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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

All Candy Expo - Monday Wrappers

Ah, day one of the All Candy Expo is done. I came back to my hotel room and dumped out my three mini-shopping bags (think small shoe boxes) onto the bed to rebuild my day. I spent most of the day on the show floor with Sera, from Candy Addict (so be sure to check out her thoughts!).

The addition of snacks to the mix of candy products this year means that there’s a savory respite while walking around. Some nuts, lots of pretzels, chips, popcorn products and of course jerkies.

DSC00035New products:

Ferrara Pan has gone chewy ... it makes me think they’ve been reading Candy Blog or something. It’s always been my wish that there were chewy Lemonheads (kind of like super sour bursting jelly beans). Imagine my delight to find Chewy Lemonheads and Chewy Atomic Fireballs. The Fireballs are the small sized ones and like an incredibly intense cinnamon crossed with a soft jelly bean. (Update: here’s the review.)

Reese’s Whipps ... I can go on and on about how I feel when marketing folks spell things oddly, but I won’t. The initial description made me think of a peanut butter 3 Musketeers, but there’s a bit more going for it here. The center is a nougat-style with a light peanut butter taste and a nice hit of salt. That is then covered in a thin layer of a crumbly peanut butter fudgy thing and then the whole thing is enrobed in mockolate. I’ll have a full review of that in a week or two.

The fun new product that we saw was a Green Tea Hershey’s Kisses that they’re selling in China. Yeah, why they’re teasing the American candy wholesalers and retailers with a product that’s not available here, I don’t know. It’s a milk chocolate shell with a green cream center with a distinct matcha taste. I actually liked it quite a bit, but it isn’t something that I’d be particularly eager to consume in large quantities.

The other product they were showing that’s coming out in the American market is a Hot Cocoa Hershey’s Kiss. How it’s different than the Chocolate Truffle was not something that the young woman at the Hershey’s booth was able to answer (as is often my struggle as a blogger visiting a major candy maker’s booth). I found it rather ordinary ... just a Hershey’s Kiss with a slightly saltier, creamier center.

Andes Mints are coming out with new Dessert Indulgence candies. They come in Lemon Meringue, Raspberry Cream and Key Lime. They’re a white confection base, which I know is probably terrible for me, but I have a special fondness for it.

Ghirardelli had an afternoon dessert event at their booth that Sera and I caught the end of. They were featuring three little brownie/cupcake bites based on their new line of filled chocolate bars. I loved the brownie bites, but only tried one of their bars so far. It was a Dark Chocolate with Raspberry Filling. The caramelly filling tasted completely authentic to raspberry. The tangy and sweet bite set off the chocolate very well. The other bars in the line are Milk Chocolate with Caramel Filling, Dark Chocolate with White Mint Filling, Dark Chocolate with Caramel Filling.

I spent a few minutes at the Chuao booth as well, even though I’ve already tried their ChocoPods, I hadn’t tried all of their bars. The Chinita Nibs is my favorite, the nibs are crunchy and rich and have a hint of caramel to them and the dark chocolate is spiced with nutmeg. The Earl Grey bar is a milk chocolate base and is wonderfully floral and rich, a little sticky and sweet. The new standout are the Caracas bar, which blend El Rey chocolate from Venezuela with perfectly roasted Hazelnuts and Pistachios. It comes in milk chocolate (41%) and dark chocolate (60%).

Flix Candy was showing some new gummy products called Gummy Bands. Four little gummi bracelets in four flavors, four colors and four sayings. They look my juicier than the version I got from the Oriental Trading Company earlier this year, though the sayings are a little, I dunno, out of step with what I’d expect: Trouble, Team, Wazz Up and Crazy.

One of the standout European chocolate imports is a German premium brand called Rauch Plantagen Schocolade. All single origin, they have a few different styles of packaging, from standard bars to long sticks to little chunks that are packaged in a “treasure chest.” I know it sounds goofy, but I’ll try to get more info and some photos later. I tried two pieces (Tobago and Trinitario) and this was extra smooth but super dark and distinctive chocolate.

I also spent a bit of time at the Annabelle‘s booth as Sera is a huge fan of theirs. I’ve always been keen on the idea of them, but much of their product line hasn’t quite clicked with me (granted, my experience is limited). The good thing was that I was keeping an open mind and had high hopes for the new high end Rocky Road-type marshmallow bars: Rocky Road Supreme Dark Chocolate Mocha and Rocky Road Supreme Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter. The mocha one was my favorite and featured a lightly coffee flavored marshmallow that wasn’t particularly sweet, drenched in dark chocolate with chopped cashews. As is often the case with coffee flavored candies, it was more of a woodsy, maple or pecan flavor than that dark roasted flavor, but it was wholly pleasant and certainly something I want to give another try. The peanut butter version that was so rich and filling, I can’t believe that anyone could eat a single bar by themselves (and they probably shouldn’t with it clocking in at about 400 calories and 3 ounces and what is at least two portions). Think of them as King Sized bars that you can share ... a more affordable upscale marshmallow indulgence. Smart.

