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All Candy Expo

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Candy Tease: All Candy Expo 2008 #5

imageName: Stainer Chocolate
Description: comprises one of The World’s Largest Selection of Gourmet Chocolate Bars. Our lines include unique flavors such as chili pepper, rose, world spices, green tea and jasmine, champagne, and many more. Our base chocolate includes organic, sugar-free, single origin, dark, milk, and white chocolate.
Release Date: 5/6/2008
Notes: This isn’t a new product, but their appearance at the All Candy Expo marks their move into the North American market. This Italian brand has lovely packaging and of course a huge array of flavors. I picked a couple up at Chocolate covered in San Francisco, so I’ll have some tasting notes in the coming months, hopefully as they start appearing more regularly in American stores.

Name: American Classics: Mississippi Mud Truffle, New York Cheesecake Ganache & Southern Pecan Chocolate Torte
Brand: Russell Stover
Description: Chocolate medleys inspired by some of America’s best-loved, homespun desserts.
Release Date: 5/1/2008
Notes: So far it only says that these come in little squares in single flavor packs (no mixed bags).

Name: Dan’s Chocolates
Brand: Dan’s Chocolates
Description: Dan’s Chocolates makes all natural individually wrapped chocolate bars and truffle bars by blending the finest chocolates and funky inclusions. With names like “Peppy-R-Mint,” “The Caffeinator,” and “Trail Hound,” we try not to take ourselves too seriously.
Release Date: 5/20/2008
Notes: The packaging is cute, with nice bright colors and pretty easy-to-understand but distinctive names, Dan’s is poised to at least raise some interest in the crowded premium market. No word on the retail price though.

imageName: Yummiees LOW GI Natural Fruit Flavored Jelly Candy
Brand: Allseps & Capricorn Liquorice
Description: made with Natural Colours, Natural Flavours and do not contain Cane Sugar or Artificial Sweeteners. yummiees are sweetened with a Natural LOW GI Fruit Syrup and are also low in sodium. 4 varieties - Aussie Animals, Party Mix, Snakes & Frogs
Release Date: 1/8/2008
Notes: When someone says lower GI, I think lower gastrointestinal tract, not low glycemic index. (But that’s my baggage ... too many doctor shows.)

Related Candies

  1. Friday’s San Francisco Candy Adventure
  2. Brach’s Gummi+Plus & Tropical Gummis
  3. Russell Stover Private Reserve Vanilla Bean Brulee
  4. Lindt: 60% Extra Dark Truffles

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:39 pm     All Candy ExpoCandyNew Product AnnouncementFeatured NewsComments (3)

Three Pink Bubble Gums

I know I don’t do many gum reviews, I don’t consider myself a great connoisseur of the stuff. I’m perfectly happy with good old Peppermint Chiklets. But the All Candy Expo box included about 25 packages of gum, here are three that caught my attention:

Glee Gum - Bubblegum FlavorGlee Gum Bubblegum Flavor: The natural pink coloring here is from beets and I can’t think of a more lovely way for a beet to be displayed. The little chicklets in this case are made with actual chicle, a natural sap from Manilkara trees native to the Americas. Very few gums are made with this natural base these days. Harvesting the gum from the trees is rather like tapping Maple trees for sap or Rubber trees for latex - it doesn’t harm the trees and helps to preserve forest & their inhabitants. (Though they harvest it by making huge gashes in the bark that allow the gum to ooze out for collection unlike the little metal spiked taps that they use for maple harvests, the trees are essentially unharmed.)

I’ve tried Glee before, it’s sold at the checkout at Trader Joe’s and the infectiously cute box tempts me every time. I didn’t care for orange, which seemed grainier and stuck to my fillings, but have had the peppermint a few times since then.

The crunchy sugar shell is lightly flavored, bubblegum flavor is usually fresh tasting, a little like cotton candy with a little dash of root beer. The sugary sweetness doesn’t last that long, then it’s a very mild flavor and a good soft & smooth chew.

I have had some of my amalgam fillings replaced with composite, so I’m not having the sticking problem I used to. I don’t think the bubblegum flavor is for me, probably because it’s not actually bubble gum. (See more about this all natural gum at the Glee Gum website.)

Rating: 7 out of 10

Strawberry WOWzersWOWzers Strawberry from Maxim International describes itself on the package as Explosive and Sour Powder Bubble Gum. I wasn’t really sure what it was. At first I thought it was a tube of something like Pixy Stix that you chew until it becomes gum (like a powdered Razzle).

Instead, it’s a long tube of bubble gum (strawberry flavored, in this case) about as big around as a bubble gum cigar. Inside it’s hollow and filled with a white crumbly, crunchy & grainy sour powder (a la Pixy Stix).

