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SweetsandSnacks2013

The 2013 Sweets & Snacks Expo wrapped up last week in Chicago, and, as usual, it delivered on showcasing new and innovative products.

Here are some of our favorite finds from the show floor:

Reed’s and Regal Crown Candy Rolls
Old-fashioned Regal Crown sour fruit hard candy rolls, which originated from England’s Trebor Bassett in 1953, and Reed’s hard candy rolls, which debuted in 1893 via The Reed’s Candy Company, both fell off candy radar, but are now back! You can thank the New York-based Iconic Candy company for their revival. Each brand has kept its vintage graphics and stayed true to original flavors.

Reeds Candy Rolls

 

The re-released line of Reed’s Candy Rolls includes individually wrapped Cinnamon, Butter Scotch, Root Beer, and Caramel flavors, and the Regal Crown line includes individually wrapped Sour Orange, Sour Lemon, Sour Cherry, and Sour Grape flavors.

RegalCrownCandy

 

BarNone
The Iconic Candy company has also revived the retired BarNone candy bar made with crispy chocolate wafers, chocolate cream, crushed peanuts, and a double layering of milk chocolate. The packaging on the BarNone is true to the original, minus the Hershey’s logo. A BarNone Jr. bar, weighing in at 0.8 oz. (half the size of the regular BarNone), will also soon be available.

BarNone Candy Bar

Ring Pop Gummies
It was only a matter of time before Bazooka Candy Brand went gummy with its Ring Pops. The chewy and 100% wearable bling comes in four colors and flavors, including Strawberry (pink), Cherry (red), Watermelon (green), and Blue Raspberry (blue). Ring Pop Gummies

Lemonhead Tins
Limited Edition 1.5-oz. Lemonhead Tins celebrate 50 years of Pucker Power. “At a time when legendary American companies are closing their doors, we are proud to honor one of Ferrara Candy Company’s longstanding brands with these commemorative tins,” says Ferrara Candy Company CEO Salvatore Ferrara II. Made with real lemon juice to give the candies their unique lemon flavor, Lemonhead candies are fat free and the tins are really cute. A fun alternative to ho-hum mint tins.

Lemonhead Tin

Coffee Thins
Although Tierra Nueva’s Coffee Thins were officially launched in August 2012, they’re still new to us and a fab find. Made from premium coffee beans, the small 0.5-oz. squares look and taste like chocolate, but are made from premium-roasted coffee beans and come in three flavors: Americano, Latte, and Espresso. Each square is approximately 60 to 70 calories, and is the equivalent of one 8-oz. cup of coffee. It’s a whole new, unique way to consume coffee and caught the attention of industry experts and candy buyers at the 2013 Sweets & Snacks Expo who voted Coffee Thins “Most Innovative New Product – Non Chocolate Category.”

Coffee Thins

Cherry Hi-Chew
Hi-Chew, the soft and chewy candy from Japanese manufacturer Morinaga, now comes in a cherry flavor. It is surprising that cherry didn’t arrive sooner in the American market, but we’re happy to see it now in the Hi-Chew lineup. The cherry chews have great texture and the flavor is really, really good. Plus they’re gluten-free, cholesterol-free, and made with real fruit juices and purees. Score!

Hi-Chew Cherry

 

Jelly Belly Jewel Collection
Jelly Belly jelly beans have gone glam with edible pearlescent coatings that add a shimmer of brilliance to each bean’s color. The gem-inspired beans come in seven of Jelly Belly’s most popular flavors: Jewel Blueberry, Jewel Bubble Gum, Jewel Sour Apple, Jewel Cream Soda, Jewel Berry Blue, Jewel Orange, and Jewel Very Cherry. The pretty beans have huge potential for weddings, princess parties, and candy buffets.

Jewel Collection Jelly Belly Beans

 

Color Your Own Sweethearts
These black-and-white Sweetheart boxes are made specifically for coloring. The new 1 oz. packs will coincide with a coloring contest that will reward the top entrants in separate age groups with cool prizes. More detailed information, including rules and regulations, will be released closer to the 2014 Valentine’s Day season at www.mynecco.com.
Color Your Sweethearts

 

A mega-trend also appeared on the show floor, which was impossible to miss: Teeny-tiny versions of popular candies. Here’s the lowdown:

• Mars debuted unwrapped Snickers and Milky Way Bites
• Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. unveiled unwrapped Starburst Minis and Life Savers Berry Bites Gummies
• Hershey’s launched unwrapped Kit Kat Minis, soft and chewy Jolly Rancher Bites, and Twizzlers Filled Fruity Bites
• Perfetti Van Melle USA launched Airheads Bites in fruit flavors
• The makers of Bonomo Turkish Taffy came out with chocolate-covered bits of banana- and vanilla-flavored taffy called “Bonomo Nibbles”
• Ferrara Candy Company debuted individually wrapped Chuckles Minis

Candy Bites

 

“Minis,” “Bites,” and “Nibbles” are undoubtedly the latest buzzwords in Candy Land, so it will be interesting to see if the pendulum swings back to “Giant” and “King-Sized” in 2014 … or if candies get even skinnier.

