Candy buyers and vendors gathered in Scottsdale, Ariz., this past fall for the Candy Annual Planning meeting. Dozens of candy companies previewed hundreds of products. The products featured on these pages were among the highlights.
Tic Tac Bold! Apple Sour
Ferrero USA
Tic Tac Bold! breath-freshening mints now come in an Apple Sour flavor. Tic Tac Bold Apple Sour ships in a 288-count case of singles; a 72-count sidekick/floor display shipper is available as well.
Mentos Pocket Bottle Gum
Perfetti Van Melle USA
Perfetti Van Melle has expanded its Mentos brands with the rollout of Mentos Gum in pocket bottles. The new gum is round in shape and boasts a crispy outer shell; it comes in a 15-piece pocket bottle that is easy to open, reseal and carry. Available now, Mentos Gum comes in three flavors: spearmint, red fruit + lime, and peppermint. The suggested retail price is $1.49. Display vehicles include a 10-count show box, 40-count counter display and 60-count power wing.
Marshmallow Farms
New Era Brands
Detailed, hand-decorated marshmallows themed for all four seasons and everyday are the latest offering from New Era Brands. The new Marshmallow Farms treats come in packages of six with a suggested retail price of 99 cents to $1.29. A 25-cent single marshmallow changemaker is offered as well. The Marshmallow Farms line debuts with Easter offerings. Next up are everyday items — Ant Farm and Animal Farm for the spring timeframe, followed by Sea Animals and Polar Ice for the summer and back-to-school seasons. The packaging — complete with fun facts about the featured animals and word search games — adds to the Marshmallow Farms’ fun.
High School Musical Novelties
Flix Candy/Imaginings 3
Flix Candy gets wholeheartedly into the High School Musical spirit with a series of new licensed kids’ candy items slated to hit the market during late winter and early spring. New offerings include High School Musical Sports Two-Pack Ring Lollipops (suggested retail price of 99 cents to $1.29), which are shaped like sports balls — basketball, soccer and baseball — in assorted flavors. Also available are Mini Backpacks (suggested retail price of $2.99 to $3.49), which have a backpack clip and are filled with pressed sugar stars and sports balls. The final High School Musical feature is the Sack Lunch Gummies Bag (suggested retail price of 99 cents to $1.29), which contains sour gummies shaped like lunch items — water bottles, sandwiches, pizzas and so on. 
Wall-E Novelty Items
Flix Candy/Imaginings 3
When the new Disney sci-fi comedy “Wall-E” movie hits theaters in June, Flix Candy will be ready to capitalize on the candy merchandising opportunity with a series of novelty items, including Wall-E Mini Push Puppets (suggested retail price of $3.99 to $4.99) featuring a mini tube of cube-shaped candies topped with a moveable puppet of Wall-E himself. Also included in the Wall-E line are Rolling Pop Slider Lollipops (suggested retail price of $1.59 to $1.99), which have either the Wall-E or Eve characters as removable rolling figures on top of a sliding sucker. The final Wall-E item featured are Picture Ring Pops (suggested retail price of 99 cents to $1.29), which have edible pictures of Wall-E and Eve on two different flavored ring lollipops. 
Icicle Pop
Kids Brands
This clever lollipop duplicates the look of a Popsicle frozen treat. And like a Popsicle, it can be broken in half and shared. What’s more, Icicle Pops are formulated with a cooling agent so the lollipop delivers a sensation of cold. Strawberry and sour blue raspberry flavors are offered.
Hiya Fillamints
Webb Candy
Available now, new Hiya Fillamints deliver mints in a form that is both economical and environmentally friendly. A choice of 7 mm or 13 mm hard candy mints come in a refillable single mint dispenser with a suggested retail price of 99 cents. Refill bottles of Fillamints will sell for $1.99. The 7 mm Fillamints refill bottles provides more than seven dispenser refills; for the 13 mm Fillamints, it is more than five dispenser refills. Mint flavors include peppermint, spearmint, cinnamon and assorted sours. Retail counter display packages feature a single flavor and are available with 12 refillable Fillamints dispensers, six Fillamints refill bottles, or a combination of 12 dispensers and six refill bottles. Power wing displays are offered as well.
Fassin America Inc.