Strawberry WOWzersIt feels overpackaged. It’s inside a long mylar wrapper, which has a little waxed cardstock tray that wraps around three sides of the product. The version I have is 1.2 ounces but the one I teased yesterday are 3.6 ounces (and probably about three times the length). They also come in Fruit Punch, Apple & Grape.

First, the product looks, well, a little odd out of the package. Kind of like a 9 inch long extremely thin hot dog. It’s not made into individual portions, which I’d figure is about 2 inches.

The bite is soft and easy, immediately tangy and grainy. The candy sand dissolves and dissipates pretty quickly. It’s sour and certainly gets the salivary glands working, much in the way the old Quench Gum did. After that wears away with chewing it’s a rather sweet and plain strawberry bubble gum. It’s a very soft chew which takes a while before it’s appropriate for bubble blowing.

These are made in China. I don’t think they’re for me, but it’s a fun new blend of confections and might please some kids.

Rating: 5 out of 10

Hubba Bubba Glop - Watermelon & StrawberryOkay, I was kind of liberal with the “pink” part of the title. Hubba Bubba Glop Strawberry Gush is actually red when it comes out of the package. It gets pink when you chew it. It also comes in watermelon flavor.

These are already available on stores, I saw them at CVS in Hollywood earlier this week. They come in a hard plastic tube with a flip top. It seems like a bit too much packaging, though I can see a few ways to reuse the tube, which is coded 05 (polypropylene) for recycling. The outer wrap comes off, so it’d just be a plain red tube good for holding extra batteries, more candy, a very small portion of carrot sticks, condiments or some headphones.

Hubba Bubba Glop (Strawberry)Inside are five huge pieces. They’re shaped like footballs and are the size of a small pecan in the shell.

While most gumballs are hollow, the glop part of this gum fills that void. The gum has a hard crunchy shell, then the soft and sweet gum then a reservoir of sweet strawberry goo in the center. The goo is tangy and sticky, but pretty flavorful.

It’s a good chewing bubble gum. I don’t think I need the gooey center, but it’s interesting and as long as you know it’s going to be there, adds some more flavor. The bubbles were good, large without being too sticky. A single piece was a good portion for chewing.

(I’m really intrigued by this Cola version available in Australia - regular Hubba Bubba is also available in Cola flavor in other parts of the world.)

Rating: 7 out of 10

Related Candies

  1. Tiny Size Chiclets
  2. Gold Mine Gum
  3. Short & Sweet: Gums
  4. Sandy Candy
  5. Giant Pixy Stix
  6. Dubble Bubble Fluff
  7. Glee Gum: If You Like Stuff Stuck to Your Teeth

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:59 am     All Candy ExpoAll NaturalCandyGoo FilledReviewWrigley'sGum5-Pleasant7-Worth ItChinaUnited States

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wednesday All Candy Expo Link Wrappers

Dave Simmer’s excited about the new Star Trek Pez (and the chocolate candy tablets ... we’re going to have to disagree there).

imageChicago Sun Times has an excellent set of tasting notes (I have to disagree with a couple of items) including Crackheads, Crown Tequila Nuggets, the new M&Ms Premiums, Giant Chewy Wonka Nerds and more. Don’t miss the photo gallery and the separate story about customizable M&Ms that you can put your own face on! (photo by Keith Hale/Sun-Times)

Medill Reports adds a few comments on trends, and further info & a glimpse of the new M&Ms Premiums packaging.

Fellow candy writer Elizabeth LaBau who edits the candy section for About.com has some stellar coverage so far. Here’s her rundown from the first day but don’t miss her great photos, especially of Joseph Schmidt’s chocolate creations.


A big tip of the hat to Candy Addict and their notes from the floor:

  • Candy Expo Day 1 - Brian’s Notes - I’m so happy to hear we’re finally getting Spearmint Mentos and his thoughts on the M&Ms Premium line.
  • Candy Expo Day 1 - Caitlin’s Notes - I completely understand how overwhelming it is (and it’s not a first-timers thing, I think it’s always like that).
  • And finally, just for fun, relive Cameron Gray’s Tuesday with photos as they were posted from the floor.

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:00 am     All Candy ExpoCandyFeatured NewsComments (0)

    Candy Tease: All Candy Expo 2008 #4

    imageName: Altoids Cr?me de Menthe
    Brand: Wrigley’s (Mars)
    Description: New Altoids Cr?me de Menthe delivers the quick hit of strong flavor you expect, but with a “sweet kick.” This new flavor is available in both the Curiously Strong Mint and Chocolate Dipped Mint varieties. Altoids - The only mint that freshens your mouth and your mind.
    Release Date: 6/1/2008
    Notes: I’m not sure what the difference between peppermint, spearmint and creme de menthe is, but I’m strongly curious.

