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Wednesday, May 28, 2008
The emphasis is on fun
EXPO IN CHICAGO Trade show rolls out what's ahead in candy and snacks
May 28, 2008


BY SANDY THORN CLARK

Flavor, ingenuity and fun are in store on America's candy and snack aisles -- at least if the 2,000 new confectionary creations and snacks unveiled last week at the National Confectioners Association's All Candy Expo at McCormick Place are an indication. Flavor abounds. Orbit gum comes in Sangria Fresca, Ice Breakers Chewy Sours in Strawberry Blast, and Go Naturally Organic Hard Candies in Pomegranate. Combo pretzel snacks have added Pizzeria, Zesty Salsa and Nacho Cheese; Crunchables baked rice snacks are available in Nacho Cheese, Barbecue or Salt and Vinegar, and Pringles Baked Wheat Stix flavors include Vanilla, Honey or Pizza.

There's ingenuity: Burger King offers Ketchup & Fries-flavored potato snacks; Arizona Jack's has 3-feet-long Whipper Snacker Beef Sticks in Pepperoni, Teriyaki and Original flavors and Trail Steaks offers smoked jerkylike beef, elk, venison, turkey and buffalo.


Some of the new candy and snack foods featured at a All Candy Expo include Jelly Belly beans in your favorite Cold Stone Creamery flavors, new packaging from Aura to promote cancer while having fresh breath (top), and Spicy Bloody Mary potato chips.

And there's plain fun: Peeps, those adorable pastel-colored marshmallow classics associated with Easter, will introduce bear-shaped Chocolate Mousse Peeps for Valentine's Day and new green or orange Peeps. Too Tarts has sugar-free spray candy in Melted Ice Cream flavors including Blueberry, Strawberry and Banana Split, and Blow Pop Minis, minus the lollipop stick, come in Watermelon, Blue Razz, Cherry and Sour Apple.

Among the showstoppers:
Yummy pastel Cold Stone Creamery Jelly Belly beans offer all of the flavor of Cold Stone's signature ice cream flavors -- Mint Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Devotion, Our Strawberry Blonde, Apple Pie a la Cold Stone and Birthday Cake Remix -- minus the drip. Also new: Jelly Belly's other new flavor -- Dark Chocolate -- and a whimsical cone-shaped ceramic dish topped with a dome filled with the Jelly Belly Ice Cream Parlor Mix. Visit www.Jelly Belly.com.

It's not just about chewing gum, it's about voting as you chew. Bonus! Peppermint sugar-free gum ($1) is available in red, white and blue Democrat or Republican packaging. Jay Klein says his Bonus Gum Co. will track sales and determine the winner at election time. Non-committed chewers can opt for Bonus! gum in Green Tea or Cranberry. Visit www.bonusgum.com/election.

Potato chips take on an adult twist, thanks to the creativity and wit of Brett Stein, mastermind behind Beer Chips in three flavors: sweet-and-salty Beer, Spicy Bloody Mary, and Margarita with Salt. Available in Whole Foods and Jewel stores, the thick-cut, kettle-style chips sell for $1.19 (2-ounce bag) and $3.69 (9-ounce bag). Visit www.beerchips.com.
Think Starbucks coffee and teas. Think premium chocolate. Think Starbucks Chocolate, an inspired, irresistible collection of Cafe Mocha, Chai, Espresso, Caramel Macchiato and Madagascar Vanilla Bean Truffles; Tazo Chai, Passion and Citron Tea-Infused Chocolate Tasting Squares, and Milk Chocolate Covered Caffe Verona Coffee Beans. Holiday time will bring Gingerbread Latte, Eggnog Latte and Peppermint Mocha Truffles. Ironically, Starbucks Chocolates ($2.99 and up) are available at Target, Wal-Mart and even drugstores, but not at Starbucks.
In an effort to raise breast cancer awareness, Aura and Chicago area Jewel stores have partnered to sell Clip 'n' Go Mints and Gum, with innovative vibrant pink packaging designed to clip the mints or gum to the outside of bags, backpacks, purses and key rings. A portion of sales benefits the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Visit www.newerabrands.com.

Sandy Thorn Clark is a locally based free-lance writer.
http://www.suntimes.com/lifestyles/food/973757,FOO-News-candy28.article


by: Woodstock Candy

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