Playing with your food takes on a whole new meaning with Fascini brand CrEATables Chewy Candy Laces. These flexible, stretchy fruit-flavored candies can be twisted, tied and braided into jewelry and lanyards, and then consumed. CrEATables flavors include strawberry, apple, tutti frutti and blue raspberry. The candy string comes in 1.4-ounce assorted flavor and all-strawberry bags and 4-ounce bags of all four flavors. The Web site offers ideas and instructions for crafting with CrEATables, as well as kids’ games and activities. The 1.4-ounce bags come packed 24 per display/12 displays in an outer carton and have a suggested retail price of 79 cents. The 4-ounce bags are packed 12 per shelf-ready display case and have a suggested retail price of $1.19.  
Jumbo Trash Candy
Kids Brands
“Trash can” plastic containers are filled with dextrose candy in shapes such as dead fish, banana peels, old boots and cans. Sour candy flavors are strawberry, lemon, blue raspberry and green apple. The suggested retail price of a 1.35-ounce can is 99 cents.
Cocoa Pete’s Chocolate Bars
Pan Pacific Foods
Cocoa Pete’s premium, all-natural chocolate bars are now available through Pan Pacific Foods, the new owner of the brand. The chocolate is offered in a two-piece Cocoa Petite and a four-piece bar, with suggested retail prices of 99 cents and $2.99, respectively. The two-piece Petites come in a 48-count display tray; the four-piece bar comes packed in a 10-count sleeve display. Varieties include Berry Berry Dangerous (real strawberries in dark chocolate), Caramel Knowledge (caramel, dark chocolate and coffee), Nuts So Serious (hazelnut butter and pistachio in milk chocolate), and Maltimus Maximus (malt crunchies in milk chocolate). A variety of display shippers are offered.
Tic Tac Chill
Ferrero USA
Available mid-year, new Tic Tac Chill mints are sugar-free (sweetened with Xylitol) and larger than Ferrero’s signature Tic Tacs. Two flavors are offered: Exotic Cherry and Paradise Mint. Each .95-ounce package will feature two openings — a traditional flip-top and a sliding door on the side of the package for easier access. A pack of Tic Tac Chill mints will have a suggested retail price of about $1.69. Mixed-flavor shipper options include a 54-count modular floorstand/sidekick and an 18-count counter unit.
Zip Sours Re-Launch
Morris National
Morris National is re-launching its Zip Sours tangy fruit hard candies, packaging them in colorful 1.5-ounce tins. All-natural flavor varieties include Black Cherry, Apple Cranberry and Orange Splash. The suggested retail price for a Zip Sours tin is $1.49. The tins come in six-count display boxes packed 12 per case.
Seasonal Novelty Teeth
The creators of Bubbagum bubblegum candy teeth are unveiling seasonal versions. The new offerings include Bubba Bunny Teeth for Easter, Creepy Teeth for Halloween and a Christmas version minus the two front teeth in keeping with an “All I Want for Christmas Are My Two Front Teeth” theme. The suggested retail price for each Bubbagum SKU is from $1.69 to $1.99. The novelty teeth come packed 12 per countertop display and 72 per tip-out dump floor display shipper.
Kinagro LLC
Ki’Xocolatl chocolate bars are artisanal chocolate bars made using single-source cacao beans harvested in Mexico by farmers of Mayan heritage. Three varieties are offered: a 72 percent cacao dark chocolate with red pepper and spices, a 36 percent cacao milk chocolate with cacao nibs, and a 72 percent dark chocolate. Each 2.9-ounce bar has a suggested retail price of $7.99.
Gourmet Gums
Little i Inc.
An intense breath-freshener, Little i’s premium cold-pressed gum is packed with flavor and made with Xylitol to fight cavities and plaque. Also available is a new energy gum formulated with Xylitol, but with the addition of taurine and B vitamins; it’s designed to deliver energy three times faster than leading energy drinks. Both types of gum come packaged in either a flip-top tin with a mirror or an easy-to-open slider pack. Twelve- and 24-count cardboard display shippers and a 48-count wire rack displays are offered.  
Soft Gourmet Licorice
Lucky Country
Lucky Country is launching an Australian-style gourmet soft licorice packaged in brown craft bags to help give it an authentic, homemade image. Two sizes are offered. A 6-ounce peg bag has a suggested retail price of $1.99 to $2.49; a 10.6-ounce bag will retail for about $2.99.
Revved-Up Cinnamon Mentos
Perfetti Van Melle USA
The bold flavor of Mentos Cinnamon is getting even bolder. And Perfetti Van Melle, maker of Mentos, has redesigned the product’s packaging to let consumers know just that. Package graphics for Mentos Cinnamon roll candy now depicts red-hot flames so consumers will be clear on the fact that they’re in for a hotter treat than ever before.  
