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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Candy Tease - Sweets & Snacks Part 2

Pissa Candy BlocksName: Candy Blocks
Brand: PISSA
Description: Build, Imagine, Taste!! Multicolored Building Blocks of pressed dextrose and the kids imagination is all you need to take full advantage of the new generation of didactic candies. Candy Blocks do not only taste great but make a new and fun experience every time. Each pouch contains up to 50g of pressed dextrose candy in 3 different shapes and 6 mixed flavors.
Introduction Date: 6/6/2013
Notes: The announcement says that they’re already available, though I haven’t seen them in stores anywhere. Concord already makes a Lego-style candy block, which I appreciate aesthetically but don’t find them very tasty. These pieces look rounded, and narrow, which may be better for eating instead of the pointy ends of the other variety.

Demet's Dark TurtleName: Dark Chocolate Almond Turtles
Brand: Demet’s Candy
Description: Made with 60% cocoa dark chocolate, salted almonds and homemade caramel, the item joins original, cashew, sea salt caramel and hazelnut varieties.
Introduction Date: October 2014
Notes: It’s about time turtles came in dark chocolate. Though it’s not a very dark chocolate, I’d love to be able to pick up a caramel nut patty with nuts that’s just a little less sweet.

Starburst FaveRed MiniName: Starburst FaveREDs Minis
Brand: Wrigley’s (Mars)
Description:
Starburst Minis are being extended to include Starburst FaveREDs Minis, which means all the best Starburst red juicy flavors will be available in smaller and unwrapped chews for a perfect sweet snack. Starburst FaveREDs Minis include: strawberry, fruit-punch, watermelon and cherry.

Introduction Date: December 2014
Notes: The unwrapped minis were introduced over a year ago. They’re interesting, like some sort of uncoated Skittles, but lack the flavor intensity of the classic Starburst.
     
Name: Starburst Superfruit
Brand: Wrigley’s (Mars)
Description: Superfruit flavors combines your favorite juicy Starburst® flavors with delicious Superfruit flavors. Each pack contains mouthwatering Raspberry Pomegranate, Strawberry Starfruit, Passionfruit Punch and Blueberry Acai
Introduction Date: December 2014
Notes: I think jumping on the superfruit flavors now is a little behind the trend line ... and I don’t see any really interesting flavors in this list that aren’t just slight shifts or tweaks of already available flavors that Starburst has put out over years.

Name: Skittles Orchards
Brand: Wrigley’s (Mars)
Description: New Skittles® Orchards contain a delicious mix of fruit flavors that you might find on an Orchard. Each pack of Skittles® Orchards pack contains Red Apple, Cherry, Lime, Peach, & Orange fruit flavors
Introduction Date: December 2014
Notes: So lime is back in another mix. I wonder if this means that Darkside is going away.

Name: Skittles Mash-Ups
Brand: Wrigley’s (Mars)
Description: Skittles® will launch new Mash-Ups, combining two favorites flavors, Tropical and Wildberry, in one pack.
Introduction Date: December 2014
Notes: This is kind of confusing ... instead of 5 flavors, it’s actually 10 flavors? Are they going to do away with Tropical and Wildberry and just sell this combo pack?

York MinisName: York Minis
Brand: York Minis
Description: The uniquely refreshing taste of cool peppermint and smooth dark chocolate is now bite-sized.
Introduction Date: May 2014
Notes: These are just teeny, tiny peppermint patties. It’s a great idea, kind of like Junior Mints. I’d buy them.

All images courtesy of the respective company

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:29 am     All Candy ExpoCandyNew Product AnnouncementDemet's Candy CompanyHershey'sWrigley'sHighlightNewsComments (2)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Mars challenges Hershey’s over the use of the name Malteser in US

In the battle for marketshare in the confectionery sector, it seems that some candy companies are more interested in getting our business by eliminating competition than gaining brand loyalty with exemplary products.

Malted Milk Balls

The latest battle involves old rivals Hershey and Mars, this time over malted milk balls. Mars makes Maltesers and Hershey’s makes Whoppers. But Hershey’s is also trying to assert the exclusive right to also make something called Malteser in the United States.

I don’t have the figures, but I’m going to guess that Hershey’s holds more than 70% of the market in malted milk balls with their Whoppers brand, but not necessarily because they’re the best but because they’re ubiquitous. Though I don’t have current figures, I’d estimate the brand is worth about $40 to $50 million in sales a year.

Mars Maltesers

Here’s a little history. Mars Maltesers were first sold in the United Kingdom in 1937. They were created as a diet candy; a chocolate candy with less chocolate and therefore less fat and calories. They’re also sold in Canada, New Zealand and Australia and exported to many other European countries. They can be purchased in shops that specialize in UK imports. Based on the number of brand extensions I’ve seen for Maltesers on my recent trip to London, I’d say that the candy is a much more important brand to Mars than Whoppers are to Hershey’s. Which may make them appear a threat.

Hershey's Whoppers

In 1939 an American candy company called Overland, introduced a malted milk ball candy sold under the name Giants, as they were larger than earlier versions called Malt-ettes. In 1949, two years after the company was sold to Leaf Inc, they were renamed Whoppers. There were many other companies that came and went that sold malted milk balls, but Whoppers have been made continuously ever since, even if their corporate overlords have changed.

