ISM’s Wide World of Confectionery
By Mary Ellen Kuhn
New, more spacious venue for the world’s largest confectionery fair found manufacturers showing off an assortment of distinctive products.

Kuai Kuai Co. Ltd.
Packaging for the chewable, breath-freshening Oni-Kiss is attention getting, thanks to the full, pouty lips pictured on the front of the resealable foil packet. The crunchy, pellet-shaped breath freshener owes its efficacy to the fact that it is formulated with the bioflavonoid catechin, the company reports. According to the promotional materials, “You can be a smoker and a good kisser, only if you have Oni-Kiss.” Kuai Kuai Co. is based in Taiwan.
Jambo Gums and More
+90 216 365 02 15
Istanbul-based Akas presents a variety of new fruit gum and bubblegum items under the Jambo brand banner.
Jambo Fruit Gum is bubble-gum available in colorfully wrapped single-servings. Apple and strawberry flavors are offered.
Jambo Jelly Gum made with fruit juice features a combination of flavors and textures—strawberry-flavored bubblegum with an apple-flavored jelly center.
Akas also has added a Mint and Cream variety to its line of Starlight hard candies, which also includes Strawberry Cream, Orange Cream and Chocolate Cream varieties.  
Sweet Singing Bouquets
Ming Chao Industrial Corp.
These colorful candy bouquets duplicate the look of real flower bouquets all the way down to the cellophane floral wrap. As an added bonus, pulling a tab activates a song—either “Happy Birthday” or a romantic tune appropriate for Valentine’s Day.
Dextrose Lollipops
+52 (844) 434 0996 Ext. 255/270
Compressed dextrose lollipops in a myriad of forms were on display at the PISSA booth at the trade fair. Among them were lollipops formulated with pieces of natural dehydrated fruit. Also on display were lollipops that combine two colors and flavors with a bit of chile flavoring to give them a spicy Latin note.
PISSA, a Mexico-based subsidiary of PepsicCo, also offers candy powder-filled straws in many different sizes and colors, some of which feature tiny gum bits within the candy powder.
Hispanic Candy Line
(602) 433-1656
Quick to catch the eye at the Montes booth at the ISM trade fair were yogurt-covered candy lentils in appealing pastel hues, including pink and peach colors. The lentils are available in 25-pound bulk cases.
Montes USA, the U.S. division of Mexico-based Montes, also continues to work to introduce U.S. consumers to its bagged candy line. The line includes a variety of traditionally popular Mexican candies such as Paleta Sellada, milk caramel lollipops; Super Natilla pecan-flavored toffee; and Ricos Besos chocolate-flavored toffee.
Magic Rings
Jatek International Ltd.
(852) 2789 2922
This novelty toy—which combines the features of a realistic-looking plastic finger, a ring and a toy top—comes with candy packed in the blister pack. Magic Rings have a suggested retail price of $1.99. They are shipped 12 pieces per display box and 96 pieces per carton. Jatek International is based in Hong Kong.
Bella Light Bars
Bella Chocolate
(0-216) 466 88 30
These 100-gram sugar-free chocolate bars are formulated with the sugar substitute maltitol and contain 30 percent fewer calories than a regular version. The bars are available in milk, white and dark chocolate. The Istanbul-based company is targeting diabetics and carb-conscious consumers.
’57 Chevy Gumball Machine
Sweet ‘N Fun
(852) 2723-1337
The fun aspects of the ’50s are brought to mind with this die-cast ’57 Chevy gumball dispenser, which contains 110 grams of Dubble Bubble gumballs. The gumballs are dispensed by pressing on the car’s engine. The ’57 Chevy, which has a suggested retail price of $12.99, is available in red, turquoise and white. Sweet ‘N Fun is based in Hong Kong.
Transformer Gumball Bank
Sweet ‘N Fun
(852) 2723-1337
The 12-inch Transformer Gumball bank contains 82 grams of Dubble Bubble gumballs. Pressing a button sets the Transformer spinning. Optimus Prime and Megatron versions of the Transformer are offered. The suggested retail price for each is $7.99.
(800) 839-8938
These soft candy Puffs from Columbia-based Columbina are available in Soft Mint and Soft Fruit varieties. They come in a 200-count changemaker pack in which candy has a suggested retail price of 5 cents each as well as in 6-ounce bags with a suggested retail price of 99 cents. The 200-count packs come packed eight per case; the 6-ounce bags are packed 12 per case.
Entrepreneur Unveils Mirror and Mint Combo
Isaac Berg is launching a product line he has named Little i Mirror Mints, but there’s nothing small-scale about this entrepreneur’s strategic plan for his mints.  
Mirror Mints, which Berg had on display at ISM and has also shown off at the Fancy Food Show, are sugar-free mini mints creatively packaged in a tin that features a mirror and a slide-open dispenser. The tins are offered in pink and black, and have a suggested retail price of about $2.99.
A patent attorney by profession, Berg understands the importance of developing a unique product, particularly in an overcrowded category like mints. (The patent for Little i Mirror Mints is pending, by the way.)
"The mints business is so saturated, I have seen a lot of people fail because they are not adding value," says Berg.
Berg is not a novice in the packaged goods market. He’s already built a successful business with his first creation—bra-shaped sachets that are sold in clothing boutiques, small gift shops and lingerie stores.
He expects his familiarity with alternative channels of distribution to be a major boon in getting the Mirror Mints business up and running.
"We already sell to many of the channels [where the mints are a good fit] including salons and spas," he notes.
In fact, Berg says the idea for Little i Mirror Mints developed while he observed women shopping in the channels that distributed his sachets. "You look at what women do in department stores, and you see that they’re looking in the mirror," he says.
Little i offers Mirror Mints in a variety of display rack shippers and countertop displays.
Little i, Blaine, Wash.,  (310) 666-2616
Cannabis Candy
Call it a novelty candy targeted to adults.
Cannabis-flavored Ganja Rock candy is a hard candy formulated with oil extracted from marijuana (aka ganja). This candy won’t make you high, however, because it contains no THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, stresses Ganja Rock marketer Geoff Quan. Each of the handmade candies is decorated with a depiction of a marijuana plant leaf. The candy comes packaged in peg bags.
Ganja Rock candy is positioned as a tongue-in-check offering suited for sale in head shops and some specialty gift shops, says Quan. In the United States, the candy is distributed by the aptly named Mary Jane Candy Co., North Wildwood, N.J.