Posts Tagged ‘Sweets & Snacks Expo’

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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Have you ever known someone for a while, and later discovered one of their secret talents? Like, learning that a coworker sews amazing mens’ suits at night, or finding out that your retired neighbor happens to be a pool shark and travels to Vegas to compete. I love when this kind of stuff unfolds.

Last week at the Sweets & Snacks EXPO in Chicago, I came across a “Candy Never Goes Out of Style” exhibit. It was a display of couture dresses, jewelry, high-heeled pumps, and a Louis XVI chair all made out of candy wrappers and individual pieces of candy.

Exhibit A:


Turns out the dresses and accessories were created by Terese McDonald, owner of Candyality candy shops in Chicago, along with several of her staff members, siblings, and sister-in-law. The Louis XVI “sweet seat” was made by Beth Kimmerle, candy historian and author. Both Terese and Beth are friends of Candy.com, and neither came clean with their hidden talents until last week.

Terese says the “Skittles Riddles” dress (above) took her employee, Ashley Reinsmith, about 15 hours to make. (Skittles Riddles got lots of buzz at the Sweets & Snacks EXPO, winning the NCA’s Most Innovative New Product Award in the non-chocolate category.)

The matching Skittles Riddles high heels scream “Katy Perry!” …


Exhibit B:

According to Terese, the Jelly Belly Wedding Dress took the most amount of time to design and bring to life … about 50 hours. (That may have topped the time it took Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen to create Kate Middleton’s wedding dress!) The bodice and boning accents were made with Vanilla Jelly Belly jelly beans.

Terese says two of her team members worked diligently on the Jelly Belly dress in the middle of her new Water Tower Chicago store location, while customers watched the progress.


Exhibit C:

The vibrant Wm. Wrigley Jr. 5 Gum Dress was made by Terese’s sister-in-law. Terese comes from a family of seven children and says all of her siblings and her sister-in-law have creative and artistic backgrounds. The talent pool runs deep! Terese says she and two of her sisters caught the fashion design bug two years ago when they collaborated on their first candy wrapper dress.

“We constantly study all of the current fashion trends and fashionable people, and make an inspiration board to get us going. Each dress is different as it expresses the vision of the artist,” says Terese.


Exhibit D:

Inspiration by J.Lo? This M&M’s Dress features a boho chic hat and rows and rows of wrappers cut like petals.


Exhibit E:


The summery tangerine dress made with Goetze’s Classic Vanilla Cow Tale wrappers took Terese and her crew about 36 hours to craft. The neckline features unwrapped Goetze’s Caramel Creams. (Yum!)

When asked about what happens with all the candy that gets unwrapped, Terese says, “Most companies donate the wrappers for our dresses, but from time to time, we do end up with vats of unwrapped candy. We recycle that candy because we do so many art projects in our stores. We don’t like to throw anything away.”


Exhibit F:

Beth Kimmerle’s antique Louis XVI chair was covered in retro candies like Tootsie Rolls, red licorice wheels, candy dots, Necco Wafers, and Pez. It was, by far, the sweetest seat in the house.

To learn more about the dresses and accessories that debuted on the Sweets & Snacks Expo runway, as well as Candyality’s upcoming candy fashion events, click here.

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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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A wee bit tired tonight, but I wanted to share three under-the-radar products I found on the Sweets & Snacks Show floor today. Here goes:

Beef Jerky Milk Chocolate Bars
Wild Ophelia, Booth 600

I saw a rustic booth today with beautifully packaged chocolates, and it stopped me in my tracks. Turns out it’s Katrina Markoff’s (Vosges Haut-Chocolat) new venture, Wild Ophelia.

Katrina was at the booth and said she got the space at the 11th hour to present her new line of  Southern-style chocolate bars, which are smaller than traditional Vosges bars (1 oz. vs. 3 oz.), and more moderately priced. Katrina casually mentioned that she was thrilled about getting her first truck stop order at the show.

The Wild Ophelia line includes five bars, Beef Jerky, Southern Hibiscus Peach, Hickory Smoked Almond, New Orleans Chili, and Sweet Cherry Pecan. Sarah Solomon, co-owner of the new and swank Sweet Spot candy shop in Glen Ellen, Va., (love her!) and I compared notes this afternoon, and we both agreed that the Wild Ophelia Beef Jerky milk chocolate bar has a chance at giving the wildly popular Vosges Mo’s Bacon bar a run for its money.

Whistle Pops
Webb Candy, Booth 976
I saw the prototype for Webb Candy’s Whistle Pops about a year and a half ago at the ECRM event in Dallas, and they’re now officially available. The completely edible candy whistle looks like a thick Lifesaver, but tastes more like a SweeTart … heavy on the sweet. It’s not the same Whistle Pop from the olden days, but it gets the job done.

Whistle Pops come blister packed with some eye-catching graphics.

Dubble Bubble Big Bar
Concord Confections, Booth 2000

As soon as I laid eyes on Concord Confection’s new Dubble Bubble Big Bar, I thought of Bub’s Daddy Bubble gum from the olden days.

Concord’s 3.5-ounce Dubble Bubble Big Bar is about 10 inches long and scored to create single pull-off pieces.

Its shape and packaging is quite a bit more advanced than the tubular Bub’s Daddy bubble gum, but I have a hunch this bubbly newcomer will create the same amount of old-fashioned fun.

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