Leaf Inc was once a formidable sugar candy company, the fourth largest in the US. They acquired many favorite American candy brands, including Jolly Rancher, Hollywood Brands (maker of Payday bars), Heath Bar, and Now and Later. Sometime in the 1960s Leaf started making something called Malteser and even registered a trademark for the name in 1962. I doubt they were widely distributed or advertised, as I can’t find any record of them . In 1983 Leaf was bought out by Huhtamäki Oyj, a Finnish company, which maintained the trademark registration. Mars sued Leaf over this trademark in 1993 and later settled out of court (so we don’t know the details) but Leaf retained the trademark.

For reasons I don’t quite understand, Leaf Inc divested and sold off many of its best brands, most to Hershey’s: Whoppers, Payday, Jolly Rancher and Heath Bar.
So, Hershey’s didn’t invent malted milk balls, and as far as I know, never had a national brand of their own until acquiring one.

Hershey Webstore - MalteserFast forward and lately Hershey’s has been releasing a product called Matleser: a malted milk ball that in all ways except packaging is identical to Whoppers. Though it’s a singular in the name, not Maltesers as the Mars product is, it’s also packaged in red.

The way trademarks work, not only do you need to register the trademark in all territories you plan to exercise it, you also need to use it. So if Hershey’s wanted to keep Mars from using Malteser in the US, by claiming it was an abandoned trademark, they had to demonstrate that Hershey’s wasn’t using it. I was able to find Hershey’s Malteser for sale on both the Hershey’s site and Amazon. I bought a box to confirm that they are just Whoppers in a different package. (They are.)

Hershey's Malteser

Mars contends that not only is Hershey’s squatting on the trademark in the United States, but that their packaging is intentionally confusing consumers to think that they’re purchasing the Mars version. I admit, they do look similar and even though I’m the candy blogger, I couldn’t remember of the top of my head if the Mars version was plural or singular until I started this research.

American trademark law is governed for the most part under the Lanham Act which covers trademark infringement and false advertising. The act was also revised in 1999 to encompass cybersquatting, the practice of registering domain names and then sitting on them or directing them to a competitor.

While Hershey’s practices up to the point where they created similar packaging were probably within the letter, though not the spirit of the law, my opinion after looking at the history, reading Mars’ brief on the case leads me to conclude that Hershey’s is just acting scummy. Whoppers are known by 300 million people in this country ... and if it’s not a favorable brand then Hershey’s should improve their quality, price point or packaging to the point where people are loyal to them.

Maltesers & Malteser
(Mars Maltesers on the left and Hershey’s Malteser on the right.)

I tried both again, just to check. Neither is great, but the do differ. Both have a mockolate coating, though the Mars version does have some cocoa butter in there. The centers, though both malty, have different textures. The Mars version is more honeycombed and has a easier crunch. The Hershey’s version is more milky tasting with a firm crunch that dissolves nicely. Both are excellent centers ... both have disappointing coatings. I prefer the Mars Maltesers.

Maltesers
(Mars Maltesers package circa 2005 which exhorts it’s “no ordinary chocolate”)

I’m a extremely curious if Mars were to introduced Maltesers in the United States if they would change the coating to real chocolate, as they do not make any mockolate products for the American market. However, Mars does not have a good track record for introducing the European candies to the US when there is another similar candy already on the market. They tried this with the Bounty bars, which are similar to Mounds and Almond Joy and they never took hold. Twix was a European launch that was then introduced in the US, but is a unique candy construction, which is how it established itself in its niche.

This is not an isolated issue in the candy business. Many candy companies go head to head in the courts instead of on the store shelves.

- The UK the courts have been deciding whether Cadbury should have exclusive rights to their shade of purple. Currently, the answer is no.
- The Seven Up Bar, which predates the 7-Up soda, ended up in a battle over the trademark of the name, which likely led to the demise of the bar when they sold the rights to the name, then licensed them back. (And a candy bar and a soda are two different categories.)
- Nestle owns the rights to the name Smarties everywhere in the world except the United States, where the name was already in use by the tangy tablets made by CeDe Candy. CeDe then had to rename their Smarties to Rockets when they introduced them in Canada.
- Nestle is trying to trademark the shape and construction of the KitKat bar in Europe, though it may be too late as there are already several knock off products.

For more reading on the issue, here are some other trade articles on the case:
Candy Industry: Mars Sues Hershey Over Trademark Infringement
Law360: Mars Not Sweet on Hershey’s Fake Maltesers Candy
Confectionery News: Hershey ‘tricking US consumers with fake Maltesers,’ claims Mars
Trademarkia: 1962 US Trademark registration for Malteser
Collecting Candy: The Visual History of Whoppers (via candy wrappers & advertising)

Related Candies

  1. Mars MaltEaster Bunnies
  2. Ovomaltine Chocolate Bar
  3. Hershey’s Whoppers
  4. Target’s Market Pantry Malted Milk Balls
  5. Eat with your Eyes: White Malteasers
  6. Trader Joe’s Milk Chocolate Malted Milk Eggs (Plus a Bonus)
  7. Mighty Malts
  8. Jelly Belly Chocolate Malt Balls
  9. Mars Maltesers

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:41 am     CandyHershey'sMarsMaltMockolateUnited KingdomUnited StatesHighlightNewsComments (5)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Candy Tease October 2013

Butterfinger CupsName: Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cups
Brand: Nestle
Description: The cup just got crunchy!
Introduction Date: January 2014
Notes: I have no doubt that Butterfinger can make a good peanut butter filling, but I have to wonder if the chocolate cups will be any good. Their actual Butterfinger Bar is pretty waxy and tasteless. But the package says something about being part of Nestle’s Cocoa Plan for certified sustainable cocoa, that would certainly set them apart from Hershey’s which is still not using cocoa that is certified to come from slave-free sources. The product launch will get a commercial during the Superbowl, which is pretty wild since Mars has the official sponsor spot with their Snickers & M&Ms spots.

