Archive for the ‘News’ 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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Hottest Selling Candy in 2011

Did you know that Americans consume an average of 24 pounds of candy individually each year?

It doesn’t look like that number will be declining anytime soon, either – the sales numbers for some of the nation’s hottest candies are real whoppers (No snickers from the peanut gallery, now) in 2011.

Without further ado, here are the three best-selling candy products of the year:

M&M's Theater BoxM&M’s were a clear frontrunner, with $673.2 million in sales. Maybe it’s because they’re colorful, or that they don’t melt in your hand, but candy lovers can’t seem to get enough of these chocolate-filled, candy-coated little morsels. The emerging trend of the candy buffet in wedding candy lends itself to multicolored and easily poured candy like M&M’s, which may be another contributing factor to their popularity. Candy.com’s bulk candy store carries M&M’s in a virtual rainbow of colors, including mini versions that are excellent for adding delicious flair to desserts.

Reese's Peanut Butter CupReese’s Peanut Butter Cups garnered $516.5 million in sales, bringing these sweet and savory snacks into a comfortable second place. New innovations like Reese’s minis and Reese’s Sticks – a Twix-like confection with crispy wafers in the center – may have helped bolster renewed interest and sales for this fan favorite. Our online candy store carries bulk wrapped, bulk unwrapped and packaged for resale versions of the entire Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups line.

Milk Chocolate Hershey's BarThe nostalgic sweetness of the Hershey’s bar continued to entice chocoholics, pulling in a tidy $475 million in sales in 2011. With traditional bars that are just right for S’mores making, miniature assortments that are a staple of Halloween stashes and indulgent options like the Special Dark, Hershey’s is synonymous with chocolate nationwide. Grab a bar (or several pounds of them) with just a click when you shop for candy online through Candy.com!

Chew on this: In addition to chocolate, gums like Orbit, Trident, 5, Stride, Extra, and Eclipse proved to be surprising powerhouses in the candy retail market. The success of these brands are undoubtedly driven by a cultural obsession with fresh breath and white teeth, a combination that – if commercials are to be believed, anyway – helps to land jobs, an attractive partner, fame and fortune. With new flavors emerging from their respective R&D labs continually, the American passion for gum shows no sign of slowing down in 2012 and beyond. Our bulk candy store carries all of these chewing gum brands and more, so be sure to take a look when you’re ordering candy online for your home or business.

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Kristen Cumings, the artist behind some of the Jelly Belly Candy Company’s famous jelly bean art, knows her beans. In 2010, Kristen was commissioned by Jelly Belly to produce eight pieces of jelly bean art for a collection titled “Masterpieces of Jelly Belly Art.” This collection includes eight recreations of the world’s most most recognized works of  art, including Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” and Vincent van Gogh’s “The Starry Night.” The Masterpieces collection is now on display through June at the Children’s Museum of the Upstate in Greenville, S.C.

 

My kids tell everybody that we meet that I’m a jelly bean artist. I’ve always been into art. My first jelly bean portrait was of Herman Rowland [chairman of the board, Jelly Belly]. It took me about three months to complete.

A typical commissioned piece for me is 4 feet wide by 5 feet tall and includes between 12,000 and 15,000 jelly beans. I now can finish a piece in about three weeks, which is roughly 100 hours.

I sort my beans by color in compartmentalized bead boxes. I’ve dropped one of those boxes on more than one occasion and have actually paid my kids to re-sort them for me.

For pieces that Jelly Belly commissions, the company orders a 10-pound box of each color. I use about 25 to 35 colors per piece, so we have a lot of leftovers in my house. My favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean color to work with is Island Punch. I dyed my hair the same color last year. My hair is now mostly red, but two parts are purple and pink striped. The purple stripes look like Island Punch. The pink stripes are more Strawberry Daiquiri.

I work in the evenings after my regular job. I am a special education classroom assistant and I do a lot of art with the kids. They love the jelly bean projects!

My favorite jelly bean portrait so far was the one I just finished. It’s of my son. My reference image was from when he was 7 years old.

Jelly Belly jelly bean art

Kristen Cumings' portrait of her son, Malcolm, at age 7.

I was bummed when Jelly Belly got rid of Peanut Butter and Caramel Apple jelly beans. They were my go-to colors for mid-range fleshtones. I hoarded them. To get that medium value now, I put two beans together—like Honey Bean and Chili Mango. For a shadow here and there, I’ll throw in a blue or a purple bean.

My favorite Jelly Bean flavor is Sour Cherry. I really like the sours.

One of my biggest challenges is knowing when to add in that odd color to make a piece really pop. I always try to match the tones of my reference images as much as possible, but sometimes the result can look too dull. That’s when I start taking out some beans and add in a bean color to make it livelier.

