New Product Announcement
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
This one is a little different for a new product announcement. It’s kind of a preview and a tease.
Name: Askinosie Liberia
Description: Several years ago we started a program called Chocolate University designed to engage the children in our neighborhood. We want to inspire them about business and about a world beyond Springfield Missouri. We started in the nearby elementary school, then to the middle school, and now have project at Central High School called “Cocoa Honors.” Askinosie Chocolate is the sole funding source of Chocolate University by donating 100% of our tour proceeds to Community Foundation of the Ozarks for the benefit of this program. In Fall 2009, 14 juniors from Central High School were selected to participate with us in the selection of the next cacao source country in Africa as part of an 18 month-long project. We believe that this is the first single origin bar available in the world from Liberian beans. Auction begins Sunday April 4 at 8 PM CST and ends the following Sunday.
Introduction Date: TBD
Notes: I’m very interested in this new microbatch of chocolate, I don’t think I’ll bid but I’ll definitely buy a couple of bars when it’s released to the general buying public. I love the San Jose del Tambo chocolate that Askinosie makes and their white chocolate, made with goat’s milk is fascinating.
And now on to other new candy products expected this year:
Brand: Waymouth Farms, Inc.
Description: The Original Pretzel-Shaped Gummi Fruit Snack Made with REAL Fruit Juice!
Introduction Date: 03/01/10
Notes: Waymouth Farms are the same folks that make the Popzels, I guess they do all things pretzel themed. I like interesting shapes for my gummis, but I admit that I’m not fond of worms. So maybe this will be a good compromise. They’re gluten free and are fortified with Vitamins C and E. It looks like the flavors are cherry, apple, strawberry, orange, raspberry and lemon ... a pretty promising mix in my book, though I love a pineapple gummi.
Name: Tabasco Chocolate Truffles
Brand: Elmer Candy Corporation
Description: A dark chocolate shell giving way to a unique creamy center with a subtle Tabasco warmth. Not too hot, spicy or peppery just enough to be enjoyed by all chocolate lovers.
Introduction Date: 05/25/10
Notes: Hot peppers and chocolate aren’t new, but this is the first major branded version I’ve seen so far. I’ll probably give them a try when I see them, but I’m also concerned that the chocolate won’t be great quality. Elmer’s does a good Easter egg, but can they do an all year round candy like this.
Name: Bake Shoppe Cookie Dough Miniatures
Brand: The Promotion In Motion Companies, Inc.
Description: COOKIE DOUGH ON THE GO!™ Cookie Cough Lovers celebrate, because Bake Shoppe™ Cookie Dough Miniatures Are the Real Deal you’ve been craving! Our Butter-In-The-Batter™, Mixing Bowl Licking™, Heavenly Bite Size Cookie Dough Morsels™ are drenched in pure Milk Chocolate, to tantalize your taste buds! Enjoy our egg-free Bake Shoppe™ Cookie Dough Miniatures on the go, or, you can just savor them slowly…one delicious mouth-watering bite at a time! Bake Shoppe™ Cookie Dough Miniatures is offered in a 3.5 oz Concession Box.
Introduction Date: 4/15/10
Notes: Is this another brand of chocolate covered chewy cookies? Or are they just repackaged Cookie Dough Bites? It’d be nice if they had better chocolate on them than the original - though Albanese makes some tasty cookie bites as does Koppers for those looking for good quality ingredients.
Name: Belgian Chocolate Thins
Brand: Royal Chocolates NV
Description: Luscious chocolate thins (chips) filled with crispy rice puffs & available in the following flavours: milk, caramel, hazelnut, almond, dark & mint. The product will be available in single packs & multi packs.
Introduction Date: 06/01/10
Notes: Do these look familiar to anyone? I tried something danged familiar from Trader Joe’s last year. If these are the same, I’m sure some fans of them will be thrilled to see the other varieties. I can say that I’d be interested in the hazelnut and mint (though the description doesn’t say if they have crispies in them too).
Name: Hoja Verde Dark Chocolate
Brand: Hoja Verde
Description: Hoja Verde Dark Chocolate is the first Ecuadorian company to use Fair Trade certified, premium “Arriba” cacao. This unique chocolate is made from single-origin cacao beans grown by small farmers in the tropical lowlands of Ecuador. Our company is proud to build enduring and equitable relationships with small farmer organizations. Ecuadorian cacao has long been recognized as the source of the world’s finest cacao beans. The “Arriba” cacao has captivated chocolate connoisseurs with its depth of flavor and its unequaled aroma. Sweetness comes naturally without artificial flavors or ingredients. The finished bar is a revelation for all the senses: its appearance, its aroma, the sound of the snap, the taste and the way it melts in your mouth. This isn’t just chocolate. It’s a journey through tannins, coffee, nuts, blackberry, cinnamon, fruits and flowers of the rain forest.
Introduction Date: 05/25/2010
Notes: Fair trade is all the rage now, and rightfully so. It’s an interesting trend to see all these smaller companies coming out with single origin or regionally sourced beans. I’m not sure how long it can be sustained and profitable but it’s an exciting time to be a chocolate lover. You can buy on their website now, they retail for $5.99 and the shipping is only 99 cents per bar.
Name: Haribo Fruity Frutti
Brand: Haribo of America, Inc
Description: Haribo’s new Fruity Frutti are 4oz bags full of pieces of gummi and foam with a juicy, fruity liquid filling. Fruity Frutti has no artificial colors and are made with Fruit Juice!
Introduction Date: 05/25/10
Notes: These remind me a bit of the Wonka Sploshberries, which also have a foamy base and a gooey center - though those are in berry flavors. I can’t say that my personal interest in these is that high since I just don’t click with the goo filled gummis. The no artificial colors element will probably make these a great option for parents looking for flavorful candies that kids won’t turn their noses up at.