Lancaster CaramelName: Lancaster Caramels
Brand: Hershey’s
Description: The surprisingly soft, rich and creamy Lancaster Soft Cremes provide a modern caramel taste experience to meet a growing consumer demand. The soft cremes were inspired by similar candies that company founder, Milton Hershey, made more than 120 years ago in his original candy company located in Lancaster, Pa. Three flavors at launch: Caramel, Vanilla and Caramel and Vanilla and Raspberry.
Introduction Date: January 2014
Notes: This brand was launched in parts of China earlier this year that went well enough that they’re going to bring them out here. (No word if they’re making them in China, but I have my doubts they would.)

Werther's PopcornName: Werther’s Original Caramel Popcorn
Brand: Werther’s Original (Storck)
Description: Perfectly popped corn wrapped with rich and creamy Werther’s Original Caramel. The Caramel Popcorn for Caramel Lovers!
Introduction Date: 7/1/2013
Notes: I’m really curious if these are made in Germany like the other Storck products. Which might mean that this uses non-GMO corn, which would be an intriguing prospect for some folks who eschew many candies because of the GMO corn products used in them (mostly corn syrup). Ultimately, I’m never sure if caramel coated popcorn is a snack or a candy.

Name: Werther’s Original Baking Caramel
Brand: Werther’s Original (Storck)
Description: Rich and Creamy Caramels great for baking making delicious caramel apples! Easy to unwrap!
Introduction Date: 7/1/2013
Notes: I like that they feature the statement that they’re easy to unwrap, it looks like they’re twisted like the regular Werther’s caramels. I can attest that those Kraft caramels in their clear plastic are a devil to unwrap.

JB Camo BeansName: Jelly Belly Camo Beans
Brand: Jelly Belly Candy Co
Description: The new Jelly Belly Camo Beans were inspired by the art of camouflage. Sportsmen, military and outdoor enthusiasts will discover seven Jelly Belly bean flavors in a camo-colored mix: Chocolate Pudding, Green Apple, Licorice, Juicy Pear, Orange Sherbet, Toasted Marshmallow and Watermelon. With Jelly Belly Camo Beans, the company continues its initiative of supporting U.S. troops. For every bag of Camo Beans sold, Jelly Belly Charities will donate $0.25 to support U.S. veterans and their families.
Introduction Date: 10/1/2013
Notes: It’s a strange assortment of flavors, with watermelon and orange sherbet right next to chocolate pudding and licorice ... so many things could go wrong.

Fruit VinesName: Fruit Vines Bites
Brand: American Licorice
Description: Building off decades of loyal followers of the Red Vines brand, American Licorice Company is helping candy lovers “live on the sweet side” with the launch of Fruit Vines Bites – soft, chewy bite size candy packed with fruit flavors designed to give everyone a new candy experience.
Introduction Date: Early 2014
Notes: I’m not sure what the difference between Fruit Vines will be and the Grape Vines that have already come out ... unless these are more like the Natural Vines.

Ovation Mint OrangeName: Ovation Mint Filled Break-A-Part
Brand: SweetWorks
Description: SweetWorks is introducing a new flavor to the Ovation Break-A-Part family: Mint Filled! It’s an all-natural dark chocolate sphere that breaks into 20 individual slices and each segment is filled with a cool mint center. The 6.17 ounce sphere will retail for $3.99
Introduction Date: November 2013
Notes: This sounds like an After Eight mint formed into a break-apart orange. It’s a great idea, though I wonder how messy it might end up if the center is flowing like a Junior Mint.

Ovation Pumpkin OrangeName: Ovation Milk Pumpkin Spice Break-A-Part
Brand: SweetWorks
Description: Milk Chocolate Sphere infused with all-natural pumpkin flavoring. “Breaks apart” into 20 slices The 6.17 ounce sphere will retail for $3.99
Introduction Date: September 2013
Notes: I was surprised to see the ingredients listed not only spices like ginger and nutmeg but also natural pumpkin flavoring. Pumpkin Spice is all the rage, and this one sounds like it’s actually made with good ingredients, so I hoping to find one soon for review.

Images courtesy of the respective candy company

Update 10/31/2013 - An earlier version of this post listed Welch’s PB&J Snacks, but I was just informed that the information is not accurate, so I have removed it.

Related Candies

  1. Candy Tease: Mars 2014
  2. Candy Tease: Sweets & Snacks Expo - Part 2
  3. Candy Tease: Sweets & Snacks Expo - Part 1
  4. Candy Tease: Bar None, Reed’s and Regal Crown Sours
  5. Candy Tease: October 2012

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:52 pm     CandyNew Product AnnouncementAmerican LicoriceJelly BellyNestleStorckSweetWorks, IncHighlightNewsComments (2)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bar None Revived by Iconic Candy

Bar None (Revived by Iconic Candy)The Bar None, originally made by Hershey’s, was a well-loved candy bar. It was launched nationally in 1987 (I believe I lived in the test market area in California in 1986 and became addicted to them early on). The bar was also introduced in Canada under the name of Temptation.

