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CANDY EXPO: NEW TASTES FOR TREATS MAKE DEBUT

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNS) -- Hard candy in ice cream flavors and toffee-covered pretzels were among the many candy and snack items introduced at the American Wholesale Marketers Association's convention and candy expo held here.The new Baskin Robbins Candy, a mix of Jamoca Almond Fudge, strawberry, vanilla and Pralines & Cream hard candy flavors, is packaged in a round plastic container similar to Baskin

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNS) -- Hard candy in ice cream flavors and toffee-covered pretzels were among the many candy and snack items introduced at the American Wholesale Marketers Association's convention and candy expo held here.

The new Baskin Robbins Candy, a mix of Jamoca Almond Fudge, strawberry, vanilla and Pralines & Cream hard candy flavors, is packaged in a round plastic container similar to Baskin Robbins' take-out ice cream containers. They will be sold in some Baskin Robbins' stores as well as supermarkets. Covered or frosted pretzels, including Crunch 'n Munch Toffee Pretzels marketed by International Home Foods in Parsippany, N.J., were also hot products at the show. Pretzels covered with white frosting and peanut butter made their debut, too.

Other new products, or those just expanding into U.S. supermarket distribution, included Hershey's line of Bites in four flavors: Almond Joy, Reese's, Milk Chocolate with Almonds and Cookies and Cream. The company also introduced Reese Sticks, the traditional peanut butter and chocolate candy, combined with crispy wafers.

Amurol Confections, Yorkville, Ill., introduced WCW (World Championship Wrestling) Sour Slam Bubble Gum in Sour Cherry Flavor. Each 1.8-ounce box contains a portion of a collectible poster and retails for 62 cents.

Peak Bar, Made by Way Cool Inc., Colorado Springs, Colo., was added to the power bar category. It is sold in Albertson's, King Soopers and other stores in Colorado, and the manufacturer is expanding to other states. Kellogg's introduced a Rice Krispies Treats Mini-Squares 7.6-ounce Bonus Pack for Halloween. The company also launched a new 1.3-ounce individually wrapped Peanut Butter Chocolate Rice Krispies Treat.

Dilbert-Mints and Gummy-Berts are being marketed by Ragold, the Chicago maker of Juicefuls and Velamints. The 1.5-ounce collector tins of Dilbert-Mints include Accomplish-Mints, Improve-Mints, Manage-Mints and Perform-Mints. The 3.5-ounce windowed package Gummy-Berts have a suggested retail of $1.39 each.

Nutcracker Brands in Billerica, Mass., is putting out a new snack mix: Calypso Crunch(tm), made of honey-roasted peanuts, honey-roasted cashews, honey sesame sticks, banana chips and pineapple.

Pearson Candy Co. in St. Paul, Minn., added the Caramel Bun Bar to its line of Bun Bars. Idea Group in Indio, Calif., introduced Nutra Pops that contain herbs. The company's Happy pop includes St. John's wort; Sexy pop has Kava Kava; Smarty contains Ginkgo Biloba and Skinny has pyruvate and chromium picolinate.

Harmony Foods, Santa Cruz, Calif., introduced Planet Harmony natural gummy and fruit snacks. The fruit snacks are marketed as a vegetarian product. The 3-ounce bags have a suggested retail of $1.49 each.

Export Trading Co. in Miami is marketing fat-free Exotik Candy, hard candies packaged in 4.6-ounce peg bags.

Jaret International in Woodbridge, N.J., put out Squirt soft chewy candy in 5-ounce peg bags. The candy, fashioned after the soft drink, has a citrus flavor.

Gardetto's in Milwaukee added Sour Cream & Onion and Sweet & Savory Barbecue flavors to its Light N' Crispy snack mixes.