Deborah Cassell
Executive Editor
Candy Industry

getting fresh: Worthy new products, causes

This week, I was contacted by an editor at a national consumer magazine for guidance on an article she’s writing about chocolate bars and chocolate-covered products. In short, she asked if I knew of some new items worth investigating, especially for parents – the target audience of said publication. As a fellow (non-competiting) journalist, I was happy to oblige. Off the top of my head, I replied back, rattling off a list of recent introductions that I thought might fit the bill.
It occurred to me that many of these products may not have made their way into sweet & healthy, so I’m taking this time to review with you a few of the industry’s latest offerings -- some sweet, some healthy … and some just plain delicious. To the editor inquiring about further finds, visit us online at www.candyindustry.com.
 
 --SNICKERS Fudge Bar from Mars Snackfood US. A new take on a classic favorite, this limited-edition offering features a peanut-packed chocolate fudge layer atop chewy peanut butter nougat and is wrapped in milk chocolate.
 
--Hershey’s Nuggets Double Chocolate from The Hershey Co. Hershey’s Milk Chocolate and Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate combine for an extra creamy result.
 
--100% Organic Skinny Bars from Tom and Sally’s Handmade Chocolates. Four new flavors have been added to the line: Belgian 41% Milk Chocolate, Belgian 41% Milk Chocolate infused with Cinnamon and Nutmeg, Belgian 41% Milk Chocolate infused with Cocoa Nibs, and Belgian 66% Dark Chocolate. Each single-serve bar is 200 calories.
 
--Pink Emergency Chocolate Bar from Bloomsberry & Co. Made from all-natural, premium milk chocolate, this new bar is an addition to the manufacturer’s growing line of cause-related offerings. Five percent of the bar’s proceeds will be donated to breast cancer research.
 
Speaking of charitable donations, a couple months back, I editorialized in Confection & Snack Retailing about “Edible Inspirations,” challenging readers to send me information on what they and their companies have done to inspire others. We’ll continue to publish those items in future issues of the new Retail Confectioner and Candy Industry, as well as on our Web sites, www.retailconfectioner.com and www.candyindustry.com.
 
In the meantime, I’d like to point out the SNICKERS’ “Bar Hunger” campaign from Mars, the details of which are reported on in this issue of sweet & healthy. If you’re a social media junkie like me, be sure to visit www.facebook.com/snickers for more information or to donate to this worthy cause.
 
I’d also like to acknowledge another new product that’s doing some good. Abbott Nutrition recently introduced three new flavors of its ZonePerfect Dark Chocolate Nutrition Bar: Dark Chocolate Caramel Pecan, Dark Chocolate Mocha and Dark Chocolate Cookies N’ Cream. Made with real cacao, the bars offer 12 g. of protein per serving, as well as antioxidants and 19 essential vitamins and minerals, in 180-190 calories per serving. Perhaps more importantly, through the end of the year, Abbott is donating a portion of the proceeds from sales of its ZonePerfect bars to the VH1 Save the Music Foundation for a total of $120,000. For each single-bar UPC code that consumers enter at www.zoneperfect.com/vh1/vh1-index.aspx, the manufacturer will donate $0.05; for every multipack UPC code entered, Abbott will donate $0.50.
 
Last, but not least, I’d like to thank Samara Galvan of Primrose Candy Co., who e-mailed a response to my aforementioned editorial, sharing with me her dream of someday inspiring kids the way she’s been inspired by people in her life. “I want to find a way to give back,” she wrote. So do I, Samara.


SNICKERS, Arquette fight hunger

Mars Snackfood US, as part of its SNICKERS “Bar Hunger” campaign, has enlisted actor David Arquette to publicize the plight of Americans struggling with hunger. The “Scream” actor and chairman of Feeding America’s Entertainment Council has spent the past two days atop Madison Square’s Garden Marquee, hoping to raise $250,000 in donations for Feeding America through SNICKERS’ Facebook page, text messaging and on-site collections.

The SNICKERS brand has always satisfied hunger,” says Carole Walker, vice president of integrated marketing communications for Mars Snackfood US. “The ‘Bar Hunger’ campaign is designed to draw attention to a very real challenge facing America. But this charitable effort is about more than putting a logo on our wrapper. We want people to join the effort and help in any way they can."
 
Through the campaign, Mars Snackfood US will donate the equivalent of at least three million meals to Feeding America in 2009. The brand also will educate and inspire Americans to help through special branding and educational verbiage on its SNICKERS packaging, dedicated national advertising, its Facebook Page and a series of events throughout the year.
 
For more information about the “Bar Hunger” campaign, visit the SNICKERS Facebook page at www.facebook.com/snickers.


Melville Candy execs launch candy.com

By offering more than 5,000 candy offerings online, Melville Candy Corp. executives, Joe Melville, ceo, and Greg Balestrieri, vice president, hope to turn their newly launched Web site, www.candy.com, into a virtual candy store for anyone who has a computer. By working with partner distributors in California and Virginia, while taking advantage of Melville Candy’s base in Weymouth, Mass., the company says customers in the United States will receive products in four days or less and, in most cases, two days or less. The company has partnered with a Canadian distributor to facilitate international sales.

DallasChocolate.org to host artisan tasting

On August 22, www.dallaschocolate.org will host a guided tasting of “bean-to-bar” chocolate featuring Alan McClure of Patric Chocolate and Steve DeVries of Devries Chocolate. Both McClure and Devries will discuss the challenges and rewards of micro-batch chocolate making during the 2 p.m. tasting that will be held at the Milestone Culinary Arts Center in Dallas.
The two are founding members of the Craft Chocolate Makers of America. Later that day, an exclusive dinner, also to be held at the Mileston Culinary Arts Center, will allow participants to meet the chocolatiers as well as sample desserts created by pastry chef Rhonda Ruckman of Doughmonkey using McClure’s and Devries’ chocolates.
 


sweet of the week: Bear Naked Grain-ola Bars

La Jolla, Calif.-based Bear Naked has launched a new line of granola bars that offer active consumers an on-the-go snacking alternative that is both “decadent and nutritious.” Soft and chewy in texture and available in three enticing flavors - Chocolaty Cherry, Tropical and Fruit and Nut - Bear Naked 100% Pure & Natural Grain-ola bars provide a new way to satisfy cravings for delicious, “bearly” processed snacks.
 
Made with 100% natural and minimally processed ingredients, the bars do not contain any preservatives, artificial flavors, trans fats, cholesterol, hydrogenated oils or high-fructose corn syrup.
 
Chocolaty Cherry combines rich chocolate with cherries, pecans and almonds for the perfect sweet-tooth fix. Tropical features exotic fruits including mango, papaya, pineapple and coconut. Fruit and Nut replicates the popular Bear Naked All Natural Granola flavor with a blend of raisins, cranberries and hearty pecans and almonds. The bars have a SRP of $1.69 per bar.
 
For more information, visit www.bearnaked.com.