Stay tuned.

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Guess what?!  The original recipe for Candy Sticks with the melt-in-your mouth texture is BACK!

The same Candy Sticks you ate as kid while channeling John Wayne, Danny Zuko, or Ponyboy, are now at your fingertips.

Candy Cigarettes

So, why did the recipe change in the first place? Well, back in 2011, Brooklyn-based World Confections, the manufacturers of Candy Sticks, reconfigured the formula to use all-natural, pure cane sugar.

America revolted.

Company vice president, Drew Cohen, and his brother and business director, Scott Cohen, say they received numerous heated letters, e-mails, and calls begging for the return of the original recipe that made this confection a cult classic.

“It was nuts,” says Drew. “We were getting e-mails every day from Southern California to Northern Maine. We were literally hearing from consumers across the country.”

The brothers took all the feedback to heart, and went back to the original Candy Stick recipe that their grandfather and great uncle created back in 1952.

On April 1, 2013, the Original Recipe Candy Sticks were reborn and restocked on store shelves.

So, what’s been the reaction so far?

One customer actually held a “tasting party” at his house to celebrate the return of “Confection Perfection.” The party feedback ranged from “These are amazing” and “Oh my God, Yum” to “They taste just like I remember” and “I feel like I’m 10 again.”

Other customers thanked World Confections profusely for listening and bringing back the good stuff.

We thank World Confections for caring about its customers and giving them a taste of the past.  After all, candy is one of the greatest memories from childhood.

And, we also love happy endings.

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March Madness is just days away, which means spring wedding, baby shower, and Easter season is about to be in full bloom. The Candy.com team has been busy scouting new products for spring and there are plenty.

Here is a look at some of the headliners …

 

FLOWER POPS

Flower Pops
Blue, orange, green, white, blue, red, and assorted Flower Pop lollipops are perfect for candy buffets, weddings, parties, party favors, popping into cupcakes, creating candy bouquets, and a million other things.

Each candy flower measures approximately 1.5 inch wide  x 1.5-inch high and sits on a 7.5-inch flexible plastic stick. The pops come individually wrapped inside an 8-piece 2.5 oz. peg bag, and there are 72 pieces that ship in each order.

 

CANDY  LUNCH BOXES

Candy Lunch Boxes
Fill these candy-themed lunch boxes with respective Nerds, Dots, Tootsie Rolls, Sugar Daddy Pops, and Junior Mints, and you’ll get an A+ for creative gifting.

RAINFOREST GUMMY FROGS

Rainforest Gummi FrogsNew Rainforest Gummi Frogs are not only adorable little buggers, but they’re also gluten-free! With their shock-and-awe neon coloring, these candy frogs are great for spring parties … and placing on your coworker’s desk chair.

 

FASHIONABLE  TRUFFLE BARS

 Seattle Chocolates

If Tory Burch were to design a line of chocolates, this would be it. The fashion-forward Dark and Milk Truffle Bars from Seattle Chocolate are sublime for many reasons, including color, design, flavor, all-natural ingredients, Seattle roots, and fun factor. Who wouldn’t want to surprise Birthday Cake Batter Truffle Bar with colorful confetti pieces sprinkled throughout? Or a box of sunny yellow Milk Chocolate Truffle Bars to brighten up a dull Monday? Yum!

 

4 NEW GUMMY BEARS

 

Four New Gummy Bears

Single-color candy is all the rage for candy buffets and now there are four more color and flavor options. Gummi bears (5-pound bulk) in White Strawberry-Banana (opaque white), Black Cherry (black), Mighty Mango (yellow), and Pink Grapefruit (light pink) are ideal for adding a pop of color to any tablescape.

 

BARNYARD GUM TAPE

Barnyard Gum

What does the cow, pig, and sheep say? Bubble Gum! Pop the top on these farm animals for a whole roll of gum tape. Cute party favors for barnyard bashes and farm-themed birthday parties.