The candy bar boasted chocolate wafers with chocolate cream and then a layer of crushed peanuts all covered in real milk chocolate. It sounds like a giant KitKat, but the reality was a bit different. The wafers were more aerated, the cream layers were more chocolatey and the crushed nuts were, of course, never found on a KitKat. Later in 1992, in an attempt to overcome some manufacturing issues, the bar was changed from a single piece to twin sticks with the addition of caramel. The wrapper was also redesigned to predominantly yellow and sales fell until the bar was discontinued in the United States in 1997. (More about the bar here.)

Bar None Ad

The Iconic Candy Company of Carle Place, NY specializes in reviving extinct candies; they picked up the rights to the candy bar and are in the final stages of their planned reintroduction of Bar None. They previewed the Bar None at the Sweets and Snacks Expo in Chicago last month.

Indulge me for a moment for a little more history, or don’t and skip ahead to the review down there where the candy bar photos start. In addition to one of the early ad campaigns for the bar (which included commercials and the tagline “Tame the Chocolate Beasty”)  I also found an intact wrapper online which revealed the original (circa 1990) ingredients for the 1.5 ounce bar (240 calories):

Milk chocolate (milk chocolate contains sugar, cocoa butter, milk, chocolate, soya lecithin and vanillin) Peanuts, refined palm kernel oil, sugar, wheat flour, nonfat milk, cocoa processed with alkali, dextrose, cornstarch, soy lecithin, baking soda, salt, TBHQ and citric acid

The new bar is 1.6 ounces and 240 calories:

Milk chocolate, dry roasted peanuts, chocolate cream wafer. Milk chocolate: sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk, chocolate liquor, soy lecithin, vanilla. Chocolate Creme Wafer: Sugar, enriched flour, dextrose, palm oil, canola oil, cocoa processed with alkali, soy lecithin, artificial flavor, salt, sodium bicarbonate, yellow #5, yellow #6, red #3, red #40, blue #1. May contain cornstarch. Contains milk, wheat, soy and peanuts.

The original bars were made by Hershey’s at their facility in Stuart’s Draft, Virginia (home of Reese’s Pieces). Iconic Candy is also making their bars in the United States.

Bar None (Revived by Iconic Candy)

The bar looks good, though I have to say that it doesn’t look as angular as I remember it. I thought it was a little flatter back in the olden days, but I could be wrong. I rarely took the bar out of the wrapper, instead when I ate it, I opened the end and just pushed out enough of it to take a bite because it was a very messy bar - both the fact that it would melt on the fingers and the fact that biting into it would sometimes scatter bits of the thin chocolate coating. I remember the chocolate coating as a soft chocolate, prone to melting even though I lived in the never-actually-warm Northern California area at the time. The original bar was also fatty, as the calorie count was about 160 calories per ounce, which is very high for a wafer bar.

It smells good, like chocolate with just a hint of roasted peanuts. Again, I don’t remember the peanut element from the original, which was really all about the taste of the milk chocolate and the cream filling between the wafers. The peanuts were for crunch, not flavor.

Bar None (Revived by Iconic Candy)

The bar has a gentle crunch to it. The chocolate gives way well without becoming a flaky mess. The wafers are crispy and light, quite aerated and different from the KitKat wafers, which are more dense. These are like an ice cream cone. Though I would want the wafers chocolate flavored, I think they’re rather flavorless, coming across a bit like malty foam.

The chocolate is sweet and creamy with a good milky flavor. The peanuts taste fresh and have a good crunch and consistent size. There’s a little note of salt, just on the crushed nuts. The wafer stack is good, though not as chocolatey as I would like.

There’s an alternate universe (if you subscribe to the multiverse theory) where Hershey’s didn’t pervert and destroy the original bar with the twin sticks with caramel. But in that universe, in which Hershey’s behaved otherwise identically, the bar would have fallen to the same pressures to use “safe and suitable vegetable fats” instead of cocoa butter like they did with the classic Mr. Goodbar which is no longer a good chocolate bar, or a chocolate bar at all. So even if there were a Bar None today, I doubt I would still like it. Hershey’s simply doesn’t make their products better over time, they just make the more efficiently. We’re lucky if that doesn’t effect the taste and nutritional profile of the product, but it usually does. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Good & Plenty are really their only remaining products that I still enjoy regularly.

So, in a way, I think it was a blessing that Bar None disappeared before it got bad. Because then people wanted it to come back. The new Iconic Candy version of it isn’t quite the same, but then again, the original had its issues. It often slid apart, because the creme between the layers wasn’t held together well enough by the chocolate coating. The sharper corners would get crushed. The chocolate would flake off. I don’t see those as issues with the revived bar. But it’s still lacking that fatty, slick chocolate texture that I remember. So, it may be an uphill battle with the die hard fans of the original. There’s also a case to be made that original fans may have had other qualities about the bar that they liked that are still served by this version.

Bar None (Revived by Iconic Candy)Tasting this bar today, without the reference point of the original, it’s a very well done effort. It’s airy and light but still very satisfying. The peanuts are a nice crunchy touch that don’t veer off into peanut butter territory as a flavor. But my tastes have changed now, being exposed to fine and dark chocolate from around the world have made me demand more from my candy. Now I think I’d want this in a dark chocolate version over a milk one.

