Here’s how to make your friends and co-workers jealous.
Tell them you are going to spend the day at the All-Candy Expo.
The Food Channel crew did just that. The rules included one goodie bag per person (they even clipped your name badge to show you’d picked up your allotted bag). No chance of shoveling all of that chocolate in and going back for more! But, if you want to taste that piece of dark chocolate, or that soy chip, or that new taffy, go right ahead. Yes, it was a lot of chocolate. It was also new snack products, mints, and candy of every kind.
As we sampled our way through the show, here are the things that caught this editor’s eye:
⋅ A Black Praline from Gold Kenn, a Swiss import handled by B & R Classics. It was it’s first day in the U.S. retail market, and was attention getting for its beautiful packaging as well as its emphasis on dark chocolate (although a milk chocolate version was also available – it just comes with a little more guilt).
⋅ Vitamin Mints, from Lusion, a company started by a couple of 20-somethings who had the idea to take breath mints and add vitamins. The mints come in peppermint, cocoa and sour berry and you feel healthier just eating one. We also saw the VerMints, branded to Vermont and all-natural, gluten free and no animal products.
⋅ Project 7. This is all about giving back, with 50% of their profits going to non-profit organizations. What’s more, the consumer gets to cast the vote among seven different initiatives to decide how those profits are split. They produce four products: water, gum, mints and t-shirts, which they consider lifestyle brands.
⋅ Mama Mellace’s Kettle Roasted Nuts they handed out the Cinnamon Almonds and now we HAVE to find the Sweet & Salty Cashews and Steakhouse Cashews. We also liked the Sahale Snacks Almond PB&J Glazed Nuts – nice way to take a standard snack and update it a bit.
⋅ OK, loved this one: The new Jelly Belly Superfruit mix. It’s got the Harry Potter jelly beans beat hands down. Who wants to try a vomit flavored bean when you can have the natural flavors of this mix with the added vitamin benefit from the barbados cherry, the acai berry, the blueberry, cranberry and pomegranate?
⋅ Skittles Crazy Cores – with two flavors in each piece. This follows the trend seen with Dorito’s Collisions of making it easy for the undecided to try a little bit of everything!
⋅ Starburst has come out with a ‘Faves’ package for its fruit chews. The FaveReds includes watermelon, cherry, fruit punch, and strawberry. No more digging past the lime green to get to the red!
⋅ The new Pringles Select chips in a Jalapeno Ranch. About what you’d expect for 25% less fat than regular chips.
⋅ Dove has created an upscale to its already-upscale chocolates with the bananas foster flavor. Have to admit – I snuck back for another one of these!
⋅ There was some nostalgia in Chew-ets Peanut Chews, reminiscent of the penny candy aisle at Ben Franklin. Nothing’s changed, meaning everyone can still have that great candy experience.
⋅ Then, there’s Pop Rocks. Oh, yeah, bring on those artificial flavors in watermelon and strawberry! Nothing says kid candy more than those.
⋅ More chocolate: the Fling bar, billed as a ‘delicate truffle on a subtle crisp layer enrobed in shimmering chocolate,’ all for under 85 calories a stick (or, as they call it, per finger).
⋅ Quench Gum, in Fruit Blast flavor (grown on your local Fruit Blast tree, perhaps?). It’s the latest sugarfree gum that offers a combined sensory appeal of flavor, texture and experience. Orbit Mist was another gum prominently displayed with its new Peppermint Spray and Watermelon Spring flavors. See a trend here? Watermelon is popping up all over, as is the idea of gum being a thirst-quencher or hydrating experience.
⋅ And, to top it all off, we loved the sugar free Sour Spray Candy. It’s like no other candy experience, in that you literally spray it into your mouth. Pucker up in flavors such as ‘Gween Apple,’ from ‘Too Tarts.’
Never let it be said that the trend toward healthy means we won’t be eating snack food and candy. Watch for these items as they hit your local stores, and let us know what you think.
Want to tantalize your sweet tooth further? Check out a few of our video interviews from the show!