Confectionery Food Trends for 2009-2010

Having returned from the front lines of the All Candy Expo, FoodProcessing.com's News & Trends Editor reports on confectionary trends for 2009-2010.

By Diane Toops, News & Trends Editor

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As reported in Confectionery Sales are Sweet, Despite the Sour Economy more than 2,000 new confectionery creations and snack sensations were unveiled in May at McCormick Place in Chicago at the All Candy Expo, the largest confectionery and snack show in America. It’s sponsored by the Washington-based National Confectioners Assn. (NCA), which is celebrating its 125th birthday this year.

The following are some of the most notable trends you can plan to find on your candy shelves in 2009-2010

Classic Remix – Tried and true confectionery favorites are taking on new flavor twists. Mars Snackfood US takes M&M’s tropical with limited edition Coconut M&M’s Brand Chocolate Candies, and Snickers Limited Edition Fudge Bar boasts a peanut-packed chocolate fudge layer atop chewy peanut butter nougat wrapped in milk chocolate. Wrigley’s Skittles Crazy Cores give a double flavor punch in every piece. Russell Stover combines sugar-free chocolate candy with granola in Russell Stover Sugar-free Snack Bars, a 100-calorie treat available in Chocolate Delight Granola, Chewy Granola and Peanut Butter Granola. Hershey goes to the dark side with Reese’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Better Cups, and Hershey’s Kisses now come with a chocolate meltaway center in a new decadent offering. Even candy corn takes on a new spin thanks to Zachary Confections. Flavors include Caramel Apple, Caramel, Raspberry, Tangerine and Cherry.

Super Fruits and Exotic Origins -- New confections and snacks are crossing international lines and tantalizing taste buds with super fruit essences and exotic influences. Jelly Belly rolls out Superfruit Mix, which includes Barbados Cherry an emerging super fruit high in vitamin C, and Acai Berry, along with Pomegranate, Blueberry and Cranberry flavors. Also in the pipeline is Chili Mango Jelly Belly, an exotic fusion of heat and sweet, at only 100 calories per pack. By the way, it takes seven to 21 days to make a Jelly Belly bean. Nestle wowed the crowd with Nestle Cranberry Raisinets combining all natural dried cranberries with a milk chocolate coating. Yummy Earth Organic Candy Drops Anti-OxiFruits are a mix of super fruit flavors including Pomegranate Pucker and TooBerry Blueberry. Meanwhile, you can keep your breath fresher, longer with new island inspired Tic Tac Melon Mango from Ferrero USA Inc. Coming in 2010: pina colada Tic Tacs.

Red Carpet Chocolate – An affordable indulgence, chocolate pleases palates and wallets. Now more than ever, every day can be gourmet, without breaking the bank. Mars Snackfood US pairs soft and creamy peanut butter surrounded by Dove Chocolate in Dove Silky Smooth Milk chocolate with Peanut Better Promises. These individually wrapped chocolates include eloquent “promise” captions in each wrapper. Ghirardelli introduces the Luxe Milk collection of milk chocolate in Hazelnut, Almond, Crisp (with toasted rice), and Duet (sweet milk and bittersweet dark chocolate). A delicate truffle, Landrin Waferatto Gold features a hazelnut filling wrapped in a smooth cream, wafer coating and topped with crushed hazelnuts, and comes in a beautiful box ideal for gift-giving. Kraft Foods’ Toblerone Fruit & Nut bar combines Swiss milk chocolate with honey and almond nougat with raisins.

Sweet Sophistication – Maturing to meet consumer demand for sophisticated Sweets, novel treats provide full sensory experiences and unusual flavor pairings to surprise and delight taste buds. Chuao Chocolatier’s new Chinita Nibs ChocoPod delivers caramelized cocoa nibs and nutmeg inside a dark chocolate shell and Firecracker, made with 60 percent dark chocolate, chipotle, salt and popping candy. “I wanted to make something that was exploding with flavor and the chipotle was intense, but the popping candy realy took it to the next level,” says chef Michael Antonorsi, master chocolatier and the company’s co-founder. “Firecracker delivers the ultimate multi-sensorial experience.” New from Osmanium Candy Co., Crackheads2 (Crackheads squared) and Jitterbeans, dark chocolate covered espresso beans with a hard candy shell and added caffeine punch. Each 1.4oz-box contains 600mg of caffeine, equivalent to six cups of coffee, which will wake you up no matter how sleep deprived you are.

Flavor Flash Back – Finding comfort in “sweet memories,” consumers are returning to traditional tastes and packaging reminiscent of their childhood and happy times. This year, old is new again as Just Born Inc. introduces Goldenberg’s Original Peanut Chews (developed during World War 1 and used by the U.S. military as a ratio bar) and Mike And Ike and Hot Tamales in vintage package designs. And if you are a sucker for lollipops, don/t miss Tootsie Roll’s classic Apple Orchard Caramel Apple Pop now available in Golden Delicious and classic Green Apple Caramel flavors. Hershey’s adds a new member to it’s Good ‘N Plenty and Good ‘N Fruity chewy fruit candy line with a bold cinnamon flavor Good ‘N Fiery.

Super Sour and Flavor-full – Innovative super sour flavors and tangy fillings are daring consumers to pucker up. For a long-lasting shock that’s sour and then sweet, Cadbury’s Sour Patch Chillerz is soft and chewy Sour Patch candy that leaves a tingling surge of cool at the end. Cadbury’s Trident Layers is a uniquely formulated chewing gum with a special middle flavor layer you can see, and is available in Strawberry & Citrus and Apple & Pineapple. Wonka’s Puckerrooms Sour Gummy Candy is the chewy new treat from Nestle, and it’s made with natural ingredients and 25 percent real fruit. It has a tart twist with a curious combination of squishy and sour that dazzles your mouth. Candy Dynamics’ Toxic Waste Hi-Voltage Bubble Gum amps up the volume with three extra long cables of gum, each with a shockingly sour core and in hazardously sour flavors including: Amp’d Apple, Surgin’ Strawberry and Blackout Blue Razz. And American Licorice Co.’s Chewy Extinguisher Sour Fruit Candy, Chewy Extinguisher Sour Citrus Candy, and Sweet Mixed Berry Extinguisher.

Holiday Hot Spot – For Valentine’s Day, try Necco’s new Sweethearts Conversation Hearts Forbidden Fruits featuring Twilight movie-themed conversation hearts with phrases like “Live 4 Ever” and “Bite Me.” Dots Halloween Mix, from Tootsie Roll Industries, includes colorful Candy Corn Dots, Blood Orange flavored Bat Dots and haunting Ghost Dots, while Just Born Inc. celebrates Halloween with spooky Marshmallow Cats. Just Born also gives Santa a great new treat to deliver with Peeps Chocolate Mousse Flavored Marshmallow Reindeer. 

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