Name: Natural Vines
Brand: American Licorice Co.
Description: Natural Vines, premium soft licorice twists made without artificial flavors and preservatives, are new from the American Licorice Co. Addressing demand from health-conscious consumers, the company says the licorice twists are sweetened with cane sugar, are low in sodium, contain no trans fat and are cholesterol-free. Black and strawberry varieties will debut in select grocery stores, natural markets and gourmet food distributors in May. Holding eight ounces, reclosable standup bags have a retail of $3.49.
Introduction Date: May 2010
Notes: I tried the black licorice version at ExpoWest last month and enjoyed the mellow and woodsy flavor of these. They also don’t stick to teeth and are softer than the Red Vine Bites. I think the packaging is charming.
Description: It’s Back! The greatest thing since Whatchamacallit. Thingamajig was a successful limited edition bar concept in 2009, helping to drive a 20% increase in Whatchamacallit bar sales.
Introduction Date: Limited Edition 9/3/2010-12/3/2010
Notes: I reviewed Thingamajig when it came out last year about this time. It’s a fun bar and certainly different from anything else on the market. I think seasonal versions of popular bars are a great idea. It’d be nice if candy companies conveyed that information to consumers. It’s easy to understand the holiday versions of candy, but not these “here & gone” recurring limited editions.
Name: KIT-KAT Wafer Bar Dark
Description: Back by popular demand, KitKat Dark, crisp wafers in dark chocolate. Satisfies without being overfilling. Unique taste and texture.
Introduction Date: 3/26/2010
Notes: Look for a big media push on this. I haven’t seen them in stores yet, but I always prefer a dark chocolate KitKat. It’s hard though, since I’ve had the truly dark premium KitKat Bitter version from Japan before, the Hershey’s version just doesn’t meet those expectations. I’m still eager to find them in stores and I know that there will be oodles of Americans who will begin the stockpiling now.
Name: Cookies ‘N Cream Bites
Brand: Taste of Nature
Description: A Taste of Nature, Inc.‘s brand new Cookies ‘N Cream Bites are an expansion of the company’s Cookie Dough Bites. Cookies ‘N Cream Bites feature a cream-and-cookie-crumble center, covered in a white “chocolatey” candy coating. The 3.1-ounce box has a SRP range between $1.09 and $1.29; the 4-ounce box has a SRP range between $1.49 and $1.79
Introduction Date: unknown
Notes: Since they already have a dark chocolate version, a white coating seems like a good idea. In my dream world it’d be some good, very dark Oreo cookie bits in the center covered in real cocoa butter white chocolate. These are not from my dream world and I’m already a little tentative to try them because of the “chocolatey” coating.
Candy photos and images courtesy of the respective manufacturer.
- Candy Tease: March 2010
- Candy Tease Valentines 2010
- Candy Tease: October 2009
- Candy Tease: April 2009
- Candy Tease: Spring 2009
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Here are some new products just hitting store shelves.
Brand: Waymouth Farms, Inc.
Description: Sweet, salty and oh so satisfying, our new Popzels™ are REAL chocolate-dipped pretzel balls in three different varieties: milk, white and dark chocolate. Now available in standup re-sealable bags and bulk.
Introduction Date: 02/01/10
Notes: I’ve tried these and they are quite fun. They’re about the same size and format as a malted milk ball. The pretzel is airy and light, so it’s not like a chocolate covered pretzel nugget. The chocolate is decent and the option of chocolate coating is good though it’d be fun for a bag to have all three.
Name: Cherry RAISINETS
Description: With the introduction of Cranberry RAISINETS(r) last year, cherries are the second new fruit to be introduced to the brand portfolio in more than 80 years. This delicious treat follows the lead of its chocolate-covered predecessors, with premium whole dried fruit covered in 100 percent NESTLE chocolate, making them an indulgence that is a cherry on top of anyone’s day! Premium, whole dried cherries are sourced from one of the premier cherry growing regions in Michigan. These Montmorency Tart Cherries are drenched in rich NESTLE(r) Dark Chocolate, creating a mouthwatering combination that is both sweet and creamy while also juicy and tangy. For anyone looking for something different, Cherry RAISINETS provides a win-win option with 1/2 a serving of real fruit in every 1/4 cup and 30 percent less fat than the leading chocolate brands.
Notes: I was irritated when the called them Cranberry Raisinets and can’t figure out why they’re also bestowing the lowly name of raisin for dried cherries which are so much better than that. Still, I’m hoping they don’t have additional sugar on them like the dried cranberries which were pretty flavorless.
Name: Côte d’Or Chocolate Bars - Rainforest Alliance Certified
Brand: Cote d’Or (Kraft)
Description: 4 enticing selections of premium Belgian chocolate bars: dark 86% cocoa, dark 70% cocoa, dark w/ orange peel and dark w/ pistachio.
These bars have more than 30% RAINFOREST ALLIANCE CERTIFIED cocoa content. By collaborating with the Rain Forest Alliance, Côte d’Or now helps support 3 keys of Sustainability: environmental (protect against deforestation and limit the use of chemical pesticides), social (to provide workers a safe and healthy work environment, better access to medical care, education and housing) and economic (to improve farming practices, resulting in improving profitability for the farmers and dignified wages for the workers). Our special blend of roasted cocoa beans from West Africa and noble beans from South America deliver a full-bodied chocolate w/ rich intense flavors and smooth refined textures that make Côte d’Or the #1 chocolate brand in Belgium.
Introduction Date: 03/01/2010
Notes: I’m not sure why it’s only 30% Rainforest Alliance content, but hey, it’s a start. Pistachio sounds good and it’s definitely an under-utilized nut. I’m also a fan of orange peel in dark chocolate, so that’s most likely to be my first choice.
