2005 All-Candy Expo Features Indulgent Treats

At this year’s All Candy Expo, the recent charge of the lite brigade was challenged by indulgence.

By Diane Toops, News and Trends Editor

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Anyone remember Monty Python's famous "Whizzo Chocolate Factory" skit? One wonders what the Pythons would have to say about "Fear Factor Crunchy Larva" snacks . . . The real California-bred larvae taste a little like chicken with a spicy nutty crunch.

Tie-ins with blockbuster movies keep the category fresh. Jelly Belly Bertie Botts Rotten Egg and Bacon flavors celebrate the upcoming Harry Potter movie. Capp Candy's Harry Potter daily specials include Dirt, Booger, Vomit, Earwax and Drooble's Best Blowing Gum, which turns your mouth blue. They taste gross, appealing to millions of kids. In fact, the beans bring in some $10-15 million in revenues each year for Jelly Belly.

To celebrate the Willy Wonka movie remake Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Nestlé debuts Wonka Twisted Flavors - 14 flavor favorites across Wonka's most popular brands - Nerds, Nerds Rope, Laffy Taffy and Sweet Tarts. Incidentally, Nestle provided 1,850 Wonka chocolate bars for the movie and stored them on the set in a special cooled trailer. And coming soon, Masterfoods' M&M's White Chocolate Pirate Pearls, a treasure for Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, who joins the cast of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" in 2006.

A fun option for kids is Sherwood's Amazing Candicraft. It's a candy-filled pen that little artists can use on edible paper. When the drawing is done, they can eat it. Cadbury Adams invites kids to take a bite and connect with both their sweet and sour sides with Sour Patch Connectors. They twist and pull the tasty interlocking halves to create their own flavors - some 28 combinations.

If your youngster is forever blowing bubbles, he'll appreciate Bubble Gum Booster from Topps Co. Inc., which recharges flavorless gum; Charms' Mouth Factory (chew, pour a flavor packet in the mouth and let it give taste buds a blast); or Bubble Roller Sour — six feet of bubble gum in sour blue raspberry or sour green apple flavors that come with a belt clip to bring gum fun anywhere they go — from Morris National Inc. Even the venerable Masterfoods Skittles franchise blew into the bubble gum category. Moms will appreciate Orbit White Bubblemint, from Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., which helps keep kids' smiles sparkling white.

Adults can explore their softer side with Cadbury Adams USA's Dentyne soft chews gum or Dentyne Mints Ice Peppermint and Fire Spicy Cinnamon. Gum, incidentally, is America's favorite snack, according to the NPD Group, and 86 flavors of gums debuted at the show. Orbit Sweet Mint, a combination of vanilla and crème de menthe, offers a unique flavor experience from Wrigley, and coming soon is Juicy Fruit Sours Tropikiwi Kick.

There isn't much that grosses out young boys, but adults can be squeamish. A recent challenge by the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals pressured Kraft to remove its Trolli Road Kill Gummi candy from the market. What will they do when they take a gander at Brand New Products LLC's Fear Factor Frogs Legs with candy bones and red candy blood dip? Or my favorite, Fear Factor Crunchy Larva? The real California-bred larvae taste a little like chicken with a spicy nutty crunch. Available in three flavors - Cheddar Cheese, Mexican Spice and Tangy Barbeque - each box comes with its own mini chopsticks.
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