ECRM hosted its annual Candy Planning: Christmas & Halloween event Feb. 19-22 at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
For those unfamiliar, ECRM events bring together confectioners and candy buyers for meetings that resemble speed dating, since they have just 10 or 20 minutes at each appointment.
However, no Christmas & Halloween event would be complete without the Kid’s Choice Awards, sponsored by Candy Industry Magazine and ECRM. Participating candy companies submitted products for young people from the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Nevada to sample. The kids cast ballots for their favorite in each of three categories: Chocolate, Non-Chocolate and Novelty.
Candy Industry extends its congratulations to the winners. A look at the winning companies and products appears below, along with other new products that caught our attention at the show.
Kid’s Choice WINNERS!
Best New Non-chocolate
Just Born, Inc.
Bethlehem, Pa. /
Christmas Cookie Peeps
Many consumers associate Peeps, soft, sugar-sprinkled marshmallow chicks, with Easter, but they now have a Christmas-inspired cousin. These Peeps are flavored to taste like sugar cookies, and they’re dipped in white fudge to recreate the cookie and icing flavor combination.
Best New Novelty
Atlantic Candy Co.
St. Augustine, Fla.
The Toy Box combines two of children’s favorite things: chocolate and surprises. A round, patented plastic capsule separates collectible toys from gluten-free, non-GMO chocolate. The Safe-Capsule design has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration. Toys include sea creatures, as well as cats and dogs under the name Pocket Pets.
Best New Chocolate
Edward Marc Brands
Lightning has struck twice for Edward Marc Brands. After winning Best Chocolate last year with Peanut Butter Snappers, the Pittsburgh, Pa.-based company took the same category with Snappers Minis. These treats combine chocolate, caramel and pretzels in sweet, bite-sized pieces — perfect for kids. While Edward Marc Brands submitted the Original Milk Chocolate variety, they’re also available in Dark Chocolate Sea Salt and Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter flavors.
S.R.P.: (3 oz.) $1.29-$2.39
Check out these new products from the ECRM Show!
Classic Chick-O-Stick nuggets are dressed up as ghosts for the Halloween season. They’re made with simple ingredients and the unique flavor combination of toasted coconut and fresh peanut butter.
S.R.P.: (4-oz. peg bag) $1.29
Peanut Butter Bar Bones
Crunchy Peanut Butter Bar skeleton bones come in a fun Halloween motif. They’re also made with simple ingredients, as well as Atkinson Candy Co.’s signature peanut butter.
S.R.P.: (4-oz. peg bag) $1.29
Peanut Butter Eyeballs
Crunchy Peanut Butter Balls are available in a flow-wrap eyeball motif perfect for trick-or-treating.
S.R.P.: (4-oz. peg bag) $1.29
Atkinson will introduce new range of caramels made with simple ingredients. Each bite-size caramel is soft and chewy, available in flavors including Classic Vanilla, Pumpkin Spice, Apple Caramel, Gingerbread and Chocolate Peppermint.
S.R.P.: (4-oz. peg bag) $1.29
Vernon Hills, Ill.
Baron Chocolatier will introduce its signature chocolate truffles in three Christmas-inspired flavors. The Candy Cane Crunch truffles, available in milk and dark chocolate, contain a peppermint creme filling with candy cane pieces. The Milk Chocolate Gingerbread truffles have a chocolate creme filling with gingerbread pieces.
Holiday chocolate sticks
Baron Chocolatier will also introduce its signature sticks in Christmas flavors. They will be available in Dark Chocolate Peppermint and Milk Chocolate Gingerbread. Each 3.5-oz./100-gram package comes with eight individually-wrapped sticks.
Sea Salt Caramel Almond ROCA
Brown & Haley has put another twist on its classic Almond ROCA. Caramel-flavored buttercrunch toffee is combined with sea salt and almonds for an indulgent treat.
