Posts Tagged ‘Taffy’


Summer officially kicks off on June 20, and we’re ready to party … with candy (of course)! Fresh from the Sweets & Snacks EXPO in Chicago, our candy buyer, Rita Cummings, shares 4 hot candy trends with serious staying sticking power.


1. Colored Marshmallows


The classic white marshmallows we’ve always sandwiched between two graham crackers and a Hershey’s Bar, now come in a rainbow of colors.

Single-color marshmallows (a.k.a. pure fluff ) are ideal for candy buffets because they look beautiful in a glass apothecary jar and work well with other candies. They’re also fun to roast around a campfire. What 10-year-old (or 40-something) wouldn’t want a blue, pink, green, or yellow S’more?

Shake up things up s’more by swapping out the classic Hershey Bar with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Rolos, Cookies ‘n Cream Bar, or Ghirardelli Squares. Or make Rice Krispie Treats with pink marshmallows and sprinkle on hot pink and green M&M’s. It’s summer. Have fun. Go color crazy!


2. Unique Candy Toppings for Ice Cream


Sure, hot fudge sundaes will always be cool, but a DIY ice cream sundae bar with unique toppings like Mini Gummy Bears, Petite Pastel Nonpareils, Penguin Gummies,  Mini Sugared Cupcake Gummies, Single-Color Sixlets and Pearls  … that’s hot!


3. Cherry-Flavored Candy


If you’re a cherry lover, this could be your best summer ever. Candy & Snack TODAY magazine’s May/June 2012 story, Capitalizing on Cherry Candy, details continued consumer interest in cherry-flavored candy. In the story, Jelly Belly’s John Pola, vice president of specialty sales, sums it best, “People are attracted to red. It doesn’t matter what mix you have; the reds always go first, and in many instances that red is cherry.” Amen.


4. Still Sizzling: Salt Water Taffy

Salt Water TaffyBased on soaring Salt Water Taffy sales at Candy.com and its use in candy buffets, this is one candy category that’s going to have another great summer. And, it’s not just Vanilla, Chocolate, and Strawberry taffy getting all the attention. Exotic flavors like Huckleberry, Pomegranate, and Oranges & Creme are winning at checkout with event planners, brides, and traditional consumers planning warm-weather parties. Salt Water Taffy is one of those candies that transcends age, comes in a bazillion colors and flavors, holds up in warm weather, and isn’t expensive. For party planners, this is what dreams are made of.

p.s. - Today, May 23, is National Taffy Day! Let the chew fest begin …


 


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in Candy, Marshmallow, Taffy, Trade Shows, Trends

My ridiculously cool neighbor is watching my kids this summer and asked them to come up with a “Blue Sky List.” Huh?

A Blue Sky List, I found out, is all the things you’d like to do in a summer. Doesn’t that sound divine? And 10X better than a to-do or bucket list?

So, my daughter came up with …

1. nona’s house (Nona is my neighbor’s mom and has a pool. Love Nona.)
2. bowling
3. look at Bull Dogs (Fiberglass bull dogs painted by local artists for auction at end of summer.  They’re pretty cool.)
4. ice cream
5. ride bikes
6. play outside
7. make forts
8. tag
9. movies on rainy days
10. nelson lake (A favorite spot for hikes)
11. go out for lunch
12. put put golf
13. art
14. sleep overs
15. climb trees
16. bike ride

And my son came up with …

1. hockey
2. stick and puck (More hockey. Ouch on the pocketbook.)
3. baseball
4. golf
5. football
6. tag
7. play at pool
8. jump on the tramp (Next-door neighbors have a trampoline that’s been a bit hit)
9. have a good summer
10. eating contest
11. have sleepovers
12. play minute to win it
13. mini golf
14. ride bikes
15. hang out

What’s cool about these lists is that they’re pretty similar to what I would have come up with in the late 1970s when I was 10. (I didn’t know about “Minute to Win It” or have a neighbor with a pool or trampoline, so they’ve one-upped me there.)

All this list-making got me thinking Blue Sky. Here’s what I’ve got on my summer radar:

1. Go to our local outdoor French Market
2. Jump on a train to Chicago with my kids/husband for cultural events, and drag them all to Armitage Ave. boutiques.
3. Walk to our downtown ice cream shop and library, but not in that order
4. Eat Salt Water Taffy (the more chocolate pieces the better)
5. Make S’mores over a campfire, but try out different candy bars, like Ghirardelli, Cadbury, or Ritter Sport bars (maybe even take it a step further and try out different marshmallows, like StrawMallows or chocolate-bottomed Peeps)
6. Swiming, anywhere
7. Write about candy, on my front porch

I’m a simpleton, so if I achieve at least five of these items, I’m calling Summer 2011 bombdiggity.

What’s on your Blue Sky List?

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I know it’s still August, but I already hung a fall wreath on my front door. I couldn’t help myself. My kids are back in school and I’m sniffing fall leaves from the front porch. I also just bought my daughter a pink wig for her Halloween costume, so I’ve got trick-or-treating on the brain before Target has its “Halloween Headquarters” candy aisles up and running.