The cross section though did give me pause. It’s purple. Why are the wafers purple? Well, glance back up there at the list of ingredients and you’ll see five artificial colors. I’m not sure why it needed them, but they’re there.

I’ve emailed with Iconic Candy, and the bars aren’t in stores quite yet. I’ll have some more information on that, and of course they’ll have information at their website as they start shipping to wholesalers and stores. If you have a favorite spot for buying candy, you may want to mention to them that you’d like to try the bar so they’ll order it.

Here’s a newsletter from Hershey’s called Chocolate Town USA from back in 1990 that details the launch of the original chocolate bar.

Related Candies

  1. Candy Tease: Bar None, Reed’s and Regal Crown Sours
  2. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Wafer Cookies
  3. Crispy M&Ms
  4. Tunnock’s Caramel Milk Chocolate Wafer
  5. Ritter Sport Neapolitan Wafers
  6. Q.Bel Crispy Wafer Bars
  7. Candy Poll: Back from the Dead
  8. I Miss: Bar None


Name: Bar None
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Iconic Candy
Place Purchased: samples from Iconic Candy
Price: $1.50 retail (guess)
Size: 1.6 ounces
Calories per ounce: 150
Categories: Candy, Chocolate, Cookie, Peanuts, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:57 am     CandyReviewEasterChocolateCookiePeanuts7-Worth ItUnited StatesNewsComments (19)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Candy Tease: Sweets & Snacks Expo - Part 2

More new product introductions were announced at Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago.It’s interesting to watch new versions of tried and true brands being created.

Mint Circus PeanutsName: Peppermint Spangler Peanuts
Brand: Spangler Candy
Description: Spangler Circus Peanuts have been a favorite for decades and now they come in a delicious peppermint flavor! Fat free, and free of the most common allergens, they’re perfect for a new generation and those who grew up loving them! Fat free and are free of the top common allergens.
Introduction Date: November 1, 2013
Notes: I have a soft spot for the sheer incongruity of Circus Peanuts, a candy shaped like a peanut, tinted like a Malibu Tan Barbie and flavored like fingernail polish remover (or perhaps it’s banana) so this new flavored version of the strange confectionery chimera also intrigues me. I hope I can find them this Christmas.,

Klondike CaramelName: Klondike Candy
Brand: Flix Candy
Description: This new treat is sure to melt in your mouth! It comes in two delicious flavors. Mint Chocolate Chip features a refreshing mint center filled with mint chocolate chips and is covered in dark chocolate flavored coating. Meanwhile, Klondike Caramel has a creamy caramel center covered in milk chocolate flavored coating.
Introduction Date: 6/1/2013
Notes: The fact that they’re using mockolate pretty much stops me dead in my tracks as far as desireablility goes. Sure, I’d love an ice cream themed candy, but I see no point in eating one filled with tropical oils or partially hydrogenated fats when there are so many others out there made with real and decadent ingredients.

All Natural Cotton CandyName: All Natural Cotton Candy
Brand: Fun Sweets
Description: Delicious Fun Sweets All Natural Cotton Candy is made with real honey, coconut palm nectar and orange blossom extract. This fat-free, gluten free product is also made in a nut free facility.
Introduction Date: 05/01/2013
Notes: It’s nice to see a new version of all natural cotton candy, which is a pretty simple confection. I’m not sure about the use of honey or coconut palm nectar instead of plain old sugar ... considering the fact that cotton candy is just spun sugar. But I’ll give it a try.

Name: Starburst® Minis
Brand: Wrigley’s
Description: Starburst® Minis, a new Starburst® chew that’s small and unwrapped!
Introduction Date: 06/01/2013
Notes: I’ve always considered Skittles small unwrapped Starburst (though a slightly different flavor set) so this is a baffling candy in concept. No images were provided by Wrigley’s and they’ve not responded to my requests or inquiries since they were bought by Mars.

Name: Starburst ® Candy Corn
Brand: Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company
Description: Candy corn shaped candies in the great fruit flavors of Starburst ® Original Chews
Introduction Date: 6/1/2013
Notes: I really wish I had photos for this, but I think we’ll probably have to wait for September when this rolls out (I think the June introduction is just when it’s available for order, not necessarily in stores).

Airheads bitesName: Airheads Fruit and Berry Bites and Airheads Xtremes Bites
Brand: Perfetti Van Melle USA Inc
Description: New Airheads Bites are chewy bite sized pieces of soft panned Airheads dough. They are unique because the flavor is stays fruity to the last bite. Same intense Airheads flavors but in easy-to-eat pieces. NEW Airheads Xtremes Bites combines intense Airheads flavor with the perfect blend of sweet & sour for sour lovers of all ages. Each convenient bite-size piece features a unique texture and eye-catching 5-colors.
Introduction Date: 04/15/2013
Notes: These sound really interesting. I enjoy Airheads, but rarely want to eat a full bar, so a panned version would be easy to nibble on and probably combine with other candies.

Related Candies

  1. Candy Tease: Sweets & Snacks Expo - Part 1
  2. Candy Tease: Bar None, Reed’s and Regal Crown Sours
  3. Candy Tease: April 2013
  4. Candy Tease: October 2012
  5. Candy Tease: August 2012
  6. Candy Tease: Sweets & Snacks Expo 2012 - Part 3

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:27 pm     All Candy ExpoCandyNew Product AnnouncementHighlightNewsComments (1)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Candy Tease Spring 2012

It’s a little early for Sweets and Snacks Expo announcements for new products, but there are a few new items of note in the candy world.