S.R.P.: (5 oz.) $4.49
Halloween Light Up Wand
Perfect for trick or treating, this Halloween Light Up Wand has a breakaway lanyard and an on/off switch for added safety. They come with 0.53 ounces of microbites candy.
Consumers may choose one or more of these frightfully fun zombie talkers that moan and scream. Their eyes light up at the push of a button. Each includes 0.53 ounces of microbites candy.
Christmas Emoji Choco Treasure
A delicious milk chocolate shell hides Christmas-themed emoji surprise, making it a perfect stocking stuffer. There are 24 different emoji toys to collect.
Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
These embossed tins are sure to brighten up any coffee table or mantle. Available in two holiday designs, they may come with hard candies, gummies and cookies.
Art Deco tins
With finely dressed ladies and jewel-tone embellishments, these embossed tins will take consumers back to the Jazz Age. They’re available in four designs.
Big Wheel tins
These embossed tins invoke the character of a Victorian carnival or fair. The characters appear on the front and back of the round tin.
Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Hershey’s Chocolate Cookie House kit
Put a new spin on the classic gingerbread house with these Hershey’s-themed kits. With chocolate cookies for the base and walls, the kits also come with icing, Candy Cane Hershey Kisses, Jolly Rancher Awesome Twosome Chews, Twizzlers Twists, Hershey’s Mini Bars and holly leaves and berries for decoration.
S.R.P. (425 g) $9.99 -$11.99
Lake Forest, Calif.
Perfect for the gifting season, Spoonful is a sweet treat nestled in a ceramic spoon. Flavors include Chocolate Almond, Caramel, Fruit & Nut Mix and Peppermint for the holidays.
Schlagers Craft Brew Nuts
With a mix of salty, spicy and sweet flavors, these snacks pair with any beer. They’re available in seven varieties:
- Balsamic Habanero Mixed Nuts
- Bourbon Flavored Pistachios
- Smoked Jerky Almonds
- Zesty Party Mix
- Bacon Cheddar Peanuts
- Chili and Lime Peanuts
- Whole Cranberry Pops
S.R.P.: $3.29-$6.29 (flavor dependent)
Dark Chocolate with Toffee and Sea Salt
Seriously smooth 70 percent dark chocolate is paired with a dash of sea salt, perfectly balancing the sweet crunch of toffee.
S.R.P.: (3.5 oz) $3.69
Dark Chocolate with Pink Himalayan Salt
Smooth, rich dark chocolate is blended with the satisfying flavor of pink Himalayan salt.
S.R.P.: (3.5 oz) $3.69
Grand Junction, Colo.
Peppermint Cookie Belles
For the holidays, Enstrom Candies has combined gluten-free vanilla cookie pieces, peppermint oil and dark chocolate to form the Peppermint Cookie Belles. Each piece is individually wrapped. New holiday packaging features a Colorado mountain range that lines up with mountains on packages of Enstrom’s other items.
S.R.P.: (4.75 oz.) $4.99
Creamy spearmint is layered in milk chocolate for a sweet that melts in your mouth. Gift these individually-wrapped chocolates or enjoy them yourself as an indulgent after-dinner treat.
S.R.P.: (4.75 oz.) $4.99
Peppermint Cookie Bark
Like the Peppermint Cookie Belles, the bark features gluten-free cookies, peppermint oil and dark chocolate, but this is formed into a 3-oz. bar with eight breakable pieces.
S.R.P.: (3 oz.) $3.49
El Segundo, Calif.
Crunchy pretzels are covered in signature Everton butter toffee for a sweet and salty treat. They’re also available with toasted pecans.
S.R.P. (4 oz.) $3.99-$4.99
Butter toffee caramels
These individually-wrapped caramels are soft and creamy and have the flavor of rich butter toffee.
S.R.P. (4 oz.) $3.99-$4.99
Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.
Trolli Sour Brite Dip’n Crawlers
Not for the faint at heart, Dip’n Crawlers include Trolli’s classic, colorful gummy worms and a sour gel for dipping.