Since I’m way ahead of myself (and mass retailers), I thought I’d take the opportunity to share some unique Halloween candies that you may not find locally … but you will find online.

Jack-O-Lantern Truffles If you want to go highbrow this Halloween, Lindt’s milk chocolate truffles wrapped in pumpkin-motif foils will get the attention of even the biggest Halloween candy snob.

Candy Corn Taffy Think outside of the box this Halloween by putting candy corn taffy in your candy dish instead of traditional candy corn. This might sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, but trust me, change is good. If you can’t bare the thought, try adding roasted peanuts to your candy corn. The sweet-and-salty mix is perfect for tailgating.

Pumpkin Pie Nougat Fluff How cute are these little nougats that taste like pumpkin pie? Make a colorful party favor by putting a handful of these pretty pumpkin chews at the bottom of a clear cello bag and top with a box of Dots Candy Corn.

Black Licorice Skulls Here is another Halloween bulk item that scores a 10 on the cuteness chart …

Pop Rocks Pumpkins Pop Rocks were as popular as Dum Dum Pops and Tootsie Rolls when I was a kid, but we never got them in our trick-or-treat bags. It was probably because there was an urban legend floating around that Pop Rocks exploded in your stomach if you washed them down with a soda. Now that time has proven that these candy rocks can safely be paired with a Diet Coke, they are the perfect giveaway for modern day trick-or-treaters.

Orange & Black Mint Twists If you’re gearing up for an October wedding, birthday party,  baby shower, or general Halloween bash, this minty, yet festive bulk item would look killer in a tall glass candy dish.

Halloween Licorice Pastels I am a Good & Plenty fan, so I felt it necessary to include these chewy orange, black, and yellow licorice tubes in my list of unique finds. Like the Orange & Black Mint Twists, Halloween Licorice Pastels would add zing to any candy buffet table or treat bag.

Halloween Early Birds! Save 5% on Candy.com’s Halloween Candy by using Coupon Code “early5.” Offer applies to both wholesale and retail orders. Hurry, this offer ends August 31.

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Now that candy buffets are as common as cakes and cupcakes at weddings, baby showers, birthday parties, etc., I thought I’d check in with a handful of event planners to get their tips on building the best candy buffets, pitfalls to avoid, and trends they’re noticing. I’ve got some gems:

Tracey Baxter, Aisle Do, Charlotte, N.C.

- Offer multiple containers of the same candy to control traffic and add symmetry to the buffet design. If guests can access the same candy at two locations on the buffet, they wait in line for half the time.”

- Use scoops proportional to candy sizes. To determine if guests will get the right amount with each utensil, ask yourself, “Will this scoop provide a handful of this candy?”

- Know when to stop. Variety is important but more than 15 different types of candy presents too many options for a buffet to still be functional. Extreme variety does work well, however, when using a single candy type in multiple flavors such as jelly beans, taffy, rock candy, or chocolate gems.

- If your event is not bent toward specific flavors, name your candies something related to the theme. For example, with a nautical theme, “gummy melon O’s” could become “Melon Life Preservers.”

- Use signs to let guests know what family member or friend picked the candies and/or flavors they are enjoying.

Kim Byers, The Celebration Shoppe, Columbus, Ohio

- I spend a lot of time with others in this industry and I see a lot of candy tables. Almost every single one now has saltwater taffy on it. I think it has a great deal to do with nostalgia and the ability to get it in so many colors.

- In the past five months we’ve created printable candy table/buffet tags. They’re selling like hotcakes.

  • Candy Dish Tags from The Celebration Shoppe

Heather Kuhn, Sweetest Candy Buffets, Carmel, Ind.

- We’re seeing an interest in using multiple flavors of gourmet jelly beans and including “recipes” for eating those jelly beans together.Recently, we have had people inquiring about including unique items on their buffets, such as flavored popcorn or cake bites/balls.

Terri Altergott, ?Something Borrowed, Something New Events, Uxbridge, Mass.

- Routinely, I’m asked to create a visually interesting candy buffet. In a few weeks, we’re adding lots of bling to a candy table. Envision crystals with light dancing off of them and submersible lighting at the bottom of each apothecary jar to illuminate the table.

Lia Moore, Full Circle Eventi, Clawson, Mich.

- While many containers come with lids, this often leads to broken glass and missing pieces. If you love the lids, present your display with the lids in place, but remove and store them away the moment your candy station is open.

- Consider a round table vs. a standard rectangular buffet to eliminate long lines and encourage guests to mingle around the serving station.

- Vase size is important! Use large, wide-mouth containers so guests can see what they’re getting and get at it easily. Variety in vase size and shape also keeps the eye engaged and the display interesting.

- Use thematic take-out pails or cello bags for guests to take candy home. Personalize the packaging with small stickers and ribbons.

Last tips:

- When ordering candy, be sure to place your order well in advance so that you have time to stage the buffet at home before the party and order more candy if necessary.

- Need inspiration? Check out these gorgeous candy buffets by NYC’s event planning guru, Amy Atlas.

Top photos by Amy Atlas

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in Candy, Candy Tips, Chocolate, Nostalgic/Retro, Novelty, Soft