Justin's Nut Butter BarsName: Justin’s Candy Bars
Brand: Justin’s Nut Butter
Description: Available in three gourmet flavors, Milk Chocolate Peanut, Dark Chocolate Peanut and Milk Chocolate Almond, Justin’s Candy Bars contain organic chocolate, nuts, caramel and nougat. Justin’s All-Natural Candy Bars contain 25 percent less sugar, 50 percent more protein and 100 percent more fiber than the leading conventional candy bar, Snickers, the company said.
Introduction Date: Exclusive at Whole Foods through June 2012, available wider after that.
Notes: I tried these at ExpoWest and have to say that these don’t taste like healthy candy. There’s no compromise on the flavor and texture. I’ll have a full review soon.

Jelly Belly CockroachName: Gummi Pet Cockroach
Brand: Jelly Belly
Description: Gummi Pet Cockroach will join Pet Rat, Pet Gator, Pet Dinosaur and Pet Tarantula this June. The candy is created with two different flavors: one for the “legs” and the other for the “body.” The Gummi Pet Cockroach candies will be available in blackberry and cherry, grape and lime, and orange and blackberry.
Introduction Date: June 2012
Notes: I really don’t have a problem with novelty shapes as a rule. But this one isn’t quite the right coloring, it looks more like a flattened spider and certainly the size is out of scale. Also, what’s intimidating about Cockroaches is their crunchy shell. Jelly Belly was so accurate with their flavors for the Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans (well, I hear that they were, I didn’t try all of them) it’s just a little disappointing that they didn’t go for the scary accuracy of big bugs instead.

Ovation - Dulce de LecheName: Dulce de Leche Ovation Sticks
Brand: SweetWorks, Inc.
Description: Ovation Sticks feature caramel truffle centers covered in all-natural dark chocolate.
Introduction Date: Available Now
Notes: The Ovation sticks are usually individually wrapped, which makes them ideal for serving in situations where you don’t want a big pile of opened chocolate. But for snacking for yourself, it’s a little daunting to either unwrap or observe all the wrappers you’ve created after a binge.

Juicy Drop TaffyName: Juicy Drop Taffy
Brand: Bazooka (Topps)
Description: The taffy packs in 2.36-ounce pouches containing eight pieces and a sour gel applicator, which lets consumers increase the sour flavor on the candy, the company says. The new items will debut in Blue Rebel and Knock Out Punch flavors.
Introduction Date: Available Now
Notes:

Sanders Pecan-dyName: Milk Chocolate Covered Gretzels, Twisted Toffee & Pretzel and Pecan-dy
Brand: Sanders Candy
Description: Milk Chocolate Covered Gretzels are cinnamon graham crackers shaped to resemble pretzels. Cashew Almond Pecan-dy is a mix of popcorn and caramel coated nuts. Chocolate Drizzled Cashew Almond Pecan-dy is the company’s popcorn and caramel-coated nut mix with dark and milk chocolate
Introduction Date: Available Now
Notes: The sweet and savory trend meets the comfort candy trend with Sanders. They redid all their packaging design recently, I think it suits them well and stands out.

Nifty Gummi CupcakesName: Gummy Cupcakes
Brand: Can You Imagine That!
Description: The fun-size gummy cupcakes with sprinkles come in a gift box and make a fantastic treat or sweet present.  And, if you’re looking for something a little more dramatic, there’s the Giant Gummy Cupcake, weighing in at 1 lb. Both are available in a variety of bright colors and flavors of gummy.
Introduction Date: Available Now
Notes: It’s far more appealing to eat food shaped like food than like vermin (though I’m not really a big consumer of cupcakes). These are deliriously cute and I’m probably going to buy them just to take their picture.

Here’s a couple of really early teases as well from Mars:

Milky Way Caramel AppleSeptember: MilkyWay Caramel Apple Minis are bite-size bars featurirng apple flavor caramel covered in milk chocolate. Packing in 11.5-ounce lay down bags.

September: The return of Candy Corn White Chocolate M&Ms.

November: Twix Sugar Cookie Minis combines Twix with sugar cookies. The 10.5-oz. packages will carry a suggested retail price of $3.99;

November: 3 Musketeers Hot Cocoa with Marshmallow Minis is a new limited-edition holiday flavor that will be available in a 10-oz. bag for a suggested retail price of $3.99.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:34 pm     CandyNew Product AnnouncementHighlightNewsComments (3)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Candy Tease November 2011

imageName: Hershey’s Rolo Minis
Brand: Hershey’s
Description: Rolo Minis are bite-sized and unwrapped versions of Hershey’s chocolate-covered caramels. They are available in 2.5-ounce king size packs and in eight-ounce reclosable bags.
Introduction Date: March 2012
Notes: These look like a great idea for movie theater snacking or baking projects. I wonder if they’ll be sold in large bags or theater boxes as well. (A king size bag is actually ideal for a movie.)

imageName:
Brand: Hershey’s
Description: Milk Chocolate With Almonds Pieces are whole almonds covered in milk chocolate and coated in a candy shell. They pack in eight-ounce pouches that ship in 12- and 20-ct cases.
Introduction Date: March 2012
Notes: These look suspiciously like Almond M&Ms, but I’m not going to complain if I can actually find these reliably. I’m curious what the quality of the chocolate will be. I was fond of the Almond Joy Pieces (which had coconut bits and crushed almonds in milk chocolate). The brown and cream colors feel like they’re more natural, but it’s not like it doesn’t take just as much artificial coloring to make brown as red or blue.

