By Bernard Pacyniak
Editor-in-Chief
Candy Industry
pacyniakb@bnpmedia.com

getting fresh: Lindo maravilhoso!

The literal translation is “beautiful, marvelous.” I suppose we could Americanize it by saying “A beautiful thing!” What am I referring to? Brazil, in general, and the country’s confectionery industry, specifically.

Why the high praise? Well, given that I’m writing this from Curitiba, Brazil, a city of 2 million that’s hosting this year’s Sweet Brazil show, there’s a direct correlation. But let me first start from the beginning.

During the most recent ISM show in Cologne this past January, I had the opportunity to speak with Getlio Ursulino Netto, long-time president of the Brazilian Cocoa, Chocolate, Peanut and Candies Manufacturers Association, simply known as ABICAB.

While chatting about the Brazilian Pavilion and the companies exhibiting there, Netto discussed the possibility of attending Sweet Brazil. He indicated that there might be an opportunity for the association, in conjunction with ApexBrazil, the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, to sponsor a trip to the show.

Time flies when you’re on deadline, and before I knew it, an e-mail reminding me of that conversation came across my screen. So yours truly, together with Graciela Diaz Serrano, director of Producciones Manilla, publisher of Dulcelandia magazine; Kristiane Henney, a journalist with Kennedy’s Confection; and Steve Forester, executive editor of Candy and Snack Today, were invited to visit two Brazilian confectionery companies as well as go to the Sweet Brazil show.

Since arriving in Sao Paulo last Thursday morning, it’s been a whirlwind trip. Luckily, I’ve been to Brazil before, both on business and personal visits. As a result. I was curious regarding any changes over the past five years. Aside from the great strides made in the economy and society overall, one thing that hasn’t changed is the traffic in Sao Paulo.

With a population of nearly 20 million throughout the Sao Paulo metropolitan area, it doesn’t take much math to figure that there are plenty of automobiles on the road (six million, to be exact). But Paulo, my driver, and I had a pleasant conversation during the hour-plus drive to the Golden Tulip hotel.

That afternoon, we had a presentation by Netto about Brazil, its economy and the confectionery industry. With nearly 191 million inhabitants, Brazil has the 10th largest economy in the world. It also represents the fourth-largest confectionery marketplace.

Thanks to its rich natural resources, everything from sugar and soybeans to beef and poultry, the Great Global Recession proved to be merely a misstep on the country’s determined march to economic growth.

It’s no surprise, then, that the confectionery industry has been growing, as well. Total confectionery sales reached $9.3 billion dollars in 2009.

The following morning, we had the opportunity to see an example of that growth. Our group travelled to Rio Claro, Brazil, to visit Riclan (www.riclan.com.br). This family-owned company, which posted $180 million in sales last year, produces a broad range of hard and filled candies, caramels, lollipops, chewing gums and cereal bars.

The company recently completed construction of a $15-million manufacturing facility just outside of the city, complementing its existing plant, which sits in the downtown area. Ivan Schraider, director of domestic sales, and Antonio Romualdo da Silva, director of international business, proudly took the group on a tour of the facility, which underscored Riclan’s philosophy of pursuing world-class operating standards.

Upon returning to Sao Paulo, the news pack set its sights on Vila Velha, a sister city to Vitoria, where one of Brazil’s legendary chocolate companies, Garoto (www.garoto.com.br), has its headquarters and manufacturing facility.

Purchased by Nestlé in 2002, the company competes on the market independently of its parent and provides a wide array of chocolates, everything from pralines to bars. Its famed “yellow box” remains Brazil’s leading assortment of chocolate candies.

Alain Webbe, account manager for Garoto, charmed our group with his enthusiasm and persona, while the facility impressed everyone with its high level of automation and continuous investment.
At the conclusion of the visit, the intrepid international band boarded another plane, eventually landing in Curitiba just before midnight. This cozy and very livable city in southeast Brazil has the largest middle-class in the country, emblematic of what’s happening in the country.

The Sweet Brazil show is expected to host nearly 35,000 visitors, who will have the opportunity to see exhibits from Brazil’s leading confectionery companies. Having had the chance to walk the floor, it’s clear that the confectionery industry is alive and well in Brazil.

It’s also clear that these companies are committed to competing on the world market, cognizant that investment in automation and technology are critical to delivering high-quality and innovative confections to the global community.

Look for my complete report in the coming issue of Candy Industry, where I’ll profile Riclan and Garoto as well as showcase the latest new products coming from Brazil. Upon reading those reports, I’m sure you’ll come to the same conclusion -- Brazilian confectioners and confections are a beautiful, marvelous thing.




