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.
Kervan Gida San ve Tic. A.S. brings the childlike happiness of gummies to an adult snack. Fat-free with no artificial coloring, Bebeto Premium's unique fruit juice gummies include the natural flavors of Raspberry & Blackberry, Turkish Coffee & Mint, and Tropical Pineapple & Tropical Orange.
Free of wheat, gluten, dairy, soy and refined sugars, Clove Simple Squares from Simple Squares are all-natural, savory-sweet, nut and honey confections infused with vanilla and herbs. They are kosher, raw and made with organic ingredients so that the Square's power-packed nutrients are never compromised.
Seth Ellis Chocolatier introduces Nut Free Sun Cups (organic gluten fee sunflower butter and chocolate). Varieties include Sunflower Butter and Chocolate, Sunflower Butter Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate Caramel Cups and Dark Chocolate Mint Cups.
To celebrate its 25th anniversary, GloryBee Foods introduces Chocolate HoneyStix. If you dipped a drop of honey in chocolate, this is what it would taste like. It's a honey of a product.
Stride Spark from Kraft Foods comes in electrifying gum flavors -- Kinetic Mint and Kinetic Fruit. Each contains 25 percent of the RDV of vitamins B6 and B12, two essential nutrients known for helping to release energy in the body.
Focus Food, an all-natural, nutritious snack that fits the needs of an elite pro-athlete, as well as the everyday, health enthusiast, from GI Nutrition is the only protein bar on the market to contain a unique blend of caffeine and l-tyrosine, to provide an extra boost of energy and focus.
The Original Flax Bar and Chocolate Original Flax Bar from Live Smart Manufacturing are vegan, lactose-free, soy-free and wheat-free, available in both original and cocoa flavors to satisfy different tastes. One bar contains 100 percent of the recommended Omega-3 fatty acids (from flax), plus pure antioxidants essential to well being
Besides being a delicious, bite-size, chocolaty treat, Sleep Squares from Slumberland Snacks is a sleep aid, designed to help snackers fall asleep fast, maintain sleep throughout the night and wake up feeling fantastic without any grogginess or side-effects.
Welch's Fruit Snacks Tangy Fruits from Promotion in Motion are made with real fruit and fruit juice, contain 100% of the DV of vitamin C, 25% if the DV of vitamins A and D and 10% calcium. Gluten free and with no preservatives, flavors include Tangerine, Lemon Pink Grapefruit, Cran-Grape, Cherry and Green Apple.
Juicefuls, the first and only fruit snack filled with 100% juice, from Promotion in Motion debuts Fruit Wave (Strawberry, Orange, Concord Grape and Peach).
Chiquita Brands LLC debuts Chiquita Juice and Fruit Duos, which contain no added sugar, no artificial flavors or colors, are loaded with vitamin C antioxidant power and have a Spork-in-Lid for on-the-go consumers. Flavors include Pineapple Banana, Pineapple Guava, Peach Mango and Pear Blueberry Pomegranate.
Motts for Tots, from Farley's and Sathers extends it juice franchise to fun, fruit shapes sized smaller and with a unique soft texture ideal for tots. They are all natural, contain no artificial flavors, sweeteners or preservatives, are gluten free and a good source of vitamin C. Flavors in each pouch include Apple, Apple White Grape, Fruit Punch and Strawberry Banana
Touting its antioxidant value, Australian confectionery company Darrell Lea showcased its newest flavor of licorice: blueberry pomegranate.
Popcorn pops out of its box
Kernel Fabyan's Gourmet Popcorn combines Caramel and Golden Cheddar popcorns for one delectable offering. An intriguing blend of savory and sweet, creamy and crunchy, Classic Mix Gourmet Popcorn delivers a burst of flavor in every bite.
A sweet treat for any time of day, Oogie's Original Kettlecorn from Oogie's Gourmet Popcorn delivers a classic flavor with a distinctly modern twist. The technique is a secret, the ingredients feature just a hint of vanilla, a touch of sea salt and pure cane juice.
Kernel Season's debuts a line of all natural, ready-to-eat popcorn. All four kosher varieties – Real Butter, Aged White Cheddar, Zesty Chipotle Nacho and Sweet ‘n Salty Kettle Corn -- are made with non-GMO corn, no trans far, no artificial colors or flavors, natural sunflower oil, real cheese, clarified butter and contains 13g of whole grain per serving.