imageName: Hershey’s Bliss Dark Chocolate with Caramel
Brand: Hershey’s
Description: Individually wrapped Hershey’s Bliss Dark Chocolate With Caramel is also new, packing in 8.6-ounce bags.
Introduction Date: March 2012
Notes: The Bliss line just keeps looking more and more like Dove Promises. I’m not saying that it’s bad to have a little competition, but I’d like to see some differentiation, Hershey’s should do the kinds of flavor combinations that Dove isn’t doing.

imageName: Lindt Holiday Friends
Brand: Lindt Chocolate
Description: Escape to Lindt’s winter wonderland with the help of our lovely enchanting characters: Bear, Snowman & Santa.  Lindt Swiss Maitres Chocolatiers have passionately created the most traditional characters in the finest Lindt chocolate.
Introduction Date: currently available
Notes: Lindt also offers miniature foil wrapped versions of these characters, plus some reindeer for Santa. The bears are on par with the reindeer and iconic bunny they do for Easter. It stands to reason that the bear could be a year round item now.

imageName: Warheads Sour Twists
Brand: Impact Confections
Description: The latest Warheads product is pretty twisted. Sour Twists feature a twisted extruded chewy candy with a fruity center and just-right sour coating. Three delicious flavors of lemon, green apple, and watermelon are twirled in every twist, which can be eaten as one, or pulled apart and enjoyed one flavor at a time.
Introduction Date: available now
Notes: Super sour fruity licorice. I like that the twists can be untwisted. It looks like they have a good corner on this part of the market with a truly sour product.

imageName: Jelly Belly Snapple Mix
Brand: Jelly Belly
Description: Jelly Belly Candy Co. has teamed up with Snapple to create a new line of Jelly Belly beans with Snapple Juice Drinks. The candymakers began at the source, Snapple Juice Drink concentrates in five tangy and sweet Snapple flavors: Fruit Punch, Mango Madness, Cranberry Raspberry, Pink Lemonade and Kiwi Strawberry. The gourmet jelly beans burst with Snapple goodness. Jelly Belly Snapple Mix flavors are made from real fruit juice and purees. These jelly beans have no artificial coloring; the colors come from natural fruit and vegetables.
Introduction Date: available now
Notes: I like that Jelly Belly is expanding their all natural line of jelly beans. I’ll be on the lookout for these in stores.

imageName: Tropical Cotton Candy Swirlz
Brand: Taste Of Nature
Description: Watermelon, banana and pineapple/coconut cotton candy comes in 3.1-ounce bags and join the company’s five existing flavors.
Introduction Date: unknown
Notes: I’ve never been fond of pre-packaged cotton candy, it’s completely lost its fluff by the time it gets to the stores. But I can say, from personal experience, that pineapple and pina colada cotton candy is a great combination.

Images courtesy of the respective manufacturer.

Related Candies

  1. Candy Tease: October 2011
  2. Candy Tease: Mars 2011 Announcements
  3. Candy Tease: Sweets & Snacks Expo 2011 Part 2
  4. Candy Tease: Sweets & Snacks Expo 2011 Part 1
  5. Hershey’s Almond Joy Pieces
  6. Hershey’s Bliss
  7. Lindt Chocolate Bunnies (Dark & Milk)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:11 pm     CandyNew Product AnnouncementHighlightNewsComments (4)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Candy Tease: October 2011

imageName: Angry Birds Fruit Snacks and Gummies
Brand: Healthy Food Brands
Description: The chewy candies are shaped to resemble characters from the Angry Birds video games, and packs feature the games’ logo and graphics. Made with fruit juice, all products are fat-, nut- and gluten-free, and come in cherry, lemon, raspberry, apple, grape and strawberry flavors. Angry Birds Fruit Snacks come in 2.25 and five-ounce peg bags with SRPs of 89 cents and $1.59 while Angry Birds Gummies come in 3.5-ounce theater boxes with a SRP range of $1.29 to $1.69.
Introduction Date: current
Notes: Angry Birds has been devouring your time, now you can devour them. Actually, I appreciate that the shapes are actually of the little characters. I hate it when I get a themed candy that’s just about the packaging, nothing inside is any different from the usual brand.

imageName: 3 Musketeers Coconut Bar
Brand: Mars
Description: Send your taste buds to paradise with the sweet taste of new 3 MUSKETEERS Coconut Bar. Coconut flavor has been added to the 3 MUSKETEERS signature light and fluffy chocolate nougat and then wrapped in rich, milk chocolate.
Introduction Date: December 2011
Notes: Mars has already introduced Coconut M&Ms, Coconut Twix and Dove Coconut Cream Eggs (and maybe you can count the Snickers Adventure Bar that had some coconut in it). Sometimes Mars’ innovations feel more systematic. They introduce a version of something with a new flavor, like Cherry M&Ms and then they say, “What else could have cherry in it?” So then we have Cherry 3 Musketeers, and then Cherry Dove Bars and so on. The other flavored center varieties of 3 Musketeers have been interesting, I did appreciate the Coffee one and Raspberry was interesting too. I’m not sure how long we’ll have to wait for the Chili & Lime 3 Musketeers or the Wasabi 3 Musketeers.