Name: Sunkist Citrus Burst
Brand: Big Sky Brands Inc.
Description: Introducing, new Sunkist Citrus Burst - the first and only citrus mint line combining all natural fruit flavors with a low calorie sugar free formulation. It’s a delicious new way to enjoy authentic citrus refreshment! Available flavors: Valencia Orange, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Eureka Lemon & Key Lime.
Introduction Date: 01/01/2010
Notes: I love the design on the tins and of course I’m a huge fan of grapefruit. I don’t know what the ingredients are in these, but if they’re sugar alcohols without artificial sweeteners I’d probably give them a try.
Name: Choward’s Guava Candies
Brand: C. Howard Company, Inc.
Description: A new addition to the Choward’s line, with eye catching graphics and an exciting new flavor.
Introduction Date: 01/01/2010
Notes: This is the first new flavor I’ve heard of from them and the fact that it’s guava is pretty intriguing.
Name: Honey Lovers
Brand: Gimbal’s Fine Candies
Description: Honey Lovers colorful heart-shaped fruit chews are made with the Natural Goodness of Real Honey and are high in Antioxidant Vitamin C. Consisting of 16 incredibly delicious flavor combinations, Honey Lovers includes Pomegranate Honey, Honey Dipped Strawberry, Honey Vanilla, Huckleberry Honey and more. A truly enjoyable treat, these scrumptious treats are an assortment of irresistible flavors topped with honey. Honey Lovers is available in 10oz bags and 38oz jars. Best of all, with Honey Lovers you can help Save the Honey Bee! Gimbal’s has committed to donate 5% of proceeds to the University of California Davis Honey Bee Research.
Introduction Date: 3/15/2010
Notes: While I didn’t like the Cherry Lovers mostly because I’m not a cherry lover, I love the concept of a whole bag of different versions of a single flavor. I loved the new Jelly Belly Honey Bean as well ... can you tell that I’m excited by this one?
Name: Mike and Ike RedRageous!
Brand: Just Born
Description: Contains Cherry, Strawberry, Watermelon, Raspberry and Fruit Punch chewy fruit flavored candies. Available in a 6 oz. Theater Size Box
Introduction Date: 3/1/2010
Notes: I like the new combinations Mike and Ike has been doing lately, but of course the whole red thing isn’t likely to be on my hit list. It’s a shame these didn’t make it out before Valentine’s Day as I think that’s a great time to introduce them.
Name: Chimes Ginger Chews Mango & Orange Flavors
Brand: Roxy Trading/Chimes Gourmet
Description: Chimes Ginger Chews now comes in Mango & Orange flavors! Ginger Chews have never been this delicious!
Introduction Date: 09/15/09
Notes: I’ve seen these in stores already, Cost Plus World Market has them and when I was at ExpoWest earlier this month I picked up a few samples that I’m planning on trying. I’m most interested in the Orange, but I have to admit that I wasn’t that interested in the Peanut Butter version and they won me over so maybe they’re right about Mango.
All photos courtesy of the candy manufacturers
- Candy Tease Valentines 2010
- Candy Tease: October 2009
- Candy Tease: September 2009
- Candy Tease: All Candy Expo 2009 #2
- Candy Tease: All Candy Expo 2009 - Hershey
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Name: Valentine Dots
Description: Tootsie Roll Industries Inc.‘s new Valentine Dots feature two flavors in every piece—passion fruit/vanilla and cherry/vanilla. Available in recloseable theater boxes that hold seven ounces and feature red and pink heart graphics, they are designed for both vertical and horizontal displays. With a SRP of $1, they ship in 12-ct display-ready cases.
Notes: Tootsie has been really aggressive with their new Dots and for the most part I think they’re a success. I was a little disappointed to see the return of the cherry and vanilla after having that in the Christmas Dots, but my guess is that people really like cherry so they’re trying to nab the most people.
Name: Sour Patch Jelly Hearts
Brand: Frankford Candy & Chocolate Co.
Description: The fruit-flavored sour then sweet jelly candies pack in 13-ounce laydown bags of assorted Redberry, lemon, lime and orange flavors. With a SRP of $1.99, they ship 24 per case.
Notes: I guess it’s less creepy for the holiday of love to not bite the heads off of little children, instead just eat their hearts. Honestly I think maybe the texture might vary with a larger disc-like version of the candy.
Name: Valentine’s Skittles
Description: The Skittles brand’s cherry and strawberry assortment in singles packs with holiday graphics. The two-ounce packs come in 60-ct counter units and have a SRP of 50 cents.
Notes: Honestly, I have my doubts these actually exist. I’ve been scouring store shelves and have not seen them at all and have never seen a holiday mix for Skittles before this either. I’m sure folks who like cherry would love a cherry Skittle mix, so these might strike a chord with red fans everywhere. (Not so different though from the Fave’Reds Starburst, actually.)
Name: Red Vines Valentine Chews
Brand: American Licorice Co.
Description: The bite-size heart-shaped red and pink chews come in Red Vines original flavor and pack in 10-ounce bags with heart-shaped windows. Bags have a SRP of $2.59 and ship 24 per case. The company also unveils new packaging designs for Sour Punch Valentine Individually Wrapped Twists. The red and pink Twists are in 10- ounce laydown bags in Strikin’ Strawberry flavor, with a to/from space on each pack. With a SRP of $2.89, they ship in 24-ct display-ready cases.
Notes: I actually prefer the bags of nuggets they do to the vines, since they’re softer and easier to eat because they’re single bites. I’ll keep an eye out for them.
