A Kids’-Eye View of Confections

'Kid Engineers' share what they — and their parents — are thinking about candy.  

Strottman International is a custom candy premiums and novelty packaging company that hires “Kid Engineers” to inform, create and approve ideas. Here’s what some of the kids the company interviewed had to say in response to candy-focused queries.
Name your most favorite candy or chocolate you have bought with your own money in the last month and explain why you chose it.
I bought Take 5 — Hershey makes them — I like how it has a mixture of salty and sweet, the pretzel and the chocolate is a good combination. I was with some friends on a road trip going camping and we stopped at a Smart & Final and I ate it as soon as I got back in the car. I ate the whole thing.”
—Collin, 13
I was at Sticky Fingers — they have these bags, and you can put all these candies in it. I got jelly beans and jawbreakers and soda bottles. It’s close enough that I can ride my bike over there.  They have these big boxes lined up in columns and with the jawbreakers it goes from the smallest ones up to the big ones, and they have a section of bubble gum and you know where everything is.”
—Conner, 11
I was at Target and I bought Kissables — they are like M&Ms, but they look like Kisses and I like to eat them watching TV. Me and my mom picked them out and we ate them at night; we ate them while we were watching TV.”
—Janae, 8
At my brother’s baseball game, I went to the snack [stand] and bought 10 or 15 Sour Punch Straws and some Starbursters [sic] and four Abba Dabbas [sic] and four Big Hunk taffies. I ate some of it and then saved the rest to eat at school.”
—Rebecca, 11
I was at the grocery store, and my mom didn’t have a lot of money and she said I could buy some candy, so I got Starbursts. I ate like three or four but it took me like two months to finish the whole pack.”
—Samantha, 7
I never buy candy with my own money. My parents buy it all. My brother and me eat lots and lots of gum, usually sugar-free. Not too much chocolate. We don’t have candy in the morning, just random times I go and get it. I don’t have to ask permission.”
—Jaelen, 11
I got peanut butter M&Ms. I bought them at the movies. I’d never had the peanut butter M&Ms.  I had like four left after the movie. I also bought the sour gummy worms where you scoop it out of the bins. I like that there’s a lot to choose from in those bins, but if you take too much, they don’t let you put it back.”
—Katherine, 13
We just had Take 5, and it was different than most chocolate. The pretzels made it saltier and not so sweet. We have a Circle K near our house that I ride my bike to, and last time I got a Butterfinger, which also has that peanut butter flavor that makes it not so sweet.”
—Benton, 11
I never buy candy with my own money. My mom gets it for me sometimes.”
—Devon, 7
We were out shopping and we were in line, and I got white chocolate Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I like white chocolate Reese’s because I think it’s better.”
—Trevor, 11
I went to the 7-Eleven with my aunt, and I bought a Reese’s peanut butter thing.”
—Cory, 10
I was at Howie’s Game Shack, and I bought a king-size Butterfinger. I like candy when I’m playing videogames, or when I play poker or pinochle.”
—Mitchell, 13
What reasons did your mom or dad give the last time you asked for candy or chocolate when you were in a store and they said “no”?  How did you reply to them, and what did you do next?
A lot of times after dinner and late at night my mom’s like ‘you just ate,’ and she says it’s bad to eat higher-calorie foods late at night. Personally, I think it’s OK to eat candy after dinner. If her final answer is ‘no,’ then I would have something salty.”
—Collin, 13
A while ago at Sav-On I asked for Trident Splash, but I had to share it with my brother. I don’t really ask for candy. When we were at Michael’s and I was hungry and she said no ‘cuz we hadn’t eaten a dinner. Usually she says candy is not good for you, and I have to eat healthier. But for this three weeks she’s letting me eat not that good ‘cuz it’s spring break, and we don’t have school.”
—Janae, 8
A couple days ago we were at home and I wanted to eat a Look (chocolate-covered taffy) and my mom said no because it was too close to dinner. I said, ‘mommm…please’, and she said ‘no’ and I said ‘fine.’ Then I walked up to my room, and I was annoyed.”
—Rebecca, 11
My parents let me have candy only when I’m really good, but I’m mostly really good all the time, so I get it a lot.”
—Samantha, 7
For more information on Strottman International and its "Kid Engineers," call Jay Zemke at (949) 623-7906 or e-mail zemke@strottman.com.