    Name: LifeSavers Gummies Tangy Fruits
    Brand: Wrigley’s (Mars)
    Description: Includes six great-tasting bold flavors and the perfect chewy texture that consumers love. The new Tangy Fruits roll pack include the following flavors: Tangerine, Watermelon, Lemon, Sour Apple, Tangy Cherry and Wild Berry Punch.
    Release Date: 6/1/2008
    Notes: I love tangerine. I will follow any LifeSavers tangerine product to the ends of the earth. Consider me a customer. (I’m wondering if these are like the sours, but without the tart sugar sand coating.)

    imageName: Loud Truck Energy Gummi
    Brand: Loud Truck Energy Gummi
    Description: Loud Truck Energy Fueled Gummies.Taste great. Contains Guarana Extract. Natural energy.Vitamins B12 and C. No crash Energy.
    Whether your playing sports, stayin up late for school,at work or just need that extra boost of energy. 1 oz bags. 12 bags per case.

    Release Date: 3/1/2008
    Notes: I think this is the best name ever for a candy. I don’t know why, but it’s so crazily evocative (and I don’t care much for loud trucks) that I’ll probably end up buying a package just because.

    imageName: WOWzers
    Brand: Maxim Manufacturing and Marketing
    Description: Sour Powder filled tube bubble gum
    Release Date: 5/1/2008
    Notes: It’s like a gum cigar, only with a hollow center with a strawberry Pixy Stix inside.

    Name: Gummi Butterflies
    Brand: Albanese Confectionery
    Description: Bold colors and delicious flavors. Flutter away with the newest version of the World’s Best Gummi!
    Release Date: 5/20/2008
    Notes: I’ve already seen these and I have to say, they’re so cute I wish they made them when I was a kid. They’re also coming out with Theater sized boxes of their 12 Flavored Bears and Super Sour Neon Gummi Worms. (It would be cool to find their stuff more easily, it’s usually reall well priced.)

    (images courtesy of the manufacturers’ press kits)

    Related Candies

    1. Brach’s Gummi+Plus & Tropical Gummis
    2. Lifesavers Gummies Sour
    3. Mentos Plus Citrus Mix
    4. Chocolate Dipped Altoids
    5. Lifesaver Gummies

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:58 am     All Candy ExpoCandyNew Product AnnouncementFeatured NewsComments (2)

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008

    Candy Tease: All Candy Expo 2008 #3

    imageName: Ice Cream Parlor Mix
    Brand: Jelly Belly
    Description: Ice Cream Parlor Mix 3.1 oz and 6.5 oz bags - Featuring Cold Stone Creamery’s top signature creations: Chocolate Devotion, Our Strawberry Blonde, Birthday Cake Remix, Mint Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip and Apple Pie a la Cold Stone.
    Release: 3/1/2008
    Notes: Jelly Belly was promoting these at the Fancy Food Show, but I didn’t get a sample of them (but I did get a $5 Cold Stone gift card!). Finally I have a bag and will have some notes on those soon. I haven’t tried them all, but I have very little faith in this mix, mostly because I wouldn’t want to combine my apple pie with my mint chocolate chip & strawberry.

    Name: Holiday Sugar Babies
    Brand: Charms
    Description: Same great tasting Sugar Babies presented in red, white & green.
    Release: 1/1/2008
    Notes: While I wasn’t blown away by the Caramel Apple Sugar Babies, if these are just a candy shell over the Sugar Babies caramel, I might like them. Look for them later this year.

    imageName: Brach’s Theater Boxes
    Brand: Brach’s (Farley’s & Sathers)
    Description: The rich, decadent taste of Brach’s(r) chocolate make their debut in theater boxes. Double Dipped and California Raisins, are joined by new Toffee Crunch, Mint Pearls, and Chocolate Covered Milk-Maid(r) Caramels for today’s grab and go lifestyles.
    Release: 5/20/2008
    Notes: I might go to the movies more often if I could get some sort of chocolate covered almond toffee crunch at the concession stand.

    Name: Sunkist Fruit and Sour Fruit Gummies
    Brand: Healthy Food Brands
    Description: They are a great-tasting, “better-for-you” fruit gummy candy that has 35% less sugar than the average leading gummy brands and contain 100% RDA of Vitamin C with only 70 calories per serving.
    Release: 04/15/08
    Notes: These are not to be confused with the current Sunkist Fruit Gems made by Jelly Belly (which are essentially vegan). They have less sugar not just because they’re made with fruit juice, but they’re also made with sorbitol (not as the sole sweetener though).

