marshmallow Candy. The packaging is vibrant and fun, and I think kids will dig it. Mine did when I showed them the image.

Zanies feature four Christmas-shaped marshmallow characters; Oliver Orange – an ornament, Gretchen Grape – a Christmas star, Sarah Strawberry – a stocking, and Adam Apple – a Christmas tree. Ideal for stockings and secret Santa gifts, kids can collect all four character ornament cut-outs featured on the back of each display carton.

Each 2.5-ounce pack contains 10 Zanies marshmallows.

DeliciousStumbleUponFacebookTwitter
Read more

Chicago was hopping yesterday. The Cubs, Blackhawks, and Just Born’s Peepster mobile were all in town.


Terese McDonald, the lovely and fun owner of Candyality, gave me a heads up that the Peepster and the Cub’s star pitcher, Ryan Dempster, would both be at her Wrigleyville candy shop. (Click here to track the Peepster’s next stops.)

Candyality shop owner Terese McDonald with her husband, Matt.

What a great day! As if on cue, the Peepster, with its big yellow Peep perched on its roof, pulled up to Candyality right after we parked the Gillerlain Mobile. The Peeps crew immediately started handing out Just Born’s new Peepster chocolates (thumbs up) and hats to a happy crowd.

My not-so-shy son walked up to “Peeps” the mascot, and asked the yellow fellow what he ate for dinner. I was curious to hear the response, but Peeps’ handler kindly told my son that Peeps didn’t make a peep. (If Peeps could talk, I bet he would have said blue Peeps.)

Shortly after, Ryan Dempster arrived in a cab straight from his game against the Pirates and signed mini bins filled with red, white, and blue “Cubbie Gummi Bears.” Sales of the candies benefited the Ryan and Jenny Dempster Family Foundation, which is dedicated to raising awareness and supporting families affected by 22q11.2—a chromosomal disorder that Ryan and his wife Jenny’s daughter Riley was born with. (Riley came to the shop, too, and is adorable.)

After we got a chance to meet Ryan (really nice guy), my not-so-shy son was back at it with the questions. He asked the Cubbie which team gives him the biggest pitching challenge. Without any hesitation, Ryan replied, “the Atlanta Braves.”

That's me on the left with my daughter, son, husband, and the Cubbies' Ryan Dempster in the middle.

With that, we wondered up the street to grab pizza at D’Agostino’s, the local restaurant that just landed the pizza contract at Wrigley Field (love that!), and popped back into the Gillerlain Mobile to head home.

Great day! Thank you Terese, Ryan, and Peeps road crew.

DeliciousStumbleUponFacebookTwitter
Read more

Taste

Aroma

Appearance

Price


Overall Impression:

in Candy, Just Born, Inc., Marshmallow, News, Peeps

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

DeliciousStumbleUponFacebookTwitter
Read more

Taste

Aroma

Appearance

Price


If you have ever eaten a chocolate that’s shaped and wrapped in foil to resemble a ladybug, football, sneaker, coin, pansy, turkey, Christmas present, miniature Santa, poker chip, or globe, it’s a good chance it came from the Madelaine Chocolate Company.

Since 1949 when brothers-in-law Henry Kaye and Jack Gold founded the chocolate company in a compact loft in New York City, it has specialized in foil-wrapped chocolates—particularly seasonal items like Easter eggs and miniature Santas.

Earlier this week, I had a chance to chat with Henry Kaye’s granddaughter, Estee Farber, who entered the family business seven years ago and is now the company’s marketing director.

For the record, it took no arm twisting for Estee to come to work in the family chocolate factory, which is now located in Rockaway Beach, NY. “I think I always knew I would like to work in the business,” she says. (Um, hello, Willy Wonka dream come true.)

Now here’s an interesting fact that I really should put in a sidebar, but I’m plunking it right here instead: The Madelaine Chocolate Company is named after Madeleine Carroll, a beautiful British actress who starred in a few Alfred Hitchcock movies. According to Estee, her grandfather had a crush on Miss Carroll back in the day. He and his brother-in-law also thought her first name had a nice ring to it, so they made it the company name with a slightly different spelling, Madelaine vs. Madeleine. (I wonder if the starlet ever knew she had a chocolate company named after her?)

At any rate, The Madelaine Chocolate Company got its start with tiny foiled chocolate eggs made with Peter’s Chocolate. Madelaine’s still uses Peter’s Chocolate, a brand now owned by Cargill, Incorporated.

The beautiful foils used to wrap the chocolates were originally found in Italy and still come from Italy. (Look directly below at photo of Madelaine’s assembly line workers back in the 1950s looking awfully lovingly at bunnies about to get “foiled.”)


According to Estee, the company’s most popular “everyday” items coming off the line today are celebratory chocolate cigars in gold, pink, and blue foils. (My husband, proud as a little peacock, gave these out when our two kids were born.) In the Christmas category, Estee says the foiled miniatures (Santas, presents, balls, and snowmen) are perennial favorites. The minis also happen to be the company’s best-selling items overall.

This Easter, the company is rolling out new Dueggs, which are egg-shaped, double-filled milk chocolate truffles. (One of the Dueggs truffle varieties is half filled with marshmallow, the other half caramel. Double yum!)

Double-filled Duegs Truffle

The Dueggs are a spin-off of Madelaine’s Duets double-filled truffles, which launched in March 2010 and won the NCSA’s best new product award.

Double-filled Duets Truffle

Estee says her family’s chocolate company is also working on expanding its seasonal line of Duets for Holiday 2012 with new flavor combinations and holiday-themed packaging. (Just in case Estee is reading this, I vote for a peppermint-milk truffle flavor combination.)

Below is a snapshot of some really cool items from the Madelaine Chocolate Company’s Holiday 2010 Collection: (Click on each image for more product information. Click here for all Madelaine products available at Candy.com.)

Christmas Tree Tower Keepsake

Penguin Giftable (really cute!)

Santa With Presents Gift Box

Miniature Santas Gift Bag (great hostess gift)

DeliciousStumbleUponFacebookTwitter
Read more

Taste

Aroma

Appearance

Price