Confection Direction

Manufacturers strike big with shareable, portable treats.

Steve Dwyer, CSP Reporter

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New and Novel

Manufacturers are playing with complex flavor profiles to meet consumers’ desires for out-of-the-ordinary and nostalgic flavors. For example, continuing its flavor innovation in the M&M’s brand family—think pumpkin spice and candy corn—Mars is introducing cake-flavored M&M’s. “Products like M&M’s Birthday Cake are a hot trend right now,” says Larry Lupo, vice president of sales, convenience and drug channels for Mars Chocolate North America, Hackettstown, N.J. 
The Skittles Desserts line from Wrigley is hitting stores this month, offering a mix of dessert-inspired varieties such as orange crème, raspberry sorbet and key-lime pie in standard, theater box and 14-ounce bag sizes.  
The Hershey Co. has taken a conservative approach to new flavors, seeing the opportunity but believing in moderation. “Consumers still seek basic flavors the most but are looking for new items that are subtle enhancements on the familiar without being too far of a departure,” says Brian Kavanagh, senior director, category strategy and insights, c-store, for Hershey. 
Ferrero USA showed off a Summer Ice Pop-flavored Tic Tacs at the 2013 NACS Show. Featuring red, white and blue pellets, the fruit-flavored candies take on the flavor of an ice-cream-truck favorite. It comes after the relaunch of Cinnamon Tic Tacs. And in nonchocolate from Nestle Confections, Wonka Randoms gummy candy is on its way. The 100% natural, fruity candy makes its U.S. debut in spring 2014.


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