Brach’s Cookies and Cream Candy Corn
Known for putting new spins on candy corn, Brach’s now has a Cookies and Cream variety. Flavors include Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal, Cookies and Cream and Butter Cookies.
Brach’s marshmallow characters
Add some holiday cheer to your Christmas stockings with these colorful, sugar-sprinkled marshmallow characters, available in Jolly Santa and Merry Penguin.
Red Hot, Now and Later Candy Canes
Mix it up with this holiday season with these sweet and spicy candy canes. Available in a 6-count box, the Now and Later canes are cherry-flavored. Like their round counterparts, the Red Hot candy canes are cinnamon-flavored. They come in a 12-count box.
Cocoa Crate Tartini
A crispy and creamy delight, these teeny tarts are filled with premium ganache and chocolate. These hand-crafted tarts are offered in both Cheesecake and Pie collections. Flavors include: Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, and Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake.
Cocoa Crate Pairing Chocolate Bark
With salty, sweet and crunchy inclusions, these chocolate barks are designed to pair with your favorite adult beverages. Flavors include:
- Bourbon: 60 percent dark chocolate with flavored smoked bacon bits.
- Beer: 42 percent chocolate blend with pretzels and potato chips.
- Wine: 60 percent dark chocolate with dark chocolate chips.
- Whiskey: 55 percent dark chocolate with English toffee topping.
Cocoa Crate Almond Collection
Crunchy almonds are paired with chocolate coatings inspired by classic cocktails and beverages. Flavors include:
- Whiskey Old Fashioned Cherry
- Chocolate Lemon Drop
- Chocolate Piña Colada
- Chocolate Margarita
- Pumpkin Spice Harvest
Chanukah Gelt, Fort Knox Tower Box
Gerrit’s signature Chanukah gelt and Fort Knox gold coins are now available in a 1-lb. tower. The Belgian chocolate is non-GMO, gluten-free and kosher-certified.
Sugar Skull Lip Pops
Turning Sugar Skulls into candy lip pops adds something sweet and fun to any Day of the Dead celebration. They’re available in Strawberry and Blueberry flavors.
Bump ‘N Blink
Available in a grinning jack-o-lantern and a sheepish mummy, the Bump ‘N Blink toys light up with a light tap. They also include 0.42 oz. of orange, yellow and black jelly beans.
Halloween Tattoo Lollipops
These lollipops will leave spooky shapes on candy lovers’ tongues. Flavors include Orange, Blue Raspberry, Green Apple and Strawberry, while tattoo shapes include Frankenstein, Scream, a vampire, a skull and a hockey mask character.
S.R.P.: (75-ct. bag) $4.99
Known for popcorn-based treats, Kathy Kaye has put a festive twist on the classic caramel corn. Available in giftable gable boxes, EnJoy comes in two flavors: Chocolatey Cherry and Perfectly Peppermint.
S.R.P.: (3 oz.) $3.49-$3.99
Originally inspired by Liberty Orchards’ Fruit & Nut candies, the soft, juicy Fruitlets come without nuts and punched-up flavor. These fat- and gluten-free treats are available in three assortments: Orchard Rave, Tropical Frolic and Berry Fiesta.
S.R.P.: (4.5 oz.) $3.99
Limited-Edition Gingerbread Cookie flavor
Little Secrets has introduced its signature, candy-coated dark chocolate pieces in a gingerbread cookie flavor. The red and green candies are FairTrade-certified and made without artificial colors and flavorings.
S.R.P.: (5 oz.) $4.99
Gavottes Crispy Crepes
New to the United States, Gavottes Crispy Crepe biscuits are rolled eight times for the perfect crunch. They’re available in a variety of flavors, including Milk and Dark Chocolate. The Gavottes range also features filled, bite-sized crepes, available in four flavors: Caramel, Cocoa and Hazelnut; Basil Pesto; and Boursin Cheese, Garlic and Fine Herbs.
