Have consumers been eating Airheads the “wrong way” for the past 20 years? That’s what TikTok wants to know after influencer Jordan Howlett, aka jordan_the_stallion8, who shares food secrets with his more than 9M followers, posted in a recent TikTok video. He claims if you shake Airheads candy they will form into a small pillow that, in his opinion, tastes better.

The candy maker came up with a solution: to open an “Airheads Shake Factory” at Muscle Beach Gym in Venice Beach, CA, powered by bodybuilders shaking Airheads into pillows for fans. The event will take place June 21, 2–7 p.m. PT.

Candy Industry Senior Editor Liz Parker was able to talk to Craig Cuchra, vice president of marketing, Perfetti Van Melle, North America, makers of Airheads candy, to find out more about the event.

Liz Parker: Why did Airheads decide to do the event? What sort of activities will be going on at the event?

Craig Cuchra: After Jordan’s post went viral we thought, why not embrace this in a fun way that only Airheads would, and create an Airheads Shake Factory powered by bodybuilders. We decided to let them do the candy shaking for our fans who wanted to see and taste the shaken vs. unshaken phenomenon without all the work. 

Eventgoers can watch in awe as the strongest arms in Los Angeles work their magic and shake the full-size bars into small pillow shapes. They can also participate in shake offs to see who can shake their bar into the smallest size in a minute. A leaderboard will track the best shakers throughout the event with prizes being given away throughout the day.

LP: When Airheads was initially made, did the creators envision consumers making the treat into "pillows" like in the video?

CC: All the credit to Airheads fans! Airheads fans are creative and passionate about their candy so it’s no surprise that they figured out shaking our bars inside the wrapper can make them into a pillow shape. We’ve always believed in letting our consumers discover new ways to eat the bars themselves because well, it’s just more fun.  

LP: What's new for the brand in terms of new products and flavors for 2023 and 2024?

CC: This year we have a big and exciting movie promotional tie for Airheads with “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts,” which is opening in theatres now (June). In stores, fans can find Airheads Xtremes Belts, Xtremes Bites and Airheads Bites with the movie graphics, and on-pack information about a summer sweepstakes. Through the promotion fans can enter to win Fandango Movie Rewards to the “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” movie and a chance to win a grand prize trip to Los Angeles (more information at maximizeyoursummer.com). Transformers is such a great entertainment franchise with generations of fans – it’s a perfect fit for Airheads.

We also have a new size of our Xtremes Belts Bluest Raspberry to capitalize on the popularity of this flavor.

We’re not quite ready yet to reveal what’s coming for 2024, but we can say that we’ve got innovations coming that we can’t wait to announce!

Related: Viral Airheads candy 'shaking' TikTok trend inspires 'Airheads Shake Factory' pop-up event in Venice Beach