After the show I toted my samples for the day back to the hotel, a little less than a mile walk from the convention center to the hotel for the dump ... that moment where I just spread it out on the bed and pick through the items and inspect the wrappers and, well, write this up. The above is only a small sampling of thoughts ... my bed was covered with over 100 different items at the end of the day, so expect a full inventory in next week and then the reviews!

Continuing coverage on the Expo here.

Related Candies

  1. All Candy Expo - Monday Noon Update
  2. This Week in Candy - Chicago Bound
  3. Navigating a Candy Expo
  4. What is the All Candy Expo

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:16 am     All Candy ExpoCandyFeatured News

Monday, September 17, 2007

All Candy Expo - Monday Noon Update

DSC09988Here are a few nibbles to get you through the day based on the three hours or so that I’ve been here so far.

Mars made a surprising and pleasant announcement this morning, they have come out in support of the current standards of identity for chocolate. That means that no matter what the FDA decides, they will not dilute our sacred chocolate experience with cheap vegetable fats.

  • Word on the floor is that the FDA got over 35,000 responses, most in support of keeping our chocolate real (very few addressing the other aspects of the food standards). The rumor (and I haven’t gotten confirmation on this) is that the FDA is now rejecting the chocolate portion of the standards change.

  • Mars is introducing some other new items, including some Crispy Mint M&Ms as a tie in to the new Indiana Jones movie, though those won’t be out for a while. They also have some Wildly Cherry M&Ms, which are rather like the Razzberry ones. I kinda liked them, they’re you know, cherry and chocolate. Snickers is also introducing the Snickers Nut’n Butter Crunch. I’ve got no clue what that is, but you can expect it in stores in November.

  • I stopped by the Storck (they have several product lines including Chocolate Riesen, Merci and Werther’s Originals) booth and saw the new Sour Mambas. Awesome ... not too sour, just juicy and flavorful. I’ve only tried the lemon, but I’m really intrigued. 

  • I stopped by the Hleks booth, they’re a Turkish confectionery company that makes carbonated candy (which I preferred to Pop Rocks). They have some new products including something called Chocolate Poppers, the size of M&Ms they’re milk chocolate with popping candy in it. There are several version, I’m excited to try them all. 

  • Terra Nostra Organic has some awesome new pocket chocolate bars, they’re only 1.5 ounces, so they’re a good single portion instead of the 3.5 ounce tablets. One is called Pomegranate Truffle that has a dark, sweet and tangy caramelly center inside 60% dark chocolate. All organic and Kosher, plus no milk products in it!
  • I’ll have more later, but I have to say the new venue is really great. It’s spacious and well organized and of course brand spankin’ new. I’m having some connectivity problems at the hotel, so I don’t know how well I’m going to be able to do updates. But I’ll be posting photos from the floor as often as I can.

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:33 am     All Candy ExpoCandyFDAFeatured News

    Saturday, September 15, 2007

    This Week in Candy - Chicago Bound

    I’m busy packing and repacking today for my trip to Chicago to the All Candy Expo. Stop by all next week for daily coverage of what’s on the show floor, new products, things I spit out, and all the other insider info from the candy business.

    The most exciting thing is that there are going to be many candy and food bloggers attending. I’ll try to have roundups of that coverage as the week goes on but you can check out Candy Addict, Chicagoist and Metroblogging Chicago.

    In other global candy news, Bloomberg reports that the German chocolate market is saturated. So saturated that Germany is positively busting at the seams with great quality chocolate and will be forced to sell it to other countries. So expect to see more German chocolate in your local store.

    The story also quotes that Germans consume an average of 19.8 pounds each. Americans average only 12 pounds. I can see why we look like a tempting target.

    In other good news for dieters and diabetics, another report has confirmed that Aspartame (sold as


    Nutrasweet) is safe for use. Personally, I don’t care for the stuff, it nauseates me and gives me a headache. I don’t think otherwise healthy children should be given artificial sweeteners, because I think natural is best as children learn their eating habits for life. But it’s good to know that if you do eat it (whether on purpose or by accident) that it’s safer than previously thought.

    If my week in review isn’t enough for you, check out the Wandering Eater’s week in review ... be sure to scroll down to the awesome photos and descriptions of the Christopher Norman shop.

    This week in review:

    Monday: Candy Corn Kisses (4 out of 10)

    Tuesday: Lake Champlain Organic Dark Bars (8 out of 10 & 9 out of 10)

    Wednesday: Frey Supreme White, Lemon & Lime and Lemon & Pepper (6 out of 10)

    Thursday: Walkers Nonsuch Toffee Original & Treacle (8 out of 10 & 9 out of 10)

    Friday: M&Ms Razzberry - Limited Edition (4 out of 10)

    Average for this week: 6.86 with 43% chocolate content.