Name: Hawaiian Fruits Life Savers
Description: Life Savers will offer a new and exciting hard candy variety with the launch of Hawaiian Fruits As the first new Life Savers hard candy flavor offering in over a year, the Hawaiian Fruits assortment quenches consumers’ love of new taste combinations with five delicious and fruity flavors: Mango Melon, Pineapple, Pina Colada, Tropical Punch and Banana
Notes: These should already be on shelves, but I’m pretty confused. They sound pretty much the same as the classic Tropical variety roll/package and if they discontinued that, I’d be pretty upset because it’s my favorite (it includes Tangerine with Banana and Pina Colada).
Name: Panko Bar
Description: The Panko bar, made with a Venezuelan dark chocolate blend, roasted panko breadcrumbs and sea salt is a modern take on classic bread and chocolate combinations like pain au chocolat and the American favorite, chocolate covered pretzel.
Notes: Supposedly these are already on store shelves since November, but I can’t find them, and I live a scant 100 miles from the factory. I got to preview a little bite at the Fancy Food Show. The panko bread crumbs are small little savory crisps in the deep dark chocolate, much like a chocolate croissant if the proportions were reversed between the bread and the chocolate.
Name: Skittles Fizzl’d Fruits
Description: Beginning March 2010, Skittles, the No. 1 teen confections brand, will launch Skittles Fizzl’d Fruits, a new bite-sized chewy candy that fizzes in your mouth to deliver a tongue-tingling sensation! Each pack of Skittles Fizzl’d Fruits contains unpredictable fizzing experiences in five assorted berry flavors: Strawberry, Berry Punch, Melon Berry, Wild Cherry and Raspberry. Available in 1.8 ounce single bag and 3.3 ounce theater box.
Notes: Sorry I don’t have a preview image on these, but I was really excited when I saw the announcement of them at NACS last October. It sounds like they’ll be like Sour Skittles only the coating will be fizzy. I think the name is a bit of a downer (fizzled instead of fizzy), but for the most part Skittles are a winner and I’m looking forward to them.
Name: Dark Chocolate Quinoa: Midnight Crunch
Brand: Alter Eco
Description: Alter Eco has announced the launch of a new addition to its line of Fair Trade, organic, carbon-neutral dark chocolate bars. Dark Chocolate Quinoa: Midnight Crunch combines smooth, rich dark chocolate with the delicious crunch of healthy quinoa crisps for a vegan offering that’s also GMO- , soy- and gluten-free, and contains no artificial flavors or sweeteners. Ingredients are sourced from Fair Trade farming cooperatives in Bolivia and South America. The product is manufactured in Switzerland.
Notes: I previewed this at Fancy Food Show as well, I wanted more crisps in there, but it’s great to see a dark chocolate crispy bar that’s also fair trade. Alter Eco makes excellent products and just redesigned their packaging.
Name: Shrek Ogreheads
Brand: Spangler Candy Co
Description: Spanger Candy Co. teamed up with Dreamworks Animation to create Shrek Ogreheads, bright green marshmallow treats that are shaped like Shrek and come in a Swamp Apple flavor. The product piggybacks on the popular Shrek film franchise, which will continue with the release of “Shrek Forever After” in May 2010.
Notes: Uh, yeah ... Shrek green marshmallows.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Last week I attended the NACS show in Las Vegas. It’s about convenience stores and though there are 1,200 exhibitors, only about 75 deal in candy. Still, it was just a 4 hour drive so I went for two days to see what was new. Let me just say that there are lots of exciting things coming out. Here are a few highlights:
Name: M&Ms Pretzel Chocolate Candies
Description: Combines sweet and salty in every bite size piece. M&M’S(r) Pretzel Chocolate Candies feature a crunchy, salted pretzel center covered in delicious milk chocolate and coated in a colorful candy shell. It’s a fun new way to get that sweet and salty flavor you enjoy.
Notes: I’ve tried these and thought they’re quite tasty. They have a bit more of a salty/savory hint to them than the old Crispy M&Ms but they’re also far more crunchy. The packaging is great and it speaks volumes of Mars confidence that they’re launching these without the middle step of limited edition. (Though remember, they also did Chocolate Mix Skittles.) Look for these sometime around
April in Walmart and wider distribution in June..
Name: Life Savers Gummies Sweet Strings ‘N Sour Rings
Brand: Life Savers (Wrigley’s)
Description: A fun low-calorie confection that is a tasty treat. Sweet Strings ‘N Sour Rings playfully combine sweet and sour flavors including Sour Fruit Punch and Sour Green Apple squiggle shapes alongside Sweet Cherry and Sweet Raspberry classic “ring with a hole” shapes, offering a lively mix that is More Fun For Your Mouth(tm)
Notes: These are already available in stores and expand on the large line of gummi mixes that Life Savers already offer. According to their marketing information, they’re the #1 gummy brand in the US.
Name: Cool Honey Altoids
Brand: Callard & Bowser (Wrigley’s)
Description: Cool Honey, a sweetly unconventional alternative in breath freshening captures the emerging trend of herbal, spice and botanical flavor choices, while providing
the strong, fresh flavor consumers expect from Altoids
Notes: These are on store shelves now, I picked some up and should have a review shortly.
Name: All Natural Necco Wafers
Description: All Natural Necco Wafers come in four flavors milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate and mocha. Also look for the new All Natural classic flavors, now with no artificial flavorings or colorings.
Notes: I can’t seem to find out if they’re still going to do the single chocolate pack or if it’s now this mix pack. I have two rolls of this plus a bag of the minis of the classic flavors. I’m curious if the pink/wintergreen will still have a bitter aftertaste. These are available now.
Chocolate Necco Wafers Review here & All Natural Necco Wafers review here.