    (images courtesy of the respective manufacturers)

    Related Candies

    1. Brach’s Gummi+Plus & Tropical Gummis
    2. Jelly Belly - All Natural
    3. Sunkist Fruit Gems
    4. Jelly Belly Soda Pop Shoppe
    5. Chocolate Covered Sugar Babies

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:33 pm     All Candy ExpoCandyNew Product AnnouncementFeatured NewsComments (1)

    Candy Tease: All Candy Expo 2008 #2

    Name: Firecracker ChocoPod & Firecracker Chocolate Bar
    Brand: Chuao
    Description: Firecracker is the newest unusual, unexpected and delicious flavor from Chuao Chocolatier. Firecracker is a perfect balance of Chipotle Chile, Salt and Popping Candy in Venezuelan dark chocolate for an arousing experience.
    Release: 5/15/2008
    Notes: The idea of pop rocks in chocolate isn’t exactly new, but I would certainly like to try a good version of it. (I also have a Christopher Elbow one on hand.) Chuao is also expanding their ChocoPods to include their most popular bar flavors such as Chinita Nibs.

    Name: Sea Salt Almonds, Sea Salt Cashews & Fruit and Nut Mix
    Brand: Mama Mellace’s Naturals Line (Mellace Family Brands)
    Description: Mama Mellace is all about simple, homemade goodness and natural ingredients. That is why we oven-roast our almonds & cashews for a natural crunch without added oils, no butter and nothing to detract from Mama’s classic treat. Sprinkled with a hint of sea salt and mixed with real fruits, our Naturals line includes wholesome snacks created out of Mama’s desire to make an uncomplicated snack, simply better.
    Release Date: 5/1/2008
    Notes: I have a sample of the cashews to try, they look really good. I don’t know about the retail price for them but I expect it to be prohibitive for everyday uncomplicated snacking.

    Name: Milk Chocolate with Peanut Butter Filling
    Brand: Ghirardelli
    Description: Satisfy your inner child and your inner gourmet with our new Peanut Butter Squares(TM) chocolate and bar. Our tempting new recipe is the perfect combination of intense creamy milk chocolate and gourmet peanut butter with crunchy peanuts roasted to perfection. Ghirardelli - Moments of Timless Pleasure.
    Release Date: 3/1/2008
    Notes: The market for milk chocolate and peanut butter is pretty crowded, so I’m having trouble figuring out what will be so great about this that I’d chose it over other items. I have one to try ... so we’ll find out.

    Related Candies

    1. Candy Tease: All Candy Expo 2008 #1
    2. Ghirardelli Intense Dark
    3. Candy Tease: Edition Five
    4. Candy Tease: Edition Four
    5. Chuao ChocoPod Collection
    6. Chuao ChocoPods

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:03 am     All Candy ExpoCandyNew Product AnnouncementFeatured NewsComments (1)

    Monday, May 19, 2008

    All Candy Expo in a Box

    All Candy Expo Sample BoxIt all starts tomorrow, bright and early on Tuesday morning in Chicago.

    As I mentioned before, the National Confectioners Association, which runs the All Candy Expo, sent me a box of goodies so I wouldn’t feel left out by not attending.

    The package says that it’s 20 lbs (last year I brought home 60 lbs ... but I think I ended up giving away about 20). It’s a fabulous assortment.

    While there are a few things that I’d never pick up for myself, things like jerky, chips, and many packages of gum, those quickly found homes. But there were also plenty of samples, full sized things, that I might not have been able to score by myself on the floor. Some other items I’ve already found in stores and reviewed here (Wonka Giant Chewy Nerds, Starburst Gummi Bursts, Figamajigs, Craves, and a few others).

    Here’s a small sampling of the items I’ll be able to talk about this week:

  • Toxic Waste
  • WOWzerz Sour Powder Bubble Gum
  • Parker Products Raspberry & Cream Bar
  • Pure Fun Peppermint Canes
  • Indulge Gourmet Ribbles
  • Crackheads
  • Assembly of All Candy Expo - by Michael J. Hartman

