Top Confectionery Food Trends for 2010

Our news and trends editor reports on the sweet taste of confectionery trends from this year's Candy Show.

By Diane Toops, News and Trends Editor

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Chocolate-covered everything
America's love for chocolate cannot be stopped, and manufacturers uncovered more and more delicious treats to cover with chocolate. While local gourmands may seek out chocolate-covered bacon and mushrooms at their hometown confectioners, mainstream America seeks more classic items such as the crunchy, salted center of M&M's Pretzel Chocolate Candies, a great innovation and clever brand extension from Mars Chocolate North America. Cookie fans will go crazy for Bake Shoppe Cookie Dough Miniatures, a chocolate-covered creation featuring bite-sized cookie dough from The Promotion in Motion Cos., and Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies from Albanese Confectionery. Even Peeps can't resist the lure of rich, smooth chocolate - Chocolate-Covered Pumpkin Peeps from Just Born are available in both marvelous milk and delightful dark chocolate. Also scrumptious are Werther's Original Caramel Chocolate (milk or dark chocolate dark chocolate) with caramel marbling by Storck.

Twisted traditions
New twists on classic candies are beloved by consumers who find comfort in familiar brands but want to try new and innovative ways to enjoy their favorite snacks. Mars Chocolate North America's Twix Java Chocolate Cookie Bars feature coffee-flavored caramel paired with an irresistible chocolate cookie and covered in delicious Twix chocolate and Milky Way Simply Caramel Bar features creamy, milk chocolate surrounding nothing but smooth, firm caramel (yum!). Since 1902 the New England Confectionery Co.'s (Necco) Sweethearts conversation hearts have delighted the nation, and will now delight the fans of the popular Twilight series books and movies with New Moon Sweethearts Fire and Ice with intensely cool flavors for Team Edward (yum! again) fans and intensely hot flavors for Team Jacobs fans. Necco also introduces Chocolate Necco Wafers with milk, dark, mocha and white chocolate flavors. You'll re-think what you know about gum when you try new sugar-free 5 React from Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. It's a sugar-free gum that stimulates your senses with either a unique mint or unique fruit flavor experience. A favorite for more than 87 years, Nestlé Butterfinger introduces Butterfinger Snackerz, a crispy, bite-size square, filled with a smooth Butterfinger crème center, wrapped in a chocolaty coating and drizzled with a peanut butter drizzle.

Up in the air
Snacking practically takes flight as these awesome aerated confections, or lighter-than-air treats, hit the shelves. The 3 Musketeers Truffle Crisp Bar from Mars Chocolate North America is a tantalizing truffle sitting on a subtle airy crisp layer of meringue enrobed in velvety chocolate. From the Wonka brand of Nestlé Confections & Snack Divisions we find Wonka Whipped Wingers, an aerated, fluffy gummy, the first of its kind on the market, in watermelon, orange, tropical punch and pineapple flavors (25 percent real fruit juice). With just 90 calories and 3 grams of fat, Sorbee International's Dream Bar is just that. Bloomsberry & Co.'s light and airy Bubble Chocolate tickles the tastebuds. Skinny Mini's, the lightweight vegetable and potato stick snacks from Cornfields Inc., are really tasty and you'll be in orbit when you discover that at 100-calories per bag these treats are also about 30 percent lower in fat than similar snacks.

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