Name: Now and Later Peppermint
Brand: Farley’s & Sathers
Description: The classic chew expands to the classic flavor of peppermint.
Notes: It seems odd that Now and Later doesn’t come in the spice/essence flavors like Licorice, Spearmint, Peppermint and Cinnamon. But peppermint will be a step in that direction. These should be out by Christmas.
Name: Peeps Chocolate Covered Chicks
Brand: Just Born
Description: For the first time, Just Born introduces its iconic Peeps Chick shape covered in chocolate. The individually wrapped, one-ounce Chocolate Covered Chicks are available in Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate flavors and have a SRP under $1.
Notes: A single Peep dipped the the peep-makers themselves. It’ll be interesting to see. (I have a dark chocolate one I’ll crack open soon.) After Easter 2010 you should expect to see them for Halloween, Christmas & Valentine’s themes. (I think the Peppermint Stars would be excellent dipped in dark chocolate.)
Name: Grape Vines
Brand: Red Vines (American Licorice)
Description: The flavor of purple grape in a twist
Notes: It seems a natural idea to expand the Red Vines family to other flavors and of course Grape Vines is an awesome name that only American Licorice can claim. I have a dim recollection that they used to make these, but can’t find any evidence for it (except some comments here on this blog made by other readers). No word on when these hit shelves.
Name: Ghirardelli Milk & Caramel
Description: 1.15 ounce bars, especially for impulse buys. Replacing the squares, these bars are more convenient to eat and share.
Notes: I’ve often been reluctant to buy the larger squares I often see at Target because they’re kind of hard to eat. you have to break them into quads, and resealing the package was tough. The new format does dispense with that unique square format, but sometimes interesting doesn’t mean tastier. They should be in stores within the next 6 weeks.
Name: Dove Miniatures Cafe Collection (Ice Cream)
Brand: Dove (Mars)
Description: Two flavors in one box. CAPPUCCINO: Creamy coffee flavored ice cream coated with Dove Milk Chocolate. JAVA CHIP: Creamy coffee flavored ice cream with tasty coffee-flavored chips coated with DOVE Milk Chocolate.
Notes: I know I don’t usually post about ice cream, mostly because I can only eat about 4 ounces at a time, but these would be perfect for me since each individual piece is less than one ounce. They’ll also come in a peppermint ice cream/dark chocolate version (but the mint ice cream center is colored pink, which makes me wonder if it’ll taste weird).
(All photos not marked Candy Blog are courtesy of the respective manufacturer.)
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
While I usually think of September as the time to introduce new holiday themed candies, there’s a lot new everyday candy coming out. Most of the big news is in advance of NACS which is the National Association for Convenience Stores and Petroleum Retailing trade show. (Yes, they show a lot of candy and snack food at that convention.) The biggest news is that Mars has settled on some new products as a result of their years of limited editions. Some people are going to be very happy.
Name: M&M’S(r) Coconut Chocolate Candies
Description: Last summer, the country indulged in limited edition M&M’S(r) Coconut Chocolate Candies. Now consumers’ taste buds can escape to a tropical paradise any time of the year. In December 2009, M&M’S(r) Coconut Chocolate Candies will join the permanent line-up for the M&M’S(r) Brand. Consumers can’t resist the coconut-flavored M&M’S(r) Brand milk chocolate coated in a white or brown candy shell.
Notes: It’s odd to see these rolled into the regular product line so quickly, they must have flown off store shelves. (I think the fact that it was the suggested item at Walgreen’s for a month might have had something to do with the wide sampling.)
Name: M&M’S(r) Wildly Cherry Chocolate Candies
Description: In February 2008, consumers went wild for M&M’S(r) Wildly Cherry Chocolate Candies. Now fans won’t have to fret their favorite treat will go out of season - it will be a permanent addition to the offerings from Mars Snackfood in December 2009. M&M’S(r) Wildly Cherry Chocolate Candies feature smooth milk chocolate surrounded by a crisp candy shell with rich, delicious cherry flavor.
Notes: I tried these and thought they were okay. Honestly I think they’d be better as part of the M&Ms Premiums line because I wasn’t fond of the raspberry version there.
Name: Jots (Halloween)
Brand: Brach’s (Farley’s & Sathers)
Description: Jots from Brach’s are colorful candy coated morsels of milk chocolate.
Notes: Jots come and go from Brach’s. I really don’t have any info, except for this photo which was featured in a holiday candy announcement around All Candy Expo. I wish I could find them in stores but other than the Candy Corn and Mellocremes, I’m not seeing much Brach’s in the stores in my area.
Name: Color Me Candies
Brand: Russell Stover
Description: Delicious Russell Stover chocolate covered in a sweet candy coating. Available in eleven colors & color mixes. These large candy pieces are perfect snacks for parties, team outings or just snacks to keep around the house.
Notes: Another entrant into the single color candy covered lentil, Russell Stover has 11 colors competitively priced at $2.99 per 8 ounce bag, a fraction of the price of M&Ms Colors (which are $6.99 for 7 ounces). Right now they’re available on the Russell Stover website and probably their owned & operated stores. I’m waiting for Los Angeles to cool off before placing an order.
Name: MILKY WAY(r) Simply Caramel
Description: With delicious caramel surrounded by real milk chocolate, the new MILKY WAY(r) Simply Caramel Bar gives consumers more of what they crave about the Milky Way(r) Brand—rich, creamy caramel.
Notes: I believe that these were tested in a seasonal mix of regular Milky Way, Milky Way Dark and then this Simply Caramel in miniatures. I never found them on shelves to try them myself, but I can only imagine what this bar would be like ... very, very sweet. Hopefully it will be chewier to set it apart from the current chocolate/caramel offerings like Caramello.
