Archive for the ‘Novelty’ Category

25 Apr

Sizzling Hot! Candy Bacon Lollipops 0

Bacon Candy PopsSizzling bacon isn’t just for eggs or burgers anymore. Nope.

Bacon’s now being snuck into chocolate bars, cupcakes, ice cream (Burger King just launched a Bacon Sundae) … and now lollipops.

The Melville Candy Company has a new line of translucent Candy Bacon Lollipops shaped like crispy strips of bacon and infused with bacon bits.

These sweet and savory slices of yum are made in the USA (Weymouth, Mass., to be exact), and come in three flavors: Maple, Honey, and BBQ.

How perfect would these amber piggly wiggly candy pops be at a BBQ or wrapped up with a bow for Father’s Day?

Hog heaven!

p.s. Everything’s 10% off at Candy.com now through Sun., April 22, including Bacon Pops! Just use webcode CandySave10 at checkout.

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Now that the 2011 Sweets & Snacks EXPO has come in for a landing, and I’ve had a chance to sift through my notes scribbles, candy samples, and manufacturer marketing materials, I have a few more confectionery wunderkinds that need to be shared.

Anne Taintor and Knock Knock Chocolate Bars
The PRAIM Group

Paul Pruett, founder of the PRAIM Group, is known for producing clever chocolate bar products (Bloomsberry USA, Bubble Chocolate, and Bosco).  His latest venture is the creation and distribution of 3.5-ounce all-natural milk and dark chocolate bars for the individual brands Anne Taintor, Inc. and Knock Knock.

I’ve been a fan of Anne Taintor’s vintage/irreverent accessories for a number of years and I came to know Knock Knock stationery and accessories a few months ago while holiday shopping. I fell in love with Knock Knock’s “WTF” self-inking stamp and post-it notes.

Here’s a peek at both brands’ designs, now appearing on chocolate bar wrappers (you might recognize the artwork):

My favorite chocolate bar in the lineup is the “99 Ways to Survive the Holidays.” I may gift a few of these to myself this holiday season and follow suggestion No. 69, “Up the dosage.”

According to Amy Goldsmith, a spokesperson for the PRAIM Group, the bars are shipping to retail stores as of today, so look for them on Candy.com shortly.

Dippin’ Ice Cream Candy and Flix Mix
Imaginings 3, Inc. (Flix Candy brand)

When I stepped into the Imaginings 3/Flix Candy booth and saw signage for the company’s new Dippin’ Ice Cream Candy, I was skeptical. My kids have tapped my wallet multiple times for the expensive Dippin’ Dots ice cream pellets at baseball games, so seeing the brand in a candy format didn’t make me jump for joy. Plus, if I was going to pick an ice cream brand to morph into a candy, I’d lean toward Ben & Jerry’s.

Even so, I plunged ahead with a sample of the Cookies ‘n Cream Dippin’ Ice Cream candy (it’s also available in Banana Split). The product, which is made in the USA and available in a 2.6-ounce theater box and 1.6-ounce pouch, is a blend of tiny cookie bits and equally tiny cream bits—think Oreo cookie and its creamy white middle cut into teeny-tiny round dots. The Banana Split variety is blend of chocolate, banana, strawberry, and vanilla cream bits.

Bottom line, the Cookies ‘n Cream Dippin’ Ice Cream candy was quite a bit better than I expected. The cookie bits had a surprisingly good crunch and the creamy bits weren’t sticky or too stiff. I would sneak them into the movies.

Also sneak-in worthy is Flix Candy’s Flix Mix, a combination of crisp rice cereal coated with real milk chocolate and peanut butter, then dusted with powdered sugar. Flix Mix tastes remarkably like the no-bake Chex Muddy Buddies (also known as “Puppy Chow”) that infiltrates most offices and cookbooks during the holidays. If you are a sweet cereal mixer, you won’t be disappointed.

Flix Mix is available in a 2.2-ounce theater box and 4.5-ounce peg bag.

Shimmer Gumballs
SweetWorks (Oak Leaf Brand)

SweetWorks‘ new Shimmer Gumballs were one of the prettiest candies at last week’s Sweets & Snacks EXPO.

Julie Davidson, the company’s eastern regional sales manager, created a beautiful candy buffet table in the middle of the SweetWorks booth that showed off the pearly round gems (see pics below).

I could see these shimmering gumballs strung into garland or necklaces for parties … or displayed in apothecary jars at Tiffany’s. They are that glam.



SweetWorks’  Shimmer Gumballs are available in bulk in lime green (my favorite!), bright pink, lavender, powder blue, yellow, orange, and white. Starting in July, the gumballs will also be available in 8-ounce bags as part of SweetWorks’ new Celebration line.

