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9/20/07 - Top candy trends driving product releases of 2007/08 include: new flavor fusions, international influences, artisan palate - which focuses on more sophisticated and specialty products, sweet benefits - a category of treats that also offer healthy incentives, sugar-free, organic, reinvented classics, dark chocolate, and "interactive" candies which encourage eaters to play with their food: these include items such as candy that makes music, gummy shoelaces, and gummy bugs that you can pull from a platic stomach before eating them.

New Products

* Melted Ice Cream, a spray candy that tastes like ice cream but without the sugar and the calories

* Sharkies Kids Sports Chews, organic fruit chews

* Chewy Atomic Fireballs and Chewy Lemonheads.

* Sour Patch Xploderz that start out sour and then go sweet

* Betty Boop Candy Lip Gloss

* Bratz Candy Start Dust

* Cafe Select Chocolate Coffee Trios flavored as espresso, latte and cappuccino

* Mike and Ike fruit-flavored spray

* Cherry and passion fruit Tic Tacs

* Dark chocolate, peanut M&Ms

* GoNaturally organic hard candies

* Chocolate Pop Rocks

* Mega Mallows Big Burgers, Jumbo Hot Dogs and Giant Pizza slices that look like the real thing but are made of soft strawberry-flavored marshmallow

*Fizzies are back! Six flavors are available.

Other new products include Wrigley's melon mint flavor of Orbit sugar-free gum, a berry and pear flavor blend of Extra sugar-free gum and a tropical fruit flavor of Hubba Bubba Bubbletape bubble gum, all launching in December. Mars Snackfood's cherry flavored M&M's chocolate candies and chocolate flavored Skittles are also being introduced.

12/27/05 - Despite years of often-declining sweets consumption - sparked by low-carb mania - its heading back up, according to a USA Today article. After falling 1.5 percent last year, sales of sweet baked gods are expected to rise 0.4 percent in 2005 to almost $12 billion. Sales of ice cream are expected to rise 3.1 percent to $21.7 billion, and the $17.8 billion chocolate candy business will continue to grow at a 4 percent clip.
Crayola Crafty Cooking Kits

9/20/05 - The creators of Crayola Crafty Cooking Kits have added two sweet surprises to this year's holiday season - Teddy Bear Cinna-Bun Surprise and Trim-a-Tree Holiday Cake Party. The Teddy Bear kit includes bear-shaped sweet rolls, cinnamon caramel frosting, vanilla and chocolate icing pens, and rainbow sprinkles, while the Trim-a-Tree kit includes two chocolate tree-shaped cakes that kids can paint with edible color gels. For more information, visit

8/28/05 - The Dairy Council of California has compiled a list of food and nutrition issues that are likely to impact the dairy segment for the next few years. Some of the top trends include:

1. Obesity focus shifts from seeking blame to seeking solutions.

2. Updated Dietary Guidelines and food guidance system renew the spotlight on health and nutrition.

3. Health benefits of dairy continue to multiply.

4. Calcium studies for bone health.

5. Individualization recommendations for optimum health. Individualization concept is garnering momentum: some groups still skeptical of feasibility.

6. Early diet, lifestyle recognized as strong predictors of future health.

7. Functional foods movement gains momentum.

8. The low-carb diet craze has leveled off.

9. Food safety concerns continue to keep the industry watchful.

7/26/05 - With Halloween just around the corner, Just Born, Inc., makers of Marshmallow Peeps, is scaring up new treats for Peeps fans. The new Marshmallow Peeps Decorating Kit for Halloween lets you decorate and personalize Peeps pumpkins. It comes with a four-count tray of orange pumpkins, one tube of black Cake Mate gel, and on-pack decorating and usage ideas. Also new are the 3-D Delightfills chocolate cream-filled Peeps marshmallow candy, which are available in six-count packs.
Confectionary: US Market Stays Sweet

7/1/05 - The US confectionary market is set for continued stable growth in the 2003-08 period at an average annual rate of 1.4%. The figure does show a slight fall from the previous 5-year period of 1998-03, during which CAGR was 1.5%, but this will be of little concern to manufacturers in the wake of considerable moves towards healthy eating and lifestyles. The years 2002-04 inclusive bore the brunt of this, during which growth fell to a low of -1%.

5/17/05 - A survey conducted by the California Olive Industry in Fresno, Calif., found that almost three quarters of Americans believe their understanding of what the revised Food Pyramid means is less than "good."

The survey, conducted over the two weeks following the U.S. Department of Agriculture's unveiling of the revised Food Pyramid, was designed to gauge what consumers, nutritionists, and foodservice professionals knew about the new guidelines, and whether or not they intended to change dietary or exercise habits based on this new knowledge.

While more than 75 percent of the respondents said they knew of the Pyramid's new shape, only 27 percent said that their knowledge of what it entailed was "good." Respondents categorized as "home cooks" had significantly less knowledge of the guidelines than did the "nutritionists," who indicated a high level of understanding, with 72 percent saying their knowledge was "good" and 28 percent indicating it was "average." Those who consider themselves foodservice professionals were in the middle, with 88 percent claiming a "good/average" level of knowledge.

Approximately 66 percent of respondents said they had made no changes in their diet in response to the guidelines. The survey also asked whether individuals counted calories, carbs, or fats. Currently, only 33 percent count calories. Carbs were the least popular measurement, with 65 percent overall saying they don't count carbs, and 80 percent of nutritionists rejecting carb counting. About 57 percent of the home cook audience counts fats. Chefs were least likely to count fats, with only 41 percent saying they did so.

Pez Dispensers Get New Look For Fall

Halloween Pez dispenser assortments are getting a new look with updated pack graphics from Pez Candy, Inc. All of the characters in the assortment glow in the dark, including two pumpkin, two witch, two skull and three ghost designs. All pack in polybags and on blister cards with packs of Pez candy. The dispensers pack in 12-, 24-, 108- and 144-ct displays and have a SRP range of $1 to $1.49.

Twinkies Turn 75

Americans spent $47 million on Twinkies in the past 12 months. Hostess makes 500 million of them every year. This year, the little cream-filled spongecake celebrates its 75th birthday.

In 1930, James Dewar, manager of Chicago's Continental Bakery, wanted to find another use for his company's shortcake pans. He decided to fill the small cakes with a banana-cream filling and name them after the "Twinkle Toe" shoes he saw advertised on a billboard in St. Louis. Banana cream-filled Twinkies - two for a nickel - debuted as part of the Hostess line. During World War II, there was a banana shortage, so the filling flavor was changed to vanilla. By the 1950s, Twinkies had become a snack staple.

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