Name: 3 MUSKETEERS(r) Truffle Crisp Bars
Description: The new 3 MUSKETEERS(r) Truffle Crisp Bars offer a unique twist on the brand consumers love—a lighter, crispier way to enjoy chocolate. At only 170 calories, this delicate treat features a whipped up chocolate truffle on a crisp layer.
Notes: This looks an awful lot like the Fling bar that was a product in Australia and was recently test marketed in California. (Reviews here.) If it is, I certainly appreciate the toned-down packaging & gender-neutral sales approach. There’s no indication whether it will come in a dark chocolate version.
Name: ICEE Gummy Candy
Brand: Koko’s Confectionery
Description: ICEE Gummy Candy is a new treat from Koko’s and is based on America’s favorite frozen carbonated beverage, ICEE. These sweet and chewy candies are shaped like iconic ICEE images such as the cup and bear. Flavors include cherry, blue raspberry, green apple, and lemon.
Notes: The flavor array is a little odd, in my mind it should have a cola flavor in there. Possibly even a cherry cola. I’m wondering if there’s anything that will give them that Icee note, like a burst of menthol like Sour Patch did with their Chillerz.
Name: MEGA Candy Buttons
Brand: Stichler Products, Inc
Description: A gigantic twist on the classic candy. Paper strips are a full 5 inches wide and 14 inches long. Colorful candy dots are flavored orange, lemon, cherry and raspberry. (Kosher)
Notes: They’re supposed to come off the paper easier than the Necco dots, so that’s a plus. And some flavor might be nice, though I’m thinking the appeal of these is still that they’re pretty. I do appreciate candies that play with scale.
Name: ICEE Popping Candy
Brand: Koko’s Confectionery
Description: ICEE Popping Candy is a new treat from Koko’s and is based on America’s favorite frozen carbonated beverage, ICEE. Dip the ICEE cup shaped lollipop into the Popping candy to experience an explosion on crackle in your mouth! Flavors include cherry, blue raspberry, green apple, and lemon.
Notes: I’m quite sure how this came about, but I’m glad they didn’t stick a straw in it and have kids inhale popping candies.
Name: TWIX(r) Java
Description: Coffee lovers can enhance their coffee breaks with a great TWIX(r) Brand twist featuring coffee-flavored caramel paired with irresistible chocolate cookie and covered in delicious TWIX(r) Brand chocolate. Back by popular demand to “bring the flavor back,” TWIX(r) Java Chocolate Cookie Bars are moving from a 2008 limited edition to a permanent offering.
Notes: I loved this when it first came out and have found that it’s really the only Twix bar I do like. I’m actually looking forward to the minis, as I find that’s usually the best balance of chocolate & crunch for my preferences.
All photos courtesy of their respective manufacturers.
- Brach’s Indulge Almonds: Coconut & Caramel
- Limited Edition M&Ms Coconut
- M&Ms Premiums
- Java Twix
- Head to Head: M&Ms vs Koppers Milkies
- Head to Head: Milky Way & Mars (Canada & UK)
Friday, May 22, 2009
Some of the best candies are not from the big candy makers, they come from innovative new companies and of course the wonderful regional & specialty confectioners. Here are a few items coming down the pike from them:
Description: Roasted premium sunflower seeds drenched in cocoa and covered in dazzling delicate sugar shells.
Notes: There are already plenty of companies making candy coated-chocolate sunflower seeds. But I suppose ubiquity would help. Sconza makes some very nice panned candies, so I’ll definitely try them. But the “cocoa” part is a bit disappointing. I think to guarantee real chocolate I might stick with the Kimmie All Natural ones (and no artificial colors).
Name: Cherry Lovers Fruit Chews
Brand: Gimbal’s Fine Candies
Description: Made with REAL Cherry Juice and are naturally high in Antioxidant Vitamin C. Featuring nine incredible juicy cherry flavors - from orchard fresh Bing Cherry, to New York Cherry Cheesecake and luscious Cherry Chocolate, these candies can’t be beat!
Notes: I know, it’s odd that I’m posting about a cherry product but I’m actually excited about this. I got a sample bag from the folks at the National Confectioners Association and they look great. They look like the See’s Cinnamon Hearts I had earlier this year but come in a variety of flavors & colors. A beautiful assortment for a jar or dish especially for Valentine’s Day.
Name: Quench Fruit Blast
Brand: Quench Gum
Description: Quench Gum “Sugar Free” Fruit Blast - Same great taste and now sugar free!
Notes: I liked that the gum doesn’t have aspartame in it (though I don’t know what they’re using for sweeteners if not aspartame or sugar). It’s nice to see the sports, mouth quenching gums making a comeback.
Name: Zachary Assorted Chocolates
Brand: Zachary Confections
Description: Our Assorted Box Chocolates have a brand new look! Milk and Dark Chocolate covered cremes and caramels.
Notes: My experience with Zachary is limited to their jelly & fondant products, mostly for Halloween (candy corn & jelly pumpkins). I’ve regarded them as a low end brand, which is fine for sugar candy, so I don’t know which way these boxed chocolates are going to go.
Name: Indulge Cherry Creme Cluster
Brand: Brach’s (Farley’s & Sathers)
Description: We are also offering the Brach’s(r) Indulge(r) Cherry Cr?me Clusters in a gable box for the consumer looking for a great new item for their cherry-loving friends!
Notes: Brach’s actually has a whole new line of these Indulge products. Some are just classic Brach’s products like Bridge Mix and chocolate covered nuts. But this one sounded pretty interesting - cherry fondant with nuts covered in chocolate. (Not something I’d eat.) I have samples of other items in the Indulge line and will post a full review soon.
