CHICAGO -- Candy and snack manufacturer Leaf Brands LLC has won The Most Innovative Product Award at the 2014 Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago for its Sour Farts Flow Packs.
Ellia Kassoff, CEO of Leaf Brands, accepted the Most Innovative Product Award for Novelty candy after a rigorous vetting of more than 250 different new products unveiled at the show Wednesday.
"We were competing with some of the largest candy companies in America," Kassoff said, "and retailers, industry professional and lastly, show attendees chose us because Farts Candy is a fun product. Not only does the name make you laugh, we believe it's a great tasting candy, which brings fun back into the industry. When we initially came out with Farts, people didn't believe us and asked, 'Is it real?' I then gave them the product to try, and they couldn't stop eating it."
Leaf Brands developed Farts Candy, small pieces of candy that looks similar to a Nerd but chewy with more intense flavors, in partnership with Can You Imagine That!, a candy company owned by David Klein, the inventor of the Jelly Belly Jelly Bean.
"People often complained Nerds were too hard on your teeth, so we created our candy, which is soft, not hard, and has a better texture and taste," Klein said.
"The creation of Farts is a very interesting story," Kassoff said. "David and his guys are true innovators, and we have a great partnership. One day, David and I were at his factory, and he gives me a new product his guys were developing. I said, 'David, great product, but let me work on the flavors, name and the packaging.' Next thing while walking my dogs, I came up with Farts Candy to convey a fun and entertaining product which it represents. We had some initial pushback from retailers until they started laughing themselves when talking about the candy. Next thing you know they're ordering the product."
Cody Sheean, Leaf's head of international sales and marketing, said, "I think it takes some time for people to understand what we're trying to do, and that's trying to bring back a little fun and laughter to everyday life. Can you only imagine the flight attendants passing out little packages of our Farts Candy on an airline? Instead of people stressed out and tired on a plane, you would have fun and laughter. Who wouldn't want to take that plane trip?"
Farts comes in Fruiti and Sour varieties and will be sold in retail packages starting in July and currently sold in bulk in Dylan's Candy and other candy and specialty retailers around the country. Natural Farts will be coming soon, the company said.
Leaf's strategy is to rebuild one of the largest candy and snack companies in the United States through brand acquisition and development of new and fun products. It also focuses on resurrecting many old brands in their original form, and then expanding the product lines. Leaf also has plans to bring back Bonkers! Fruit Chews in late 2014.
The original Leaf Brands was started in the 1920s. Once the fourth largest candy producer in North America, it produced candy classics such as Whoppers, Jolly Rancher and Rain Blo Bubblegum, which it sold to Hershey in the late 1990s. Family members have acquired the Leaf brand name for the United States and have assembled to revive the Leaf name and image. Products include Astro Pops, Yummers!, Farts and David's Signature Beyond Gourmet products.
Newport Beach, Calif.-based Leaf Brands also has acquired the Hydrox sandwich cookie brand, as well as the Tart n Tinys, Wacky Wafers and Quicksand Bubblegum trademarks and will reintroduce the classic brands this year.