HOT TRENDS: KIDS' STUFF HAS IT PEGGED

What's hot with candy? Just ask any kid.Retailers told SN that the current trend of choice is kids' novelties. A fruitful resurgence in gummy products is a strong runner-up.And if you put these products on pegs, you're cooking on all burners. Pegged candy rounded out the short list of hot product trends named by retailers.In food stores nationally, novelty candy sales totaled $50.8 million in the

What's hot with candy? Just ask any kid.

Retailers told SN that the current trend of choice is kids' novelties. A fruitful resurgence in gummy products is a strong runner-up.

And if you put these products on pegs, you're cooking on all burners. Pegged candy rounded out the short list of hot product trends named by retailers.

In food stores nationally, novelty candy sales totaled $50.8 million in the 52 weeks ended May 22, 1994, according to Information Resources Inc., Chicago. That was up 7.9% from the previous year. Counting mass merchants and drug chains, the novelty candy market hit $158 million, bettering the previous period's sales by 3.5%.

But any sure thing in a product trend comes with a caveat or two. With novelties, it could be that, well, the novelty is wearing off for individual items.

"There's been a lot of talk on this interactive candy, like the Spin Pops," said Mimi Peck, grocery buyer at Copps Corp., Stevens Point, Wis., referring to novelty candies that offer a play value to kids along with candy to eat. "I see this as really exciting and really nice 'plus' sales, but I don't know if it's going to be repeat sales.

"I think what you have to do is have a new item every month. We have a kids' section, and I've noticed that kids get tired of the same old thing. So you have to bring on the latest item and constantly rotate your inventory. Kids are fickle," she said.

"We're seeing some positive response with peg merchandising," said Sue Hosey, vice president of consumer affairs at P&C Food Markets, Syracuse, N.Y. "Gummies and sours are hot right now as well."

Hosey said the new idea of licensing candy with tie-ins like Nestle did with "The Lion King" seems to be a trend ready to break out.