It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it. If you've ever wondered what it's like to really act like a kid in a candy store, the NCA Sweets and Snacks Expo is the grown-up version of that fantasy. The following new products were found at the 2011 Sweets and Snacks Expo in Chicago.
Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate
Jelly Belly Candy Co. introduces Jelly Belly Dips, jelly beans dipped in chocolate in six popular flavors -- Very Cherry, Coconut, Strawberry, Raspberry, Orange, and Mint.
Just Born continues taking Peeps candies to new frontiers with Chocolate Dipped Peeps, slathered in either milk or dark chocolate. Peeps Chocolate Dipped Chicks will debut for Halloween, Peeps Chocolate Dipped Caramel Flavored Chicks will be available for Santa to distribute, and Peeps Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Crème Flavored Chicks will delight significant others on Valentine's Day.
Mars Chocolate North America introduces Kudos Granola Bars in three new flavors featuring Snickers Peanuts, M&M'S Brand Milk Chocolate Candies and Dove Chocolate. Made with whole grains, each 100-calorie bar is an excellent source of calcium.
Nestle introduces two new, mouth-watering varieties to its premium Wonka Exceptionals chocolate collection – Triple Dazzle Caramel Bar (milk chocolate filled with buttery caramel and a dazzle of sea salt) and Fantabulous Fudge Bar (milk chocolate filled with chocolate fudge).
Cappuccino Ovation by SweetWorks Inc, cappuccino truffle sticks covered in dark chocolate, are made with real coffee beans, and are 100 percent all natural.
From patisserie company K&M Food Concepts, a complete Belgian Chocolate Dessert Kit, featuring Dobla's trademark chocolate shells, vanilla mousse mix and piping bag, a great alternative for those of you who want to experiment with confectionery at home.
Speaking of candy making at home, Guittard Chocolate Co. unveiled Melt ‘n Mold, in three flavors – Vanilla, Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate. Think of the fun your family could have making confectionery together.
Layers of flavors
Wrigley's Life Savers Gummies brand launches Collisions, the first Life Savers Gummies variety to bring two flavors together in one bite. Each dual-flavor piece contains a new flavor and color combination fused together to create a fun and unique taste experience, and they come in three varieties -- Cherry-Watermelon, Raspberry-Lemonade and Pineapple-Fruit Punch. Starburst Crazy Beans (jelly beans) come in six dual flavor combinations including Grape-Ade, Razzin Watermellon, Tropical Cherry Splash, Peach-A-Palooza, Banana Berry Blast and Strappleberry. Also debuting from Wrigley are Skittles Blenders, bite-sized chewy candy with unique blended fruit flavors, in five flavors including Watermelon Green Apple Freeze, Strawberry Lime Blast, Melon Berry Burst, Mango Lemonade Blast, and Cherry Tropicolada.
Triunfo-Mex mixes two distinct flavors in chili-covered hard candies and lollipops with soft, liquid-filled centers. Sweet and spicy treats include Mango Revolcado, tamarind-flavored Bombarinda, Elote Revolcado and assorted Revolcados Mix.
Mentos UP2U gum from Perfetti Van Melle has dual-flavor pieces fused together (you choose your option to create a fun and unique taste experience). One side of the pack has one option; the other side has a complimentary choice, so you can choose between Mandarin Strawberry/Spearmint, Berry Watermellon/Fresh Mint, Daylight Mint/Mintnight Mint, Sweet Mint/Bubble Fresh.
Dark Chocolate Duets Cherry & Dark Truffle is a truffle filled with harmonizing dark chocolate and cherry preserves, two fillings in one truffle for the price of one.
Thompson Premium, a contemporary and fashion-forward presentation by Thompson Brands LLC, are all-natural chocolate novelties, which are foil-wrapped and presented in elegant pink and brown polka-dotted gift boxes, sure to make your eyes pop and mouth water!
Offerings from Mars Chocolate North America also fulfill consumers' desire to mix sweet and savory flavors. Snickers Brand Peanut Butter Squared offers everything there is to love about Snickers -- peanuts, caramel, nougat and milk chocolate – along with the addition of creamy peanut butter. Each pack includes two delicious square-shaped bars. Mars also fused two flavor combinations in its Dove brand with Dove Brand White & Milk Chocolate Swirl and Dove Brand Raspberry & Dark Chocolate Swirl (also available as bite-sized Promises).
Simply 7 Snacks LLC rolls out Hummus Chips, which feature chickpeas and are seasoned with authentic flavors. They are non-GMO, gluten-free, all natural bite-sized chips. Flavors include Sea Salt, Tomato Basil, and Spicy Chili Pepper, Another option from the company is Lentil Chips, featuring lentils, one of nature's healthiest ingredients, incorporating authentic flavors inspired by foods from around the Mediterranean. Flavors include Sea Salt, Creamy Dill and Bruschetta.
Flamous Brands roll out Falafel chips for hummus dips. They are 100% natural, contain no MSG, nuts or trans fats, are gluten fee, and low in sodium.
Seapoint Farms infuses Edamame with unique flavors including Dry Roasted Edamame Goji Blend, Dry Roasted Edamame Wasabi, Dry Roasted Edamame lightly Salted, Infusion Blend Berry and Infusion Blend Sunshine.
New Sugar-Free Glee gum from Verve Inc. is all-natural chewing gum made with sustainably harvested rainforest chicle and sweetened with 100 percent xylitol from birch, which benefits dental health. Made in the USA, Sugar-Free Glee is GMO-free, soy-free and gluten-free, and is available in two fun flavors: Lemon-Lime and Refresh-Mint.
You'll feel good about purchasing Ecuatoriana de Chocolate Cacaoyere Chocolate Bars made with single origin beans from Ecuador. They contain no artificial flavors and are GMO-free and organic. Available in 63%, 71%, 82% and 91% cacao varieties, the bars are supplied from local certified farmer unions. And if you want to impress your significant other, send a Cacaoyere Wooden Gift Box, handmade by native women using recycled debris from tropical timber. The Gift Box includes four or six organic chocolate bars and a documentary video of where and how the chocolate bars are manufactured.