The single-color Shimmer Gumball colors match SweetWorks’ line of single-color Pearl Sixlets. (See “Sixlets” jar in photo above.) Custom colors are available upon request.

Dorval Premium Collection Chocolate Sticks
Dorval Trading Co., Ltd.

Dorval Trading Co. now has its own line of all-natural chocolate sticks, which replaces the importing company’s Rademaker chocolate sticks from Holland. The new Dorval Premium Collection Chocolate Sticks are made with real chocolate and are packaged in 2.64-ounce boxes fit for gifting.

Of the four varieties in this line (Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Mint Dark Chocolate, and Caramel Milk Chocolate), the Caramel Milk Chocolate sticks are the most interesting. They  aren’t filled with caramel, but rather the flavor is infused in the chocolate.

Normally, I’m not into flavor infusions when it comes to chocolate—give me the straight dope—but the caramel flavoring in these solid sticks isn’t overpowering or cloying. The chocolate is good quality, and reminds me of Guittard’s smooth milk chocolate. Perhaps it is.

The Dorval Premium Collection Chocolate Sticks are scheduled to ship July/August 2011.

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If you watched National Lampoon’s Animal House with a keen eye, you may recall the film’s Dean Wormer reading a list of pranks committed by members of the Delta House fraternity. One of those pranks was dumping a truckload of Fizzies® into a swimming pool during a swim meet. (That is pretty clever.)

I vaguely recall getting a packet of Fizzies in my grammar school days and tapping a candy tablet on my tongue before dropping it into a glass of water to get the little fizzle blast. My kids have never tried this trick—or Fizzies—so I’m feeling a bit neglectful.

Luckily, the Fizzies brand is still going strong in 2011. In fact, it’s back with all new packaging that includes the original Fizzies logo from 1957, and a starring role in one of Food Network’s “Unwrapped” episodes (see video below). As a nudge to try (or re-try) Fizzies, all flavors are 10% off at Candy.com during the month of April.

Chris Briggs, the national accounts manager at Amerilab Technologies, Inc., the manufacturer of Fizzies, gave me some inside scoop on the company’s only confectionery brand. (Amerilab is a leading effervescent contract manufacturer.)

Chris says Root Beer is the top-selling Fizzies flavor and it’s also one of the original flavors. The flavor lineup today includes Root Beer, Cherry, Orange, Lemonade, and Blue Razz. All five varieties are sugar-free, enriched with Vitamin C, and come 12 tablets to a pack.

In the mid-1970s, while I was busy watching “Bewitched” and “ZOOM,” Fizzies was owned by the Warner-Lambert Pharmaceutical Company, and was sold unsweetened with the instructions calling for the addition of “one tablespoon of sugar and ice.”

Nowadays, Fizzies is sweetened with sucralose (a.k.a. Splenda), and each tablet creates a 5-calorie drink. Chris suggests plopping Fizzies into carbonated beverages like Coke and 7UP to create your own version of Cherry Coke, Mountain Dew, or Orange Crush. Even better, he says, adult consumers can pop a Lemonade Fizzies into club soda on the rocks with a splash of Vodka, and finish it off with a twist of lime. Hello summer!

Chris also lobs out the idea of crushing Fizzies tablets and sprinkling the powder on ice cream or cupcakes. “If done correctly, you can get a bit of a zing. An unexpected flavor,” he explains. “The challenge is that moisture instantly begins the effervescing process.”

So, the trick for using Fizzies as a topping is to sprinkle it on fast and serve even faster. What kid wouldn’t love a good fizz with ice cream, cake … or Cheerios?

New Fizzies Tablets for Hot Beverages
This summer, the Fizzies brand will be expanding with two new hot products: Fizzies Hot Apple Cider and Hot Cocoa. Both will be debuting at the Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago.

Hot Apple Cider and Hot Cocoa are seasonal and limited editions to the Fizzies brand. These effervescent tablets (8 tablets to a pack) are designed to dissolve quickly in warmed milk (Hot Cocoa) and hot water (Hot Apple Cider). “The warmer the liquid, the faster the effervescent tablets dissolve,” says Chris.

To avoid messy powder packets in my own home, I’ll be giving these a whirl.

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The Jelly Belly Candy Company‘s Chairman of the Board Herman Goelitz Rowland, Sr., and his daughter/Executive Vice Chairman Lisa Rowland Brasher open up to Candy.com about working in a multigeneration family business that goes back to 1869, their business challenges, and favorite beans.

Herman Goelitz Rowland and Lisa Rowland Jelly Belly

Lisa Rowland Brasher and Herman Goelitz Rowland, Sr.

Candy.com: Herm, when your children and grandchildren were young, did you ever think they’d be working at the Jelly Belly Candy Company?