Big Spool Bubble Gum Tape
Big Spool Bubble Gum Tape delivers six feet of bubble gum for 99 cents. Blue raspberry, traditional original and watermelon flavors are offered.
RPS Lollipop & Game
This lollipop/game combo plays off the traditional kids’ challenge game: Rock, Paper, Scissors. A lollipop comes in a tube topped with a plastic hand with fingers in either rock, paper or scissors formation. Lollipop flavors are Bubble Gum, Cotton Candy and Root Beer. The suggested retail price is 99 cents.
New Shipper
Pop Rocks
The new display shipper for Pop Rocks chocolate bars delivers major impact with a small footprint. The shipper holds 72 of the two-piece, milk chocolate mega bars.
Available now, the shipper is an addition to the Pop Rocks everyday line.
Bratz Candy Novelties
Au’Some Candy
New licensed Bratz novelty items are designed to thrill little girls with a passion for fashion. Bratz Glamour Compact boasts a real compact with a vanity mirror and is filled with mints branded with the Bratz signature “B” logo. The compact attaches easily to a backpack, purse, keychain or belt loop. Also under the Bratz banner is Candy Star Dust. It’s a lollipop that can be dipped into a keepsake “perfume” container filled with sweet powder. Another new item is the Bratz Camera Action, complete with rolls of sour apple and sour strawberry bubblegum. All SKUs are packed eight 12-count displays per case and have a suggested retail price of $1.99.
Pocket Fruit Mix To-Go Bar
Au’Some Candy
Florida’s Natural Pocket Fruit Mix to Go Bar is made with organic strawberry and orange fruit nuggets mixed with a dried fruit medley of pineapple, mango, banana and papaya. The 1.4-ounce gluten-free bar contains 150 calories and comes packaged in a box with colorful, high-impact graphics. The suggested retail price is $1.99.  
Fassin America Inc.
Fascini Sour SNAGX are bite-size sour candy belts that feature four flavors in each piece — strawberry, apple, tutti frutti and blue raspberry. Sour SNAGX come in 1.75-ounce and 4-ounce bags with suggested retail prices of 79 cents and $1.19 per bag, respectively.
Now and Later Theater Box
Farley’s & Sathers Candy Co.
Now and Later traditional taffy candies now come in theater boxes. Each 3.25-ounce box includes a mix of candies in grape, strawberry, watermelon, apple and cherry flavors. The theater boxes are packed 12 per case. Also new for the Now and Later brand is the addition of a chocolate flavor of Now and Later soft taffy.
New Flavor for Pez
Pez Candy
Chocolate-flavored Pez candies will be available for an April 1 ship date. Chocolate is the 13th flavor to be added to the Pez line-up. The new chocolate-flavored Pez candies will be available in six-pack candy refills, blister packs of eight and in 14.65-ounce laydown bags filled with mini rolls.
Candy Tech
New from Candy Tech is the ChocAdorables line of molded chocolates in four very “adorable” shapes. Each of the four shapes features a different filling and is packaged in a box with cutouts to show off the chocolates. Box sizes range from 6 ounces to 7 ounces. Varieties include Milk Chocolate Caramel Apples, Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Teddy Bears, Fudgie Frogs with Mint Chocolate Truffle and Dark Chocolate Espresso Mocha. Each ChocAdorable variety ships 12 boxes per case; a 72-unit floorstand display that includes 18 SKUs of each of the four varieties is offered, as well.
Bonus Gum Set to Make a Splash in the Marketplace
Jay Klein, president of Toronto-based Action Candy Co., is 27 years old. But sometimes, he admits, he feels older. Like 32 or so. Maybe it’s because this high-spirited gum brand developer already has packed a couple of careers into his 20s.
At the age of 21, Klein started his own Toronto-based ad agency, Drivertise International, a business he still operates. More recently, he’s embarked on a new challenge: developing a gum product and bringing it to market. The brand name for the new gum is Bonus — a moniker conceived to convey the message that it allows the chewer to “get more from their gum.”
The new sugar-free, blister-pack gum initially was conceived to tap into growing consumer interest in functional ingredients. Bonus Cranberry packaging touts the fact that the gum is made with real cranberries. Bonus Green Tea calls out its “great mint taste” and antioxidant benefits, and Bonus Energy Gum, which the company says tastes like the leading energy drink, highlights its guarana and taurine ingredients. To round out the assortment, Action Candy Co. also is offering Bonus Chill sugar-free gum in Peppermint and Glacier Ice flavors.