Ring Pop takes center stage with Mariah Carey

Bazooka Candy Brands, a division of the Tops Company, will partner with cosmetic giant Elizabeth Arden to promote Mariah Carey’s new candy-inspired fragrance collection, Lollipop Bling. The collection, which has debuted in department stores, was inspired by the playful nature of Mariah’s marriage proposal -- a real engagement ring hidden inside a Ring Pop lollipop.

“We are excited to work with Elizabeth Arden on this campaign for Lollipop Bling,” says Ari Weinstock, senior director of marketing for Bazooka Candy Brands. “It introduces Ring Pop to a whole new set of consumers … and highlights not only Mariah Carey’s love of Ring Pop lollipops, but also the inspirational nature of the candy.”

The integrated marketing campaign will incorporate Ring Pop lollipops into print advertisements as well as candy sampling with the sale of Lollipop Bling at retailers, and will include the iconic candy in the fragrance’s store displays.

Additionally, for Valentine’s Day 2011, Wal-Mart will promote the fragrance with display racks featuring both Lollipop Bling and Ring Pop, with the candy in special “Bling Collection” three-packs.

For more information about Bazooka Candy Brands, visit www.topps.com/candy/brands/bazooka/index.htm.

Symrise names new sales leader

Arlene S. Kobos has been promoted to vice president of sales at Symrise, a global supplier of flavorings and fragrances headquartered in Holzminden, Germany.

Previously, Kobos served as Symrise’s national sales director. According to Dr. Matthias Guentert, president, flavor & nutrition division, Kobos was an integral part of the acquisition and integration of leading ingredient producer Chr. Hansen in 2008.

“Arlene Kobos is a valuable member of our organization, leading the sales team and planning, directing and supervising all sales activities to achieve our revenue and profitability goals,” Guentert says.

Kobos holds bachelor degrees in Food Science and Nutritional Science from Michigan State University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. She served as director of sales for Kerry, Inc. and Heller Seasonings before joining Symrise in 2002. Kobos also is an active member of the Institute of Food Technologists and Women in Flavor and Fragrance Commerce.

For more information about Symrise, visit www.symrise.com.



Ford Gum & Machine Co. to take over Big League Chew

The Ford Gum & Machine Co. has reached an agreement with the Rob Nelson Co. to assume the license, manufacture and distribution of Big League Chew, effective Jan. 1, 2011. The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. will continue to sell the brand through the end of this year.

Since its introduction by Amurol in 1980, Big League Chew has grown into an iconic brand in the kids’ candy market, notes Steve Greene, senior vp of sales and marketing for Ford Gum.

“We are honored to be given the opportunity to preserve the legacy of this product and excited that The Ballplayers Bubble Gum will now be a major part of our Made in America product line up,” Green says.

Big League Chew Bubble Gum will continue to be available in 2.1-oz. packages of original, grape, watermelon and sour apple flavors, with several line extensions in the works.

For more information about Ford Gum, visit www.fordgum.com.




Snickers gives NFL fans chance to go nuts at Super Bowl XLV

Mars Chocolate North America is giving NFL fans the chance to win a trip to Super Bowl XLV via its “Go Nuts At The Super Bowl with Snickers Instant Win Game.”

NFL fans are some of the loudest, proudest and nuttiest fans in all of sports, and we are excited to reward that enthusiasm with these exciting VIP trips,” says Debra A. Sandler, chief consumer officer for the sweepstakes.

Fans can enter by logging onto www.snickers.com and entering codes found on specially marked packages of Snickers 2-To-Go Bars and Snickers Miniatures, or by texting the word “SBTIX” to 50503. Grand prizes will be awarded to 17 lucky fans, who will win trips to the Super Bowl in 2011 in North Texas. More than 2,200 additional winners will receive prizes such as 42-in. flat-screen televisions, gift certificates to NFLShop.com and Snickers bars.

The game ends Dec. 16.




sweet of the week: FunkyChunky Chip-Zel-Pop

FunkyChunky, Inc., Edina, Minn., has combined crisp potato chips, crunchy pretzel sticks, buttery caramel corn, caramel drizzle, and dark, milk and white chocolates to create salty sweet Chip-Zel-Pop. Handcrafted in small, made-to-order batches, the snack is packaged in clear canisters to display contents. Chip-Zel-Pop is OU Dairy certified kosher and does not contain any nuts. The suggested retail prices are $12.50 for 8-oz. canister and $21.00 for 20-oz. canister. For more information, call 1-952-938-6663 or visit www.funkychunky.com.