As Sweets & Snacks Expo continues in Chicago, the National Confectioners Association (NCA) predicts the leading new products trends:
Chocolate-Covered Everything – Manufacturers look for more and more treats to cover with chocolate. While local gourmands may seek out chocolate-covered bacon and mushrooms at their hometown confectioners, mainstream America will look for more classic items such as the crunchy, salted centre of m&m’s Pretzel Chocolate Candies from Mars Chocolate North America. Chocolate-Covered Pumpkin Peeps from Just Born are available in both milk and dark chocolate.
Up in the Air – Snacking practically takes flight as these light or aerated confections hit the shelves. The 3 Musketeers Truffle Crisp Bar from Mars Chocolate North America is a truffle on a airy crisp layer of meringue enrobed in chocolate. From the Wonka brand of Nestle Confections & Snack Divisions comes Whipped Wingers, an aerated gummy in flavours like watermelon and pineapple. Skinny Mini’s, the lightweight vegetable and potato stick snacks from Cornfields are about 30 per cent lower in fat than similar snacks.
Real Good – Natural and wholesome ingredients have not gone unnoticed by the confectionery and snack industry. Honey as an ingredient and as a flavour harkens back to the origins of sweetened confections, but seems as fresh and new as any innovation with Honey Bean, a Jelly Belly jelly bean infused with wildflower honey and new Honey Lovers, colourful heart-shaped fruit chews made with real honey offered by Gimbal’s Fine Candies. Wholesome, simple ingredients make up Get Movin’ snack crackers by Partners, a Tasty Choice Company. Nutorious nut confections are available in five different varieties and are all natural, low sodium, and GMO-free, and contain no trans fats or preservatives. Vegan Chocolate Truffles from Native Gardens boast a medley of benefits and are dairy-free, gluten-free, low sugar, low calorie and handcrafted.
The Galloping Gourmet – Asher’s Chocolates proves that the combination of sweet and salty is as popular as ever with its Vanilla Caramels with Sea Salt. Jelly Belly toasts many flavours of cocktails with Jelly Belly Cocktail Classics – mojito, peach bellini and more. Double-filled truffles from Madelaine Chocolate, Duets, fill milk chocolate truffles with flavour pairings including peanut butter and caramel and milk truffle and white truffle. Candy maker Wonka has introduced a line of whimsical confections called Wonka Exceptionals that includes the Domed Dark Chocolate Bar, a bed of dark chocolate topped with milk chocolate medallions; the Chocolate Waterfall Bar with a blend of white and milk chocolates and the Scrumdiddlyumptious Bar, featuring pieces of toffee and peanuts.
Fresh-N-Fruity – Bursting on the scene with fresh and powerful flavours are candies and gums such as American Licorice Company’s Grapevines and Jolly Rancher Awesome Twosome Chews from The Hershey Company that combine two flavours with two unique textures in each bite-size piece featuring watermelon surrounded by green apple and cherry filled with orange. Wrigley has brought out Extra Fruit Sensations Sweet Tropical gum, as well as Starburst Summer Fun Fruits in kiwi-banana, lemon-limeade, cherry splash and watermelon; and Skittles Fizzl’d Fruits in flavours like wild cherry and melon berry. Straight out of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” comes Stride Shift from Cadbury North America – a flavour-changing gum that starts off tasting like citrus or melon and shifts into mint.
Dark and Dreamy – Dark chocolate has been increasing in popularity for years and new product introductions have played a big part in the expansion of the category. This year look for Kit Kat Dark from The Hershey Company and Necco’s new Clark Bar Dark. Cote d’Or is showcasing a Pistache Noir dark chocolate bar and Dark Chocolate Cherry Raisinets are made from whole dried cherries,drenched in Nestlé dark chocolate.
Source: Confectionery Production