Jelly Belly jelly bean art

All colors pop in this recent jelly bean portrait by Kristen Cumings. The subject is her son's best friend, Bailey.

I just started a private commission for Lola Salazar who is the owner of Lola’s Sugar Rush. It’s a cute image of her for her candy shop.  I’m really excited about it! My commissioned pieces run about $3,500 to $5,000, depending on the size of the canvas.

My best friend’s son was upset that I didn’t include Harry Potter’s lightening scar in the portrait that I created. The reference image I was given to use from Warner Bros. didn’t include it. On the under-painting that I did, though, the scar is there. You just can’t see it because the beans cover it up.

Jelly Belly jelly bean art


Photo credits: Samuel Levi Jones (top photo), Kristen Cumings (jelly bean artwork photos)

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in Bulk, Candy, Jelly Beans, Jelly Belly Candy Company, News

Hey candy connoisseurs! There’s a new TLC reality show on Monday nights at 9 p.m. cst./10 p.m. est. and it’s all about candy. For real.

The show, “Candy Queen,” stars Jackie Sorkin, founder of The Hollywood Candy Girls, and her entourage of candy stylists who frequently whip out power tools to create elaborate candy sculptures like giant trees made out of thousands of caramels and sour strips or a 6-foot spinning Alice in Wonderland teacup completely covered with candy.

The team truly is creating a new art form using candy as the medium. If you are passionate about candy, you’ll find it interesting to watch which candies are used to create the textures and colors needed for each sculpture.

Candy Queen on TLC Sculptures

Jackie, who became a mom for the second time last month (her new little boy is affectionately called “Lord Lollipop” and her 18-month old daughter has the title, “Heiress to the Candy Empire”) is already back working and filming more episodes. (Overachiever!)

She took time out to chat about what it’s like have a reality TV show, successful event planning business in Hollywood, and two tiny tots at home. Here’s the skinny:

Candy.com: How did you wind up with a reality TV series chronicling your candy adventures?

Jackie: Well … for one thing, I don’t really think to many completely “normal” people end up with their own reality shows. I think those who do often have an interesting story, a ton of passion, a quirky or bold personality, and perhaps just a little luck too. However, I usually never believe in luck! I think that having a combination of all of those things is what landed my team and I this super sweet gig on TLC!

Candy.com: How much prep time do you get before filming? Is it all really fly by the seat of your pants?

Jackie: No prep time, no fancy hair and make-up or umbrella holders, no scripts, no nothing. It’s Reality TV. We may have a couple of meetings to discuss our projects, how we’re planning on executing them, and who’s responsible for what, but that’s about it! It’s business as usual.

Candy.com: How do The Hollywood Candy Girls and your candy engineer Adam like being on camera?

Jackie: The crew has gotten used to it. You eventually get to the point where you just forget the cameras are there and we’ve got amazing producers and the best crew, so we all felt super comfortable. Like friends and family, actually. We have a ton of ridiculous fun with the entire crew! I always said, if this opportunity actually came to fruition, we had to be 100% who we are. I think phoniness  in people is so transparent and reads on or off camera. Being yourself works!

The Hollywood Candy Girls plus Adam (left photo). Jackie with her "mini-me" daughter Isabella, and super supportive husband, Chris.

Candy.com: What’s it like being a new mom, running your own business, and having it all filmed for the world to witness?

Jackie: INSANELY INSANE!! I don’t ever really think about anyone witnessing it because I just don’t have the time to think about it. I’m like every other mom out there, balancing work, family, a crazy business where most of what we do is booked last minute, and always rushed, too! Having two little ones under 2 years old is, um, a challenge, but I also love the fact that my kids will grow up so close in age and hopefully will be good friends. I try my best but the truth is, I’m just another perfectly imperfect mom and mompreneur!

Candy.com: What can you tell us about this coming Monday night’s new episode?

Jackie: It’s going to feature two of our most awesome candy creations for the show! I mean, this is candy art! The episode will feature a Super Sweet 16 where we make a super cool Katy Perry-inspired edible candy dress and accessories for the birthday girl, Taylor. The second event is this incredible and massive Mother Goose build we created for another birthday party. Humpty- Dumpty, Little Bo-Beep, and  Little Miss Muffet, along with an incredibly life-like Mother Goose! All edible, all created out of candy and truly candy insanity! We’ve also got some major drama sprinkled into the episode. Sometimes I drive the team crazy. I know my expectations are out of this world, but the truth is, when you know how talented people are, you push them, and perhaps on Monday night’s episode, I pushed too hard.

There you have it! Set your DVR and tune into TLC Monday nights at 9 p.m. cst/10 p.m. est. For a taste of the show, click here to watch Jackie and crew create a candy county fair with enormous licorice-laden ferris wheel. All in day’s work!

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