Description: Yum, yum, yum, give me some Zum(r)! New liquid center Zum(r) chewing gum keeps your taste buds guessing all the way to the wacky sour apple-cherry core. Chomp into some Zum(r) for a flavorful, sweet-sour blast!
Notes: I have a sample of this (no photo yet). They’re sold in a blister pack and appear to be mega-looking Freshen-Up styled pieces. What I liked on the wrapper was that it was made with real sugar, not artificial sweeteners.
Name: MelloWorld Marshmallow Novelties
Brand: MNT Trading Inc.
Description: Melloworld marshmallows is classified as novelty due to its presentation and combinations i.e. some are filled with flavored jam, others are sandwiched between a fruit flavored gummy belt, others are twisted to resemble a rope, some are filled into a mini ice cream cone filled with fruit flavored jam and others are shaped in various shapes like bear, duck, rabbit & flower shapes etc.
Notes: I thought the packaging from this company was really cute. As far as marshmallows go, there aren’t many choices on shelves beyond the regular white ones which are more of an ingredient than a candy. (I am rather fond of strawberry marshmallows.)
Name: Get Silly Ice Cream Candies
Brand: Get Silly Ice Cream
Description: The amazing, new, innovative unmeltable ice cream treat. Get Silly Ice Cream Candy is made from 100% real ice cream, tastes like 100% real ice cream, IS 100% real ice cream. You can have an ice cream experience throughout the day without ever having to worry about it melting. One bite of Get Silly Ice Cream Candies and you will experience the creamy, velvety taste of traditional ice cream whenever you want, wherever you are. Following our wildly successful launch of America’s #1 pelletized ice cream IttiBitz, Get Silly Ice Cream is releasing a brand new candy version.
Notes: I’ve never tried Dippin’ Dots so I think I’m missing something here about there being any rankings for the category of pelletized ice cream. (Which sounds like a way to weaponize dairy products to me.) I’m not sure if it’s actually candy or not ... the rules aren’t quite clear and the way the product is served isn’t either.
Name: Fun Sweets Cotton Candy
Brand: Fun Sweets
Description: Fun Sweets offers an Award Winning line of cotton candy in shelf-stable transparent containers. We are proud to supply the country’s leading retailers and entertainment venues and would like the opportunity to be your cotton candy choice as well.
Notes: I don’t think anything will ever rival real fresh cotton candy made in front of you. A fun, well designed little bucket might be nice, especially for kids, who haven’t learned the difference. (And I have tried this so I can’t say that it is an actual wad of cotton candy instead of a fluffy ethereal cloud.)
All images courtesy of the respective manufacturers
- Candy Tease: All Candy Expo 2009 - Mars
- Candy Tease: All Candy Expo 2009 - Hershey
- Candy Tease: All Candy Expo 2009 # 1
- Candy Tease: April 2009
- Candy Tease: Spring 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Mars has recently become one of the kings of limited editions. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not innovating new candies, too. On Tuesday at All Candy Expo they held a press conference and announced their slate of new products and releases.
Name: M&Ms Premiums Chocolate Candies
Description: Who says good chocolate has to be serious? Mars Snackfood US is redefining the premium chocolate category again by introducing its popular M&M’S(r) Premiums Chocolate Candies in a new stylish petite reclosable carton that lets consumers savor and save as little or as many as they want. Now consumers can share a premium chocolate experience with friends, while showing off their sense of style and fun on-the-go! They promise to satisfy consumers’ chocolate cravings with two delectable flavors—Triple Chocolate and Dark Chocolate. Delicious gems of carefully slow blended chocolate in a shimmering soft shell will melt in your mouth. Find M&M’S(r) Premiums Chocolate Candies with other premium chocolates.
Notes: I mentioned these yesterday and already have a sample in hand of the Triple Chocolate variety. However, I’ve not tried nor seen the Dark Chocolate version before. I’m wondering if they’ll be like Dark Chocolate M&Ms or more like Dove dark chocolate. The retail price will be $1.29 for a 1.2 ounce box. The press release says they’ll be on shelves this spring. Anyone spotted them in the wild?
UPDATE: Review of M&Ms Premiums Dark Chocolate
Name: Snickers Transformers
Description: Based on the “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” hero Bumblebee, SNICKERS introduces the limited-edition SNICKERS Nougabot Bar. This distinctive bar combines dark colored caramel and bright yellow nougat for the same great flavor of original SNICKERS but with the look reminiscent of Bumblebee
Notes: This is pretty much the same as the Shrek Snickers which had a green nougat. I didn’t care for how I though the food coloring changed the flavor of the bar. On another note, Nougatbot is a trademarked name for Mars.
UPDATE: Review of Transformers Nougabot & M&Ms
Name: Limited Edition Snickers Fudge
Description: The new SNICKERS(r) Brand Fudge Bar (Limited Edition) boasts a peanut-packed chocolate fudge layer atop chewy peanut butter nougat wrapped in delicious milk chocolate. The result is an irresistible taste that will have consumers running to the candy aisle.
Retail customers who join the fudge craze will be a part of a $215 million growing fudge market (according to 2007 Mars Sensory RGT Research). Consumers are sure to love the combination of their favorite SNICKERS(r) brand and the nostalgic taste of rich fudge.
Notes: They should be hitting the shelves in August. I have a sample (though it’s kind of smashed) and will post a review closer to the release date.
UPDATE: Review of Snickers Fudge bar is here.
Name: Limited Edition Coconut M&Ms
Description: Catch the M&M’S(r) wave during Summer 2009! New M&M’S(r) Coconut Chocolate Candies will bring an island feel to retail displays and excite consumers to try this fun limited edition flavor from their favorite M&M’S(r) brand.
