Opinion

From Chaka Kahn to One Direction: Celebrities do candy

Everyone’s getting involved in the confectionery business these days.

March 13, 2013

Between my obsession with confections and my love of celebrity gossip, I have to tell you something: life is pretty good these days.

crystal lindell
Crystal Lindell

Famous people are getting involved in the candy business in all sorts of crazy ways, and I’m pretty sure it won’t be long before we’re getting TMZ-style web traffic here at Candy Industry.

Because I want you to be up-to-date on all the latest goings on in Hollywood and because I love writing about Red Carpet-worthy treats, here’s a rundown of some of the biggest names who’ve satisfied their sweet tooth recently.

Let’s start with what I like to call: “Create my own line, and name it after me by combining my name with a word related to candy.”

Case in point: Chaka Kahn’s chocolate collection, with a name so perfect, it sounds like a hit single — Chakalates. The collection of dark chocolates features different fillings, including: macadamia nut; Jamaican dark rum; and ginger & praline.

They aren’t cheap at $36 for 12 truffles, but I would expect nothing less from the ten-time Grammy winner. And, as the intro on her 1984 hit, I Feel For You relays, the Jamaican dark rum truffle “made me wanna scream.”   

 

Maria Sharapova Sugarpova.
Maria Sharapova and her Sugarpova line.

Then there’s Maria Sharapova’s line, named what else? Sugarpova. The gummies and sour candies are playful, and they’re a little more everyday than Ms. Kahn’s line, at the $5 range. (By the way Maria, my boyfriend insists that I tell you he says “Hello!”).

Next up we have: "Celebrities who just really want to be on a PEZ dispenser."

Probably the most recent notable example of this is the One Direction band members, whose heads are featured on a one-time only autographed set that will be auctioned off on eBay for the UK Charity Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day on March 15. The money raised was donated to programs that support poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged people across the UK and Africa.

The band members — Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson —   were apparently all really big fans of the candy.

“We were really happy when they approached us to create our own PEZ heads! We think it’s a great idea that will hopefully raise lots of cash for Comic Relief,” they said in a statement.

One Direction was in good celebrity company with the PEZ project they did with Comic Relief. The Voice coach Jessie J, comic Ricky Gervais and Celebrity Juice host Keith Lemon also were featured on one-time PEZ dispensers for the charity.

As for how much good they’ll actually do, the bidding for the One Direction PEZ Collection started at 0.99, and with one day left, it had reached £1,8000.00.

One Direction Pez Dispensers
One Direction as Pez.

The true test will come if they can beat royalty. A pair of heads featuring Prince William and Kate the Duchess of Cambridge feteched £8,200 at a charity acution in 2011.

(Also, Harry, Niall, Zayn, Liam and Louis, every teenage girl I currently know would like me to tell you they said, “Hello!” But especially this one girl at my church. Her name is Shelby and she would like to marry all of you).

Celebrities don’t have to turn into candy dispensers to do good work for the world by endorsing a confection though. Take Ben Affleck, who recently partnered with Theo Chocolate to launch a new line of chocolates bars that help Congoleses cocoa farmers.

(Which brings me to the real point of this column. Ben, if you’re reading this. Please call me! I love you! And your work in Argo was amazing! You have truly come into your own as a director!! When you said, “This is the best bad plan we have, sir.” Wow. Just. Wow.)

 

Theo Chocolate and Ben Affleck in the Congo
Joe Whinney, of Theo Chocolate, and Ben Affleck in Congo. Photo by Piet Suess.

Sorry. OK. Anyway. Yes. Mr. Affleck has partnered with Theo Chocolate, and the work goes along with his passion for helping the Congo, a country long ravaged by conflict.

As he explained to CBS News, "We hooked them up with Theo chocolate, who does a great job and we now have our first Congo bar. It's not aid, it's not giving somebody money, it's we're going to get you to a place where you can manufacture on the open market so that you can sell your market... so you have an ongoing business where people can make money through their own work."

It seriously sounds like a great project.

Last, but certainly not least, though, we have Audrey Hepburn’s recent endorsement of Galaxy Chocolate from the great beyond. Literally.

The company’s latest ad features Hepburn's likeness created with a combination of footage shot on the Amalfi Coast in Italy and computer-generated imagery (CGI) animation of the actress.

Audrey Hepburn Galaxy
A CGI rednering of Audrey Hepburn in a Galaxy Ad.

While I applaud the company’s decision to want to be associated with such an iconic actress, there was something eerie about Hepburn’s eyes in the commercial.

Something tells me she won’t be calling to say hello to me or any of my friends anytime soon, but just in case, I loved you in Breakfast at Tiffany’s!

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