HGR: It wasn’t mandatory for any of my family to join the business, but it’s been great there is interest. We have 10 of us now working in the business. I just want them to be happy in what they do.

Candy.com: Lisa, as executive vice chairman, you’re apprenticing to prepare for leading the company into the next generation of candy making. How do you feel about that next big step?

LRB: It is quite an honor for me to be in this position. Succession planning is very important to every company and we are a family business that currently employs family members from the 4th, 5th, and 6th generation of our candy-making family. Is that cool or what?! We all work in many different areas of the business and that gives us a good finger on the pulse of the company. I am also surrounded by an awesome team of Jelly Belly employees who are very capable and respected in their areas of expertise, which makes my job that much easier.

Herman Goelitz Rowland, Lisa Rowland Brasher, Trevor Brasher Jelly Belly

Three generations of Jelly Belly candy makers: Herm, his daughter Lisa, and Lisa's son Trevor.

Candy.com: What’s it like to not only work with your closest family members, but also ultimately oversee their work?

LRB: Fortunately, we all get along really well. I am sure that there will be times of difficulty, just as there are in any work relationships, but we all seem to communicate well with each other. The expectation for every generation of family members has been that we exceed expectations as an employee. I know my kids feel that I am harder on them than I am on others. That is probably true, but, as I learned as a youngster, many eyes are on us and what we do. We need to set a good example. I also think that being up front and honest with thoughts and feelings is invaluable. A small note hanging on my wall reminds me that the same letters are in the word “Silent” and the word “Listen.” Most of us in our family don’t have a problem speaking our mind, so I want to always keep that in the forefront of my mind. Be quiet, listen, and then talk!

Candy.com: Lisa, did you know early on that you wanted to be a part of the family candy business?

LRB: As youngsters, we did not visit the candy factory often. My dad worked long days that weren’t conducive to having two little girls running around the factory.  But later on, my sister and I occasionally went to the factory with my dad on a weekend or a holiday—and I was totally sold! The smells (yum) of the powdery mist of sugar floating in the air, the sweet smell of milk chocolate, the sight of trays stacked high with candy corn, mellocreme choppers, or chocolate pokies lured me in.

Candy.com: Herm, if you weren’t running the Jelly Belly Candy Company, what would you want to do?

HGR: Design new equipment, probably for the candy industry. Equipment is my first love. Or grow something on a farm and drive a tractor.

Candy.com: What’s your biggest business challenge at the moment?

LRB: I think that our biggest challenge at the moment is similar to the challenges that many companies face nationwide: How can we be the best that we can be with our employees, consumers, vendors, and retailers; continue to produce excellent quality confections and provide superior customer service while keeping our costs contained so that we can be competitive in the market in an economy that all costs are skyrocketing!

Jelly Belly Beans
Candy.com: What’s your most favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor … and least favorite?

HGR: Peach has always been at the top of my list. Can’t think of any I don’t like.

LRB: Currently my favorite flavors are #1 – Red Apple, #2 – Plum, and #3 – Juicy Pear. (Juicy Pear used to be my #1 flavor until Red Apple and Plum were released.) My fourth favorite flavor is Chili Mango. It’s funny because I really don’t like spicy tastes and I can live without mango, too, but I LOVE this flavor. Just the right amount of sweet and spicy. My least favorite bean flavor is cantaloupe. I am also not a fan of Licorice. Funny because it is our #3 flavor in the lineup!

Candy.com: Have you or any of your family members ever submitted a Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor that either got used or shot down?

LRB: Yes, in 1995 we came out with Red Licorice, which I love and had always wanted us to produce. The problem here was that there are two very distinct tastes for Red Licorice.  Unfortunately for me, our team made the taste that is not my favorite brand of red licorice and the rest of the country agreed. Due to less-than-stellar sales, it was discontinued shortly thereafter.

Jelly Belly Peas & Carrots MellocremesCandy.com: I heard that your new Peas & Carrots Mellocremes were a hit at this year’s Winter Fancy Food Show. Why do you think show-goers went nuts over the sweet side dish?

LRB: The retro look is a hot trend right now and our fun can of Peas and Carrots fits the bill perfectly.  They are realistic looking and cute too! Mellocreme flavors of Green Apple and Orange Sherbet put a fun twist on traditional yummy mellocreme candies. Eating your veggies never tasted so good!

Candy.com: Any other new products or Jelly Belly Jelly Bean flavors you’ll be launching at the Sweets & Snacks EXPO this May?
LRB: Jelly Belly is known worldwide for its product innovation and the exciting new confections coming out at the next Sweets & Snacks EXPO this May will not disappoint!  But, we have to keep some surprises for the show.

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