Roland Sables from American Roland Food Corp. are crispy shortbread cookies made from a simple combination of seven all-natural ingredients. With their stylish and traditional fluted edges, Sables are thin and crisp, decadent yet discreet, with a taste and texture that can only come from using real butter.
Sun-Maid Oatmeal Raisin Apple Cookies from Biscomerica combine plump Sun-Maid Raisins and apple chips in a wholesome oatmeal cookie recipe. The cookies contain no trans-fats and 3g of fiber.
Hand-crafted with cherries and cranberries, Natural Bubbie's Soft Biscotti from Live Smart Manufacturing comes in three flavors -- walnut, almond and chocolate. Also available is Fit Smart Energy Oatmeal Cookie, a 100 percent natural, wheat-free, dairy-free, soy-free and nut-free cookie with no added sugar. This cookie's sweetness comes from goji berries, cranberries, dates and raisins.
HomeFree LLC adds Vanilla Cookies free of the top eight allergens and gluten to its line of snacks. The cookies contain no trans fat, cholesterol or saturated fat, are low sodium, heart healthy, vegan, kosher pareve and SB-19 compliant for schools, and one serving contains more than half a serving of whole grain.
On the go
A grab-and-go twist on East Shore Specialty Foods' gourmet classics, the Classic Snack Box features a 1.4-oz. jar of East Shore's original Sweet and Tangy Mustard and a 2-oz. bag of Seasoned Pretzels, conveniently paired in a compact, elegant package.
Gamer Grub couldn't find a snack that could keep up... so, they made their own. Gamer Grub is a performance snack packed with essential vitamins and neurotransmitters to keep you focused and quick. Just "Tear N Tilt" into a pack of Gamer Grub to multi-task and game. (Our Web Editor brought home a package and insists that her work performance increased in the first nibble).
It's movie time
Jelly Belly Candy Co. brings back the wild, original flavors of the Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Bean, inspired by the wildly popular Harry Potter series of films from Warner Bros. There are 20 flavors, including the original Grass, Black Pepper, Dirt, and the gross Rotten Egg. Boys will be boys. In honor of the return of the original flavors, Jelly Belly commissioned artist Kristen Cumings to create a portrait of Harry Potter made from 11,000 Jelly Belly beans, and the incredible artwork was on display at the Expo. It took her 150 hours to complete.
In anticipation of September's Blu-ray release of Star Wars: The Complete Saga and Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace in 3-D in February 2012,CandyRific LLC introduces a new line of M&M's Brand Star Wars novelty items including the M&M's Brand Star Wars Fan, M&M's Brand Star Wars Coin Bank, M&M's Brand Star Wars 9" & 12" Dispenser and M&M's Brand Star Wars Light-Up Light Saber.
In anticipation of Columbia Pictures'/Sony Pictures Animation's live-action and animated family comedy, The Smurfs, My Idolpops rolls out lollipops hand-crafted in their image, and they are made in the USA.
Utz of Hanover partners with Disney/Pixar with the launch of Cars Shaped Pretzel Snacks. Yes, they look like the car in the movie. Not only are they cute, they are addictive.
Just for fun
In a licensing deal with The World of Beatrix Potter, Jelly Belly Candy Co. introduces the Peter Rabbit line of Jelly Belly Gifts adorned with the charming Peter Rabbit. Featuring seven Jelly Belly flavors – Bubble Gum, Buttered Popcorn, Juicy Pear, Lemon Drop, 7UP, Sour Grape and Top Banana, they carry the pastel colored theme to a tasty new level.
Radz toy candy dispensers from SweetWorks Inc. come in a variety of loveable characters with a mechanism to dispense candy, via the tongue of each Radz figure. Radz also has a captivating and continuously updated social media component and features web-based interactive fun for kids.
It's time for a Scooby snack via CandyRiffic LLC's Scooby-Doo Giggle Head with Sound, which includes micro-bites candy.
Nuts for nuts
K&M Food Concepts rolls out all-natural, flavor-infused almonds and walnuts, covered in a 100 percent real, milk chocolate and all natural candy shell. Dewitt Nut Co.'s Chocolate Dreams are available in apple almond, butter toffee walnut, and red velvet cupcake almond flavors.