imageName: M&Ms Mint Dark Chocolate
Brand: Mars
Description: Consumers can add some cool to their crunch with new M&Ms Mint Dark Chocolate Candies. It’s a delicious, new way to experience the colorful, shareable M&Ms bite-sized candy they love, now with cool, refreshing mint combined with creamy dark chocolate and coated in a crunchy candy shell. Mars Chocolate has responded to consumer requests for variety and has shown proven success in adding new flavors to its iconic brands. Mint is a large and growing segment of the chocolate category.
Introduction Date: December 2011
Notes: These may have existed in the distant past and I’m happy to see that they’ll return. (It also appears that the seasonal Milk Chocolate Mint M&Ms will also be back.)

imageName:
Brand: Mars
Description: Consumers will experience the chocolate lover’s dream with new SNICKERS 3X Chocolate 2 to Go Bars. Layer after layer offers perfection, with roasted peanuts in chewy, chocolate caramel atop a fluffy chocolate-flavored nougat and covered in creamy milk chocolate.
Introduction Date: December 2011
Notes: I’ve never met someone who likes Snickers that would say that Snickers needs less peanut flavor. I’m not saying that this is going to be a bad bar, but if they only thing that’s still Snickerish are the peanuts, is is not going to go well. But what do I know, the experts at Mars (or their advisers) say, “In consumer testing, this new offering scored as high as the original SNICKERS Bar in overall product liking,1 and 67 percent of consumers said they would “definitely” or “probably” purchase SNICKERS 3X Chocolate Bars.”
A few years ago there was a Triple Chocolate Twix bar, it was chocolate caramel on a chocolate cookie covered in chocolate. So Mars already knows how to do this.
Don’t Miss: Gobble Monkey tried the UK iteration of the Triple Chocolate Mars Bar (really a triple chocolate Milky Way).

imageName: Sun Cup Caramel
Brand: Seth Ellis Chocolatier
Description: Seth Ellis is already know for their peanut free Sun Cups, which use sunflower seed butter instead. Now they’re expanding the line to include the new milk chocolate caramel cups. They’re also gluten free, tree nut and peanut free and use
Introduction Date: May 2011
Notes: Caramel Cups. I don’t really get them. Nothing against this one, they’re just not quite my thing. But they’re also gluten free, tree nut and peanut free and use Rainforest Alliance certified chocolate and finally, are Kosher certified.

imageName: Sun Cup Mint
Brand: Seth Ellis Chocolatier
Description: Love Dark Chocolate? Love sweet cool peppermint? Then you are going to LOVE Dark Chocolate Mint Sun Cups.
Introduction Date: May 2011
Notes: They’re also gluten free, tree nut and peanut free and use Rainforest Alliance certified chocolate and finally, are Kosher certified. The only real issue I have with them is that they use white chocolate as part of the ingredients list. It’s not really a problem for me, but they had an opportunity to make a vegan product (which is pretty rare in the chocolate/mint fondant world) and kind of missed the boat for our animal-free and dairy-free friends.

imageName: Ritter Sport Espresso Bar
Brand: Ritter Sport
Description: Ritter Sport is introducing the new 3.5 oz. Milk Chocolate Espresso Bar, made with robust Arabica coffee. With the coffee sector still being a very “hot” category, this bar should do extremely well.
Introduction Date: unknown
Notes: This bar was introduced over a year ago in Europe. I got to taste it then and I’m eagerly anticipating it showing up on store shelves in North America. The milky flavors are quite strong, but the espresso is wonderfully rich and much more forward than the milky and sweet Cappuccino bar they make. We’re sadly lacking in actual coffee chocolate bars in the United States, this will fill that hole very well.

imageName: Red Velvet Cupcake Bites
Brand: Taste of Nature, Inc
Description: A new candy promises the fun of dessert in a bite-sized treat. Red Velvet Cupcake Bites feature a cupcake center, covered in creamy red frosting with a distinctive “red velvety” taste. The bites are a play on Taste of Nature’s Cookie Dough Bites candies.
Introduction Date:
Notes: I really loathe Red Velvet Cake, mostly because it’s just yellow cake with red food coloring in it. (But I do enjoy cream cheese frosting.) This candy has it all wrong, first because the coating (cream cheese frosting) shouldn’t be red, it’s supposed to be white and the center should be red. But whatever, I haven’t actually liked any of the other Cookie Dough Bites innovations anyway (need I remind you of the Cupcake Bites?). So I’ll just leave you with the ingredients to tantalize you .... Ingredients: Confectionery coating (sugar, partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil, nonfat milk powder, whole milk powder, cocoa powder, FD&C red 40 lake, natural flavor, soy lecithin (an emulsifier) and vanillin (artificial flavoring)) and cupcake bites (wheat flour, sugar, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (palm kernel, palm, soybean, and cottonseed), corn syrup, fructose, water, palm oil, natural and artificial flavors, soy lecithin, salt and xanthan gum).

images courtesy of the respective manufacturers

Related Candies

  1. Candy Tease: Mars 2011 Announcements
  2. Candy Tease: Sweets & Snacks Expo 2011 Part 2
  3. Candy Tease: Sweets & Snacks Expo 2011 Part 1
  4. Candy Tease: Nostalgia in 2011
  5. Candy Tease- October 2010
  6. Candy Tease: Mars 2010

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:15 pm     CandyNew Product AnnouncementHighlightNewsComments (18)

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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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