Sweets & Snacks to Spring up in Chicago

The All Candy Expo is right around the corner! Here, we preview some of the products to be featured May 20-22 at McCormick Place West in Chicago.
Frank’s Red Hot
ACE Booth #2334
Frank’s Redhot Chile ‘n Lime Steak Strips join the brand’s burgeoning line of meat snacks, which includes Original Beef Jerky, Original Sausage Sticks and Chile ‘n Lime Sausage Sticks. The spicy strips combine savory heat with a tangy twist for a unique flavor impact. The 3.5-oz. strips are available in 12-count cases, along with various point-of-sale vehicles.
New Era Brands LLC
ACE Booth #461
This fall, Aura Clip ‘n’ Go gum and mints will come in a limited-edition, pink container, just in time for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A portion of sales proceeds will go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. Samples also will be distributed at fundraising walks throughout the country later this year. Aura Clip ‘n’ Go gum and mints have a suggested retail price of $0.99 to $1.29. Also new for this year: Aura Organics and Aura Flavor Fusion.
Beer Chips
ACE Booth #2262
Since man can’t live on beer alone, the makers of Beer Chips — thick-cut, kettle-style potato chips coated in sugar, honey, salt and “the world’s most perfect beverage” — have created two new chip varieties. Chip Shots are flavored like margaritas and salt, while Hot Potatoes have a spicy Bloody Mary taste.
The Hershey Co.
Starbucks enthusiasts will no doubt enjoy Starbucks Chocolate, a portfolio of artisan-style chocolate inspired by the popular coffee brand, Tazo tea and other authentic coffeehouse flavors. Produced by Artisan Confections Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hershey Co., the collection includes signature dark, mocha and milk chocolate bars and tasting squares; Tazo Chai, passion and Citron tea-infused tasting squares; Caffe Mocha, Chai, Espresso, Caramel Macchiato and Madagascar Vanilla Bean Truffles; and Milk Chocolate Covered Caffe Verona Coffee Beans.
Herr Foods, Inc.
ACE Booth #2272
Blooming Onion is the latest potato chip flavor from the Herr’s brand. Reminiscent of the popular steakhouse appetizer, this savory sweet snack is fried to golden perfection and then topped with just the right amount of seasoning for an intense fusion of flavors with a touch of spicy horseradish. The chips are available in three bag sizes: 0.75 oz. for $0.69, 1.25 oz. for $0.99 and 5 oz. for $2.99.
Sorbee Intl. Limited
ACE Booth #407
From sugar-free category leader Sorbee comes a new line of sweets and snacks: EatRite/BeFit. The sugar-free products include cookies, syrups, chocolates, hard candies and other offerings designed for consumers looking to reduce their sugar, fat and calorie intake without sacrificing taste.
ACE Booth #420
Collectible, candy-themed dry erase message boards allow M&Ms and Skittles fans to share their passion for select colors of the popular candies. The boards also serve as party favors. They come with matching pens that are topped with handy erasers. They’re available to retailers in a 12-pack display or a master case, which has six displays, at a retail price of $3.99.
Madelaine Chocolate Novelties, Inc.
ACE Booth #1347
From the company that introduced the original milk chocolate rose comes a new crop of milk chocolate roses with foliage so lush and real that it reflects the flavor of the gourmet chocolate. The roses now are available in exquisite gift box/displayers.
Glee Gum
ACE Booth #883
Glee Gum now comes in two new flavors: Bubblegum and Spearmint. The all-natural chewing gum is free from artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners and preservatives. A “secret” ingredient called chiclé — a sticky tree sap harvested from the rainforests of Central America — gives the gum its good chew. Using chiclé is a sustainable way to keep the trees standing. To that end, Glee Gum also comes in eco-wise retro packaging that’s easy on the eyes as it is on the environment. Gluten-free and certified vegetarian by the American Vegetarian Association, Glee Gum is made with real cane sugar and rice syrup, so there are no harmful additives for kids.
Snack Factory, Inc.
ACR Booth #2321
Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzel Crisps bring together the decadence of all-natural 45% cacao and the delicious salty crunch of a baked, fat-free pretzel. The snack meets consumer demand for indulgent, sweet meets salty snacks. Look for new Peanut Butter Covered Pretzel Crisps from the Snack Factory brand at the All Candy Expo, too.
Jelly Belly
ACE Booth #831
Cold Stone Creamery’s Signature Creation ice cream flavors were the inspiration for Jelly Belly’s new Ice Cream Parlor line. The five-flavor mix includes Mint Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Devotion, Our Strawberry Blonde, Apple Pie A La Cold Stone and Birthday Cake Remix. The product is available in 10-lb. bulk cases and in dedicated 3.1-oz., 6.5-oz and 8.5-oz. tie-top bags. The company also offers a 72-count combo power wing shopper with both the mix and 30 assorted flavors bags.
Green & Black’s, distributed by Cadbury Adams
ACE Booth #1231
Two new varieties of chocolate have been added to Green & Black’s repertoire: Cherry and Dark 85%. The former is made with 60% dark chocolate that’s blended with whole, organic sour cherries. The latter was developed to satisfy consumers with a preference for dark, intense dark chocolate that’s still balanced so as not to compromise taste; a significant amount of Madagascan organic vanilla creates the intense, distinctive flavor that enhances the very essence of the chocolate, rounding out the bitter notes, softening the acidity and heightening the perceived sweetness.
Perfetti Van Melle USA
ACE Booth #867
Mentos gum just got easier to carry with new conveniently packaged, brightly colored pocket bottles. The re-sealable bottles come in three new flavors: Spearmint, Red Fuit + Lime and Peppermint.
Koko’s Confectionery & Novelty
ACE Booth #767
Coming this winter from Koko’s are two new items. The first is a licensed product from Strawberry Shortcake. It includes a treasure chest and necklace kit, each of which is filled with bright fruit-flavored-themed candies. Second is a series of Sports Candy Puzzles and Bracelets in baseball, football and soccer themes.
Candy Industry’s 63rd Annual Kettle Awards
Candy Industry (a sister publication of Confection & Snack Retailing) will recognize the recipients of its 63rd annual Kettle Awards at a gala reception to be held May 20 during the All Candy Expo in Chicago.
The nominees for this honor are selected based on their accomplishments, activities and contributions to the confectionery industry in 2007, as determined by the criteria for the Kettle Awards in 1945. The criteria include sales and marketing, education and personal training, energy and environmental contributions, quality advancement, government relations, public relations, administrative and financial techniques, production and plant improvement, and research and development.
This year’s nominees are Edmond F. Opler, chairman and CEO of World’s Finest Chocolate, Chicago; Gary Guittard, president of Guittard Chocolate Co., Burlingame, Calif.; Patrick Huffman, president of The Warrell Corp., Camp Hill, Pa.; and Lance Gimbal, president of Gimbal’s Fine Candies, South San Francisco, Calif.
For more information about the 2008 Kettle Awards, contact Bernard Pacyniak, editor of Candy Industry, at pacyniakb@bnpmedia.com or 1-847-405-4004.