Sahale Snacks rolls out Seasoned Nuts, with savory flavor combinations. They include Barbeque (almonds with Chipotle and Ranch), Tuscan (almonds with Parmeson and Herbs), and Southwest (cashews with Chili and Cheddar).
Our favorite praline maker Aunt Sally's debuts Bananas Foster Creamy Pralines along with Sugar & Spice Light Pralines, which contain 85 percent less sugar.
Sanders debuts certified Sanders 7 Gourmet Dessert Toppings in cool flavors including Milk Chocolate Hot Fudge, Classic Caramel, Dark Chocolate Hot Fudge, Extra Dark Chocolate Hot Fudge, Caramel Apple, Cinnamon Pear Caramel, and Dark Chocolate Peppermint Pattie.
Perfect for cake decorations, candy buffets, favors and themed events, SweetWorks Inc.'s Celebration Gumballs and Celebration Sixlets are chocolate-flavored, candy-coated chocolate, packaged in individual colors per bag.
New Premium Decoration Packs are now available from K&M Food Concepts for Dobla's wildly successful line of Belgian Dark Chocolate Curls, Choco Straws and Domino Squares.
A taste of holiday flavors
Jelly Belly Candy Co., formerly Goelitz Confectionery Co., has been making Candy Corn since 1898, and now it is uniting its masterful creation with jelly beans. And yes, Jelly Belly Candy Corn tastes exactly like candy corn.
New for Easter 2012, R. M. Palmer Co.'s Giant 1/4 Pound Peanut Butter Cup will make a huge, delicious addition to the Easter Basket.
Spangler Candy Co. hopes to hop into Easter baskets with Easter Zanies Marshmallow Candy. Each carton features four wacky Easter-shaped characters in Fruit Punch, Banana Split, Blue Raspberry and Kiwi Strawberry. There is also an Easter maze for kids to help the Zanies find their way to the basket.
A sweet surprise this holiday season, organic TruSweets Candy Canes from TruSweets LLC, are made with just four, simple ingredients: organic evaporated cane juice, organic brown rice syrup, organic fruit juice and natural peppermint flavor. They contain no corn syrup, synthetic dyes or artificial flavors, and they are vegan and kosher.
In fashion with fruit flavors
A bold and delicious, fruit-flavor gum variety, Orbit Strawberry Remix from Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co, a Mars company, is available in Orbit gum's new packaging, which allows consumers to unwrap and reveal 40 unique patterns that are featured across the many Orbit gum flavors. Juicy Fruit Juicy Riddle, a sugar free indescribably new mystery fruit flavor will debut. Swerve is the latest flavor in Wrigley's 5 line (from tangy to sweet tropical) and React 2 now comes in Fruit and Mint. Wrigley also unveiled Extra Dessert Delights Orange Crème Pop, combining tangy orange with smooth, creamy taste for a delicious dessert flavor, followed by Apple Pie in September. Wrigley adds 5 Vortex, a sweet and juicy green apple flavor, to the 5 line. It comes in the signature Slim Pack envelope -- thin enough to fit in a pocket or purse.
Tic Tac Strawberry Fields, a blend of sweet and tart strawberry-flavored Tic Tac mints, from Ferrero USA Inc. is the perfect way to escape into pure sweet indulgence.
Sweethearts, a brand of the New England Confectionery Co. Inc., rolls out Sweethearts Dazzled Tarts for your little princess. The bling's the thing with these dazzling colored sour candies in Pink Lemonade, Watermelon, Blue Raspberry, Sour Apple, Extreme Tangerine and Wild Berry.
Something to chew on
The Hershey Co.'s Jolly Rancher Crunch 'N Chew has a hard candy shell and chewy center. Beginning December 2011, Jolly Rancher Crunch 'N Chew will debut in watermelon, apple, cherry and blue raspberry flavors.
Created for 2011 as the next evolution of Stride, Kraft Foods introduced Stride 2.0. It has a softer chew with improved, flavor release and added encapsulated, sweeteners for long-lasting taste, while the packaging has been upgraded to feature a simple, cool design with new foil wrappers for each individual piece of gum.