  • Chocolate Covered Pretzel Crisps
  • Mama Mellace’s Chocolate Covered Roasted Cashews
  • Albanese Confectionery Chocolate Covered Biscotti
  • Glee Gum Bubble Gum Flavor
  • Nintendo Wii KLIK-on Candy Dispenser
  • Marshmallow Farms
  • Bratz Candy Jewelry
  • Hannah Montana Glamour Guitar & Picture Ring Lollipops
  • Albanese Confectionery Gummi Butterflies
  • Hissee Fit Snake Lollipop (I actually already had some of these)
  • Chocolate PEZ
  • Sunrise Sour Slices
  • US Honey Bee Hard Candy
  • Primrose Fabulous Fall Caramel Swirls
  • Darrell Lea Soft Eating Licorice
  • ChocoPods Firecracker
  • Ghirardelli Milk & Peanut Butter Bar
  • Bloomsberry & Co Climate Change Bar & Beauty Bar
  • Roca 60% Cacao Buttercrunch Thins
  • Kohler Original Recipe Chocolate Cherry Almond Bar
  • Cote d’Or Experiences Cocoa Nibs 70% Cacao
  • Cote d’Or Experiences Milk Creamy - Smooth
  • Sunkist Better for You! Fruit Gummies
  • Aura Clip’n'Go Mints (I actually got samples last year that I still haven’t written about)
  • Jelly Belly Ice Cream Parlor Mix (Cold Stone Creamery)
  • Baskin-Robbins Soft Candy - Mint Chocolate Chip
  • Tortuga Rum Fudge (Coconut)
  • Assembly of All Candy Expo - by Michael J. Hartman

  • Peeps Chocolate Mousse (Bears & Bunnies)
  • Madelaine Milk Chocolate Lolly Pops
  • Chocolate Peanut Crumblz!
  • Funley’s Stix in the Mud
  • The bold ones are those that I’m planning reviews of (but ya never know). There are dozens of other items that were in the box, of course, but not things that are likely to be included on Candy Blog.

    The photos shown here are from a reader, Michael J. Hartman, who is working behind the scenes. These were taken on Saturday as everything was being loaded into the McCormick center for the show. Some of the very elaborate booths require cranes to assemble and of course days.

    You can check in here as I upload my photos on Flickr.

    Related Candies

    1. Candy Tease: All Candy Expo 2008 #1
    2. Candy Giveaway! The Ultimate Candy Box
    3. All Candy Expo - Tuesday Noon Update
    4. All Candy Expo - Monday Noon Update
    5. House of Chocolate Blues

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:40 pm     All Candy ExpoCandyFeatured NewsComments (3)

    Candy Tease: All Candy Expo 2008 #1

    imageName: Emergency Chocolate
    Brand: Bloomsberry & Co.
    Description: 1 oz all natural premium chocolate bars. Milk 34% cocoa. Dark 55% cocoa. Perfect impulse personal consumption items!
    Release Date: 4/1/2008
    Notes: Bloomsberry is all about the cute packaging, and this item is no exception. Instead of their usual 3 ounce bar, this one is, as the copy says, only one ounce, so a nice little indulgence and probably a bit easier on the pocketbook.

    Name: M&Ms Premiums
    Brand: Mars
    Description: Will come in five flavors, Triple Chocolate, Chocolate Almond (how is this different from the current Almond M&Ms?), Mint, Mocha, Raspberry Almond.
    Release Date: June 2008
    Notes: I’m not sure how different these are from some of the current limited edition offerings. According to Adweek they’ll be priced at more than $3 for a 6 ounce bag but my guess is that they’ll come in at about $6 like the recent Cherry Cordial ones.

    imageName: Baskin-Robbins Soft Candy
    Brand: Best Sweets, Inc.
    Description: The newest addition to the Baskin-Robbins Soft Candy line allows you take the fun and great taste of Mint Chocolate Chip and Very Berry Strawberry Baskin-Robbins ice cream with you - no matter where the day takes you! Made with real cream and the texture of these time-honored ice cream flavors, this new format is sure to be a hit.
    Release Date: 5/5/2008
    Notes: I have a sample of these to try in the Mint Chocolate Chip, which I must admit was one of my favorite flavors to get when I’d go to Baskin-Robbins as a kid.

    (images courtesy of the manufacturers’ press kits)

    Related Candies

    1. Candy Tease: Edition Five
    2. Candy Tease: Edition Four
    3. Candy Teases: Edition Three
    4. Candy Teases: Edition Two
    5. Candy Teases - New Products

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:06 am     All Candy ExpoCandyNew Product AnnouncementFeatured NewsComments (5)

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    Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.





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    Candy Season Ends

    -236 days

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    Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

    Choose one or more:

    •   Halloween
    •   Christmas
    •   Valentine's Day
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    These candies will be reviewed shortly:

    • Trader Joe’s Holiday Roundup 2015

    • Flavor Trends: The Slow Extinction of Lime

    • Candy Rant: If your Licorice isn’t black, it isn’t Licorice

    • Candy Rant: Stimulants are not Energy

    • 10 Candies that Shouldn’t Be So Disappointing