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.)