Burst into real, fruit juice goodness with new Juicefuls Juice Filled Fruit Snacks! From Promotion In Motion Companies Inc. Made with real fruit and filled with 100 percent real fruit juices, Juicefuls are another "better for you" choice, providing 100 percent DV of vitamin C and 25 percent of vitamins A and E.
Made with real, organic, fruit juice, fortified with antioxidant vitamin C, and free of corn syrup, synthetic dyes, artificial flavors and GMOs, TruSweets LLC launches Surf Sweets snack-size Gummy Bears and Sour Berry Bears contain only 80 calories to offer both portion and calorie control.
Farley's & Sathers Candy Co. rolls out Hawaiian Punch Splashers Fruit Snacks, liquid-filled snacks featuring the flavors of Hawaiian Punch. Each fruit snack has 100% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C and are 90 calories per serving. Splashers are available in three flavors: Fruit Juicy Red, Berry Blue Typhoon and Lemon Berry Squeeze.
Innovation Alley walkabout
For the first time, a special area of the show floor, Innovation Alley, was dedicated to businesses new to the Expo and the industry, featuring the latest up-and-coming products.
Galaxies from Galaxy Confections Inc. are chocolate-covered malted milk balls, available in plain and peanut butter flavors. Fun facts about the universe appear on the reverse side of every package, lending an educational component to every treat.
Granny Carol's Yummie Crunch, a hand-made, secret Canadian-family recipe passed down through generations, features a combination of yogurt coating, secret crunch squares, peanuts and cranberries.
Angell Bars from Jungell Inc., Fair Trade-certified, organic candy bars, are available in Snow (white chocolate and coconut), Dark (vegan, dark chocolate and almonds), and Crisp (gluten-free, milk chocolate and rice). All bars have less than 200 calories and use only five to seven simple ingredients. They contain no preservatives, artificial flavors or colors, GMOs or corn syrup.
Kidscan makes 100 percent all-natural fruit candies and snacks, including Mexican regional candies, dehydrated fruit candies, spicy candies, preserves, and crystallized fruit.
Alpaca Jerky and Alpaca Old World Sticks from LaPacos are made with real alpaca meat and make the perfect anytime snack. Seasoned with spices like pepper, jalapeno or a hint of smoky flavor, these alpaca meats are tasty and nutritious treats and make the perfect unique anytime snack
My Idolpops, artistic, hand-crafted lollipops in the image of beloved icons, include a line of Smurfs characters. Available in more than 70 flavors ranging from classics like cherry and cotton candy to mocha cappuccino and champagne, My Idolpops appeal to children and adults alike. The entire product - right down to the packaging - is Made in the USA.
Oat-alicious, a novel and delicious gluten-free, dairy-free gourmet cookie from Scott's Gourmet Cookie Co. is available in Butterscotch or Cinnamon. What a tasty way to get your oats.
Smorbox from Smorstix contains two individually wrapped s'mores ready for the microwave or traditional roasting over a fire. Each s'more includes two graham crackers, one piece of premium chocolate and one marshmallow.
Sweet Asylum, a sanctuary of treats specializing in sweet treats and snack mixes, comes in Stix & Stones (smoky paprika peanuts with sesame and pretzel sticks), Cin-fully Tasty Almonds and Pecans (all-natural blend of cinnamon, sugar and vanilla roasted with fresh nuts) and Turtle Nests (chocolate, caramel and salted pecans on a nest of pretzels).
Sweet Express makes gourmet, hand-crafted, chocolate-covered, crispy rice treats on a stick. Perfect for any occasion, these chocolate covered treats are available in any imaginable shape and can be custom made to create the perfect gift.
Looking out for Mother Earth
Revolymer's Rev 7 gum, the first environmentally friendly gum, does not get stiff or hard after chewing. The gum will degrade in six months, reducing the impact of gum on the environment. It's low adhesion technology makes the gum removable from most every surface with a little soap and water. Varieties include Natural Peppermint and Natural Spearmint.
You can chew gum for a better world with Project 7 Sugar Free in three varieties Fresh Mint Save the Earth (each tray plants 10 fruit trees), Peppermint Vanilla Feed the Hungry (each try provides seven meals in American communities) and Cinnamon Vanilla Heal the Sick (each try provides medicine for a person suffering from malaria).