The three functional gums have a suggested retail price of $1.59. Klein expects the Chill varieties to retail for 99 cents to $1.09.
Klein formally introduced Bonus gum at the All Candy Expo and followed that with participation in the ECRM Candy Annual Planning meeting. The response at both events was even more enthusiastic than anticipated, Klein reports.
Since previewing the gum last fall, he has taken the opportunity to tweak its positioning a bit. Initially, Klein says, he expected the Green Tea, Cranberry and Energy gums to be positioned together under a “functional” banner. He found, however, that it makes more sense to market the Energy gum separately because it tends to skew toward a younger target audience, and “energy” has become a specific subset within the gum category. The Green Tea and Cranberry gums can be paired for advertising/marketing efforts and at retail because both may be categorized as good-for-you products.
With his background in advertising, Klein is attuned to the importance of creating a point of difference for his new brand. All the gum varieties boast vibrant, high-impact packaging. The company will support its new gum with a public relations campaign; outdoor, radio and internet advertising; sampling; and point-of-purchase materials.
Action Candy Co.
Annabelle Candy Co. Eyes New Market Opportunities
Consumers on the West Coast tend to be familiar with candy bar brands like Rocky Road, Abba-Zaba and Big Hunk from Hayward, Calif.-based Annabelle Candy Co. Beyond the Rockies, however, distribution is spottier, even for these brands, the company’s three top sellers.
Now, however, the marketing minds at Annabelle hope that the growing popularity of theater box packaging will be a vehicle for Annabelle to move these brands into the national spotlight. Bite-size versions of all three brands are available. The Abba-Zaba and Big Hunk mini bars are dubbed “mini morsels” on the packages; they are snack-size versions of regular Abba-Zaba and Big Hunk bars. With the Rocky Road brand, the formulation has been jazzed up a bit. The bars are double-enrobed in chocolate, which accounts for the new product name, Rocky Road Double Dipped Bits. Each theater box will have a suggested retail price of $1.29 to $1.49.
Consumers like theater boxes, says David Klabunde, director of sales & marketing, because they’re both visually appealing and easy to handle. Research conducted for the National Confectioners Association has documented the fact that consumers are eager to simplify the candy-shopping experience, he reports.
“Consumers hate looking for products in the candy section,” Klabunde observes. “Especially with laydown bags, consumers were asking for more of a billboard so they could see the product better, and I think that’s one of the things that theater boxes have done.”
Retailers are embracing this emerging new candy subset as well. “I was looking at a major drug chain, and I think they had 21 [theater box] items,” Klabunde says.
A Lot of Candy Bar
In addition to the theater box rollout, Annabelle is venturing into premium confections territory with the introduction of a line of generously sized Supreme Bars. The bars’ name emphasizes the word “Supreme,” but the label includes the Rocky Road brand banner. Two bars are making their debut in the first quarter — Supreme Mocha and Supreme Peanut Butter — to be followed later this year with Supreme Caramel Toffee.
“We’re using our family heritage of Rocky Road, but we have taken the flavor profiles up,” Klabunde says.
Annabelle’s handmade marshmallow filling, for which the company is noted, will be a key ingredient in all three bars. For the 2.5-ounce Supreme Mocha bar, the marshmallow filling is coffee-flavored; the bar also includes cashews and is doubled-enrobed in dark chocolate. The Supreme Peanut Butter bar weighs in at nearly 3 ounces and boasts layers of milk chocolate, peanut butter, marshmallow and fresh roasted peanuts, topped off with a double layer of milk chocolate. The Supreme Caramel Toffee bar, which is expected to make its debut in the second quarter, features a layer of dark chocolate, caramel, marshmallow and almond toffee bits, surrounded by a double layer of dark chocolate. The new bars will carry a suggested retail price of $1.99 to $2.29.
Annabelle’s new product machine also caters to the calorie-conscious candy lover this year with the rollout of a multi-pack of 1-ounce, 100-calorie Skinny Hunk bars. The company unveiled individual Skinny Hunk bars last year, but opted for the multi-pack to address heightened consumer and retailer interest in 100-calorie packs. Skinny Hunk is formulated with honey-sweetened nougat, which makes it a perfect prospect for lovers of chewy, non-chocolate offerings. The suggested retail price for the pack of seven bars is about $2.99, Klabunde reports.
Annabelle Candy Co.