 

LINDT LOVE BUNNIES

 Lindt Gold Love Bunnies

Two classic Lindt Gold Bunnies locking lips in an Easter Basket. Three words: Adorable Easter Gift. The 3.5-oz. love nest is finished with spring green bow, so you don’t even have to wrap a thing.

 

PEEPS RAINBOW POPS

Peeps Rainbow PopsIt’s yellow, green, pink, and blue Peeps Chicks on a stick! Far better than corn dogs or deep-fried Twinkies, Peeps Rainbow Pops scream, “Put me in your Easter basket.” Our set comes in a pack of four, so everyone gets to devour the rainbow … one color at a time.

Click here to see ALL that’s new for spring at Candy.com.

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80-YEARS-LOGO-2012

So many nostalgic candies and their founding family-owned companies have come and gone—or moved on to larger corporations—but the Atkinson family and its classic Chick-O-Sticks, Peanut Butter Bars, peppermints, and coconut candies are still going strong after 80+ years.

Company president, Eric Atkinson, gave us a glimpse into his family’s rich candy history as well as juicy details on the brand new Chick-O-Stick wrapper. Read on …

Candy.com: The Atkinson Candy Company is like so many great candy companies: family-owned. How many of your family members currently work at your headquarters?

Eric Atkinson: I represent the third generation, my nephew Jeremy Jones represents our fourth generation, and my cousin, Billy Atkinson is on our board of directors. Billy is a retired accountant from Price Waterhouse who is taking our company to new levels with brand acquisitions. It’s really an exciting time for us.

 

Candy.com: I read that your company was founded by B. E. Atkinson, Sr. and Mabel C. Atkinson  in the 1930s in Lufkin, Texas. How are you related to the founders?

Eric Atkinson: They are my grandparents. I’d go fishing with my grandma down at their lake house all the time. In the morning, I’d get up and go with grand daddy out to the plant. I loved that as a kid. My grandma would wrap the candy by hand and I got to play in the sacks of peanuts. When I got older, I loaded up the trucks.

B.E. Atkinson, Sr., founder, Atkinson Candy Company
Candy.com:
What was it like growing up surrounded by candy?

Eric Atkinson: It was great. At the plant, I got to go around with a paper bag and fill it with candy to take home and eat. That’s how I learned about eating candy in moderation! Back then, we were making the same candy we make today with the same recipes: peppermints, coconut candy, Chick-O-Sticks, and Peanut Butter Bars. Those candies really represented the candies of the day. Forrest Mars and Milton Hershey were just getting into chocolate. Around 1960, my Uncle Joe, who was an engineer, developed the machine that makes our Mint Twists. It cuts our mints and puts our signature twist into them. We still use Uncle Joe’s machine today.

 

Candy.com: Can consumers visit your company factory in Lufkin, Texas?CandyKitchenLogo

Eric Atkinson: Yes! We have a store within our plant that we call the “Candy Kitchen.” It’s the same name my grand dad used for our plant. In the Candy Kitchen, customers can watch a film that gives a tour of our plant and shows how we make our candy. The Candy Kitchen is set up for customers to also purchase products.

 

Candy.com: Who came up with the name Chick-O-Stick … and is there a story behind the name?

Eric Atkinson: Originally, Chick-O-Sticks were called Chicken Bones. They look like a piece of fried chicken or chicken legs, so I guess that’s how they got their name, but I don’t know that for sure. Back in the 1950s, my Uncle Joe and our VP of sales found out that “Chicken Bones” was already a trademarked name. I believe it was the artist for our candy boxes at the time who actually came up with the name Chick-O-Stick … and it stuck.

 

Candy.com: We’ve heard change is coming to Chick-O-Stick packaging, which is set to debut in January. What can you tell us about the new wrapper?”

Eric Atkinson: We want our customers to “Embrace the Break.” It’s OK to break and share a Chick-O-Stick. So, do it … it’s fun! We give you permission. Our new wrapper includes the phrase, “Break Me, Share Me” to encourage a crack down. The film structure of the packaging is also brand new and extends the shelf life of the product. It’s made on a state-of-the-art machine from Italy. We’re really excited about it.

Chick-O-Stick Candy

 

Candy.com: OK, we have to ask. What’s your all-time favorite Atkinson candy?

Eric Atkinson: Coconut Long Boys. I prefer the Juniors.

CoconutLongBoys2

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