    Related Candies

    1. This Week in Candy - Naturally!
    2. This Week in Candy - Too Hot
    3. This Week in Candy - The Vacation
    4. This Week in Candy - A Giant Craving
    5. This Week in Candy - Elvis is in the Cupcake!

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:33 pm     CandyFeatured NewsFun StuffNews

    Friday, September 14, 2007

    Candy Teases - New Products

    I don’t usually do new product announcements, I like to have the candy in my hot little hands, photograph it, taste it, describe it and of course post as much info as possible ... you know, as part of my relentless public service.

    But sometimes I really just wanna share my excitement about new products coming up.

    Here are a few new products I know are going to be coming out soon:

    imageName: Twix Limited Edition Java Bar
    Brand: Mars
    Description: This exciting limited edition will feature coffee flavored caramel paired with irresistible chocolate cookie and covered in delicious TWIX(r) chocolate.
    Release Date: December 2007
    Notes: Coffee flavored caramel with real espresso bean bits? I am so there!
    Here’s the review

    Name: Pop Rocks Chocolate Bar
    Brand: Pop Rocks
    Description: Premium milk chocolate with the explosive power of Pop Rocks ... it melts in your mouth and pops on your tongue.
    imageRelease Date: 09/01/07
    Notes: Pop Rocks came out with a chocolate coated version of the regular Pop Rocks last year.
    Here’s the review

    Name: PEEPS Peppermint flavored Stars
    Brand: Just Born
    Description - Peppermint marshmallow stars with shimmering red sparkles
    Release Date: Winter Holidays 2007
    Notes: This opens a whole new genre for Peeps Mashups. (Photo courtesy of Junk Food Blog.)
    Here’s the review

    imageName: Skittles Chocolate Mix
    Brand: Mars
    Description: Medley of chocolate inspired flavors, S’mores, Vanilla, Chocolate Caramel, Chocolate Pudding & Brownie Batter
    Release Date: Winter 2007 (possibly in fun size for Halloween)
    Notes: Sounds rather like the Limited Edition Ice Cream Skittles. All indications are that this is a new and permanent flavor addition.
    Here’s the review

    (All photos courtesy of the respective companies’ press kits.)

    Related Candies

    1. Skittles Carnival Flavors
    2. Skittles (Fruits, Wild Berry, Tropical, Smoothies & Sour)
    3. Twix Triple Chocolate
    4. Peeps Spooky Cats & Cocoa Bunnies

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:17 pm     All Candy ExpoCandyNew Product AnnouncementFeatured News

    Gridskipping - Los Angeles Chocolatiers

    I did a guest post on Gridskipper.com of some Los Angeles chocolatiers. They have an awesome system of mapping everything. However, they gave me an itty bitty box to cram into it everything I thought was important about each one. If you’re looking for more, I’ve linked everything up here to my yummilicious reviews along with a grand listing you can print out if you want to do a little tour of Southern California chocolates.

    Boule HatboxBoule
    420 N. La Cienega Boulevard
    Los Angeles, CA 90048
    (310) 289-9977

    my reviews
    official site

    The Chocolate Box CafeThe Chocolate Box Cafe
    714 Foothill Blvd.
    La Canada, CA 91011
    (818) 790-7918

    official site

    Trio of Truffle TilesChocolates a la Carte
    28455 Livingston Ave
    Valencia, CA 91355

    my review
    official site

    Chuao ChocolatierChuao Chocolate Caf?
    Spectrum Shopping Center
    95 Fortune Drive, Suite 603
    Irvine, CA 92618
    (949) 453-8813

    my reviews
    official site

    444 N. Canon Drive
    Beverly Hills, California 90210

    my review
    official site

    Jin PatisserieJin Patisserie
    1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd
    Venice, CA 90291

    official site

    K ChocolatierK Chocolatier
    9606 Little Santa Monica Blvd.
    Beverly Hills, CA
    (310) 248-2626

    my review
    official site

    L'Artisan du ChocolatL’Artisan du Chocolat
    3364 West First Street
    Los Angeles, CA 90004
    (310) 880-9396

    my review
    official site

    Littlejohn's Caramel KissesLittlejohn Toffee & Fudge
    3rd & Fairfax
    Los Angeles, CA 90036
    (323) 936-5379

    my review
    official site

    Valerie NougatValerie Confections
    3360 W. 1st Street
    Los Angeles, CA 90004
    (213) 739-8149

    my reviews
    official site

    Yes, yes, I know I still need to visit Compartes.

    Related Candies

    1. Disneyland for Candy Bloggers
    2. Candy Shopping in Los Angeles
    3. Candy Source: Munchies (Los Angeles)
    4. 2006 Chocolate Gift Guide
    5. Mel & Rose Wine & Spirits

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:20 am     CandyChocolatierLos AngelesShopping

    Page 385 of 585 pages ‹ First  < 383 384 385 386 387 >  Last ›

    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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