I can’t believe it’s time for the Sweets and Snacks Expo again. I mean, I feel like I’m still nursing my sugar hangover from last year’s show, and BAM, here we are doing the new product preview section already.

We have more than 78 products this year, which is kind of insane. It shows just how amazingly innovative the confectionery industry is, and also, how many people actually respond to my emails asking for submissions. Thanks everyone!

It also means that I literally have cases of confections all over my house. My mom, sitting calmly in the living room the other day, finally turned to me and said, “The candy is getting out of control.”

I know, I know. It’s a good problem to have. I mean, how many other people literally get free candy in the mail on a daily basis?

And, I have all these crazy visions of organizing it one day, so that I can easily sort the sweets into the three piles:

  1. Candy I still need to taste and write about.
  2. Candy I already wrote about and want to give away to friends and family.
  3. Candy so delicious that I plan to eat all of it myself and never give any of it away. Ever. Seriously, go away. You can’t have any.

Only the sweetest of the sweetest qualify for that third pile. And seeing as how you, too, will probably have too many samples to sort through soon, I thought I’d save you some time (and calories), and share my thoughts on all the candy I’ll be hiding in my closet behind all those high heels that are too high to ever actually wear.

55801- HP Chews Stand Up Bag 8 75oz 225.png1. Hawaiian Punch Candy Chew
Adams & Brooks, Inc.

I don’t know if taffy has a bad rap or what, but that’s what these are, taffy. I mean, yes, I could see how they are also candy chews in a broader sense of the term, but when I tell everyone how much I love them, I just flat-out rename them as Hawaiian Punch Taffys.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Why would anyone over the age of 7 want to eat Hawaiian Punch? Well, aside from the fact that the lemon berry squeeze flavor is actually way more delicious than you would expect any flavor that ends in “squeeze” to be, these taffy chews get high marks for their consistency. We’ve all had that one piece of taffy from the sketchy guy at the carnival, that’s still stuck in our teeth to this day. But these are not that. I swear. They’re chewy, but in an edible way. So trust me when I tell you, you can’t have any of these from me.

TheoCoconutBitesBeauty225NEW.jpg2. Theo Coconut Bites
Theo Chocolate

These come in coconut salted almond, classic coconut, and even coconut lime.

I seriously feel like coconut is such an underused ingredient. I mean I get it, coconut is extremely polarizing. My own sister, for example, refuses to touch the stuff. But I actually love the shredded texture and sweet taste. Plus, it makes me feel like I’m in Hawaii. And, Theo takes everything up a notch by using organic and Fair Trade ingredients. These coconut bites are so sustainable, they almost taste healthy.

90047_item_N&L Splits Lemonade Blend Peg 225.jpg3. Now and Later Splits
Ferrara Candy Co.

I feel a little guilty, as a 31-year old, admitting that Now and Laters are my new favorite candy. I mean, these things are geared toward 12-year-olds, right? But I have to confess, the new Now and Later Splits are my latest addiction.

They come in Lemon-Lime, Lemon-Strawberry and Lemon-Blue Raspberry, and the Lemon-Strawberry is my favorite.

I love the flavor combinations, and the surge of sweet and sour you get when you pop one in your mouth. And eating them makes me feel younger, or at least young in heart.

So there you have it, a peek at what I’ll be hiding behind all my winter mittens. Of course, just because I didn’t mention something here, doesn’t mean it’s not insanely delicious. These are just my no-you-can’t-have-any favorites. So, be sure to check all the amazing sweets and treats debuting at the show in our Expo Preview Section in our May issue, and on our website next month at www.candyindustry.com. Also, while you’re on our website, feel free to watch my Expo favorites video, where I talk about more sweets I can’t stop eating.

 See you at the show!