Notes: On the list of M&Ms flavor variations they should come out with, this wasn’t even on my radar. Not that I’m not happy to hear it. I have a sample and will post about them soon. Early thoughts are that they’re not bad, but I think they might have been better in dark chocolate. They should be hitting the shelves in August.
UPDATE: Review of Coconut M&Ms is here.
Other new products announced I’ve covered previously. They include: Dove Silky Smooth Milk Chocolate with Peanut Butter, Fling Chocolate Fingers, M&Ms Strawberried Peanut Butter Chocolate Candies, M&Ms Disney Memorable Moments.
Then there’s the Real Chocolate Relief Act ... I haven’t blogged about it and I probably won’t do anything beyond this mention of it. Basically, you can go to their website on Fridays until 9/25/09. They’re giving away a quarter of a million coupons for a free candy bar each week. It seems like a lot of work for 75 cents that you don’t get it for 6 weeks. I can’t decide what they can or will do with your info besides get an awesome cross section of the American population and who will fill out a form for less than a dollar. If that’s not a demonstration of America’s capability to delay gratification, I don’t know what is. (Kind of makes you think we’re gonna be okay.)
- Candy Tease: All Candy Expo 2009 - Hershey
- Candy Tease: All Candy Expo 2009 # 1
- Candy Tease: February 2009
- Candy Tease: Autumn 2008
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The biggest, most exciting bit of news to come from Hershey’s this year as far as new products has to be their new Pieces line:
Pieces(tm) - Hershey’s will turn some of its most iconic candies into delicious bit-size pieces wrapped in a crunchy candy shell. Offering the big flavor consumers love in smaller bites, Pieces will feature individually packaged Almond Joy(r) Pieces, Hershey’s(r) Special Dark Pieces, Reese’s(r) Pieces and York(r) Pieces in a portable and resalable stand-up bag.
Like Reese’s Pieces are a lentil shaped & candy shelled version of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, I’m sure that Pieces will merely be “inspired by” the flavors of these popular candy bars. I loved the little Hershey’s Bites that were discontinued, and realize now that these will not be a real replacement for those.
What they do look like though are:
Hershey’s Special Dark Pieces - a dark chocolate lentil. The packaging looks like they’ll be dark red, maroon and brown shells. (Hershey’s Special Dark Pieces review here.)
York Pieces - a dark chocolate center flavored with peppermint (not a fondant center with a dark chocolate veneer). These look like they’re dark blue and white shelled. (Hershey’s York Pieces review here.)
Almond Joy Pieces - milk chocolate, coconut and almond. The shells here look like blue, beige and brown. I’m not sure if it’s actual bits of coconut and almond or just the flavors. (Almond Joy Pieces review here.)
Other items rolling out now:
Hershey’s Bliss Chocolate Bars - New Hershey’s Bliss chocolate bars feature a smooth, creamy texture for an indulgent personal chocolate experience in Dark Chocolate and Milk Chocolate with a Meltaway Center.
My thoughts: as I mentioned in the post about packaging, these are looking an awful lot like Dove.
Hershey’s Kisses Brand Chocolate Meltaway - Hershey’s Kisses Brand Chocolates, loved for their unique shape and foil wrap, will introduce a delicious new flavor. Hershey’s Kisses Brand Chocolate Meltaway is the classic milk chocolate treat consumers love with a smooth, creamy meltaway center.
My thoughts: I got a few of these in a box from the folks at the National Confectioner’s Association and now have a whole package for review that came with this press release. I’m having trouble telling them apart from the Hot Cocoa and Chocolate Truffle Kisses, but I’ll work on it.
Hershey’s Nuggets Double Chocolate - Hershey’s Nuggets Double Chocolate combine extra creamy Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with rich Hershey(r)‘s Special Dark(r) Chocolate for a delectable indulgence.
My thoughts: it’s a fun idea! Combine a bit of dark and milk chocolate. (Sometimes I mix dark & milk M&Ms.)
Hershey’s 100 Calorie Whipped Vanilla Bars - Hershey’s extends its portion control offerings with the introduction of the Hershey’s 100 Calorie Whipped Vanilla Bars. Combining the decedent flavors of vanilla and chocolate, the new bars offer a balanced indulgence in one convenient pack.
My thoughts: I’ve pretty much stayed away from the 100 calorie bars for review, but I have to say that they’ve done some nice work at providing some tasty options that aren’t just smaller sized regular candies - they’re new from the ground up.
Later this fall you can also sample:
Hershey’s Bliss White Chocolate with Creamy Meltaway Center - Hershey’s Bliss will introduce a white chocolate expression to this decedent chocolate line with the launch of Hershey’s Bliss White Chocolate with Creamy Meltaway Center. The new individually wrapped, bite-size chocolates will be available in laydown bags.
My thoughts: If it’s really white chocolate, I’m going to be really interested. Hershey’s used to make good white chocolate products and I’ve love to see them return to it. (The old Cookies ‘n Cream bar used to use cocoa butter.)
Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Chocolate Miniatures - Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Chocolate Miniatures offer a delicious flavor assortment with three unique miniature chocolate varieties in one laydown bag, including Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Creme, Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Milk Chocolate and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate.
My thoughts: as mentioned above, the Cookies ‘n Creme used to have cocoa butter in it, but since they took it out, I haven’t been terribly interested in it. I do enjoy the cookies and milk chocolate but love, love, loved the Cookies ‘n Mint and would think it’s a natural item to include in this mix.
- Hershey’s Special Dark Pieces
- Hershey’s York Pieces
- Hershey’s Kisses: Chocolate Meltaway
- Hershey’s Almond Joy Pieces
- Hershey’s Bliss
- Reese’s Pieces
- York Mints
- Hershey’s Cookies
- Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Mint
- Hershey Bites: York, Reese’s Peanut Butter and KitKat
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