Birmingham, Scotland, United Kingdom
Cadbury Snowy Fingers
These thin biscuits have a festive twist. They’re dipped in Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate and white chocolate to mimic snow. Characters on the packaging are wearing hats and scarves, adding to the winter motif.
S.R.P.: (8.1 oz.) $4.99
Animals Mini Biscuits Festive Edition
Like their animal-shaped counterparts, these biscuits are half-covered with milk chocolate. For the holidays, they’re shaped like reindeer, snowmen and Santa.
S.R.P.: (5.3 oz.) $2.99
Haviland Thin Mints
NECCO’s classic Haviland Thin Mints are now available in holiday packaging featuring a red bow. While the packages occupy the same shelf space, they now contain 3.9 oz or 5.5 oz. of product. The thin mints are available in Original, Orange and Raspberry.
S.R.P.: (5.5 oz.) $1.69
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Choc’Tales Christmas characters
Single-origin Belgian chocolate is used for these holiday characters, which include Santa, reindeer and gingerbread men in a variety of sizes.
Christmas lollipop tins
Original Gourmet has created the perfect stocking stuffer with its Christmas lollipop tins. Each contains two 10.5-gram lollipops, available in several flavors: Candy Cane and Wild Cherry; Cotton Candy and Candy Cane; and Candy Cane and Bubble Gum.
Peppermint snowflake stirrers
Topped with a snowflake these peppermint-flavored stirrers will add festive flair to any cup of hot chocolate.
Original Gourmet has put a holiday spin on the company’s Taffy Wheels. Three feet of swirled taffy is shaped into red and green Christmas trees and a Blue Raspberry snowman.
S.R.P.: (3.1 oz.) $0.99-$1.49
St. Paul, Minn.
7th Street Confections Chocolate Thins
Under 7th Street Confections, Pearson’s first brand introduction since 1933, the company has launched Chocolate Thins — crunchy, sweet and fruity inclusions pressed into non-GMO chocolate. For the holidays, Pearson’s has created three flavors: Milk Chocolate Sugar Cookie & Sprinkles, Dark Chocolate Pretzel & Peppermint, and White Chocolate Raspberry & Dark Chocolate Chips.
S.R.P.: (4.7 oz) $3.99-$5.99
The newest Airheads creation is a soft, sugar-free gum that includes a strip of Airheads micro-candies, providing a burst of flavor. The gum is available in three flavors: Blue Raspberry, Watermelon and Cherry.
S.R.P.: (14 sticks) $1-$1.29
Snow globe dispenser
This festive PEZ dispenser will be at home in any Christmas stocking. It features a snow globe with a snowman and Christmas trees.
Ornaments with miniature dispensers
These ornaments will dress up the Christmas tree of your favorite PEZ lover. Each comes with a single miniature dispenser. Available characters include an elf, an angel and Santa.
Holiday, Harvest Candy Puffs
Piedmont’s classic Red Bird soft mints have gotten a seasonal twist. The new Harvest Mix features flavors such as Maple, Caramel Apple and Cranberry Orange. The Holiday Assortment includes flavors such as Snickerdoodle, Gingerbread and Sugar Plum. Both are in packaging featuring a cut-out of the Red Bird.
S.R.P.: (4 oz.) $1
Jesus Star Tin with Milk Chocolate
This embossed star-shaped tin features “Jesus Our Shining Hope.” The tin is filled with 10 milk chocolate squares
Jesus Harvest Seeds
This award-winning candy corn is made with real honey. Each individual packet features a scripture. There are approximately 17 individual packets inside a bag.
4D Gummy Blocks
These colorful gummies are shaped like popular building blocks, but these are edible. Their texture is stiffer than traditional gummies for easier stacking and building. Flavors include Strawberry, Apple, Blueberry and Lemon.
S.R.P.: (228 g) $2
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Chocolate Hollow Skull
Spook your friends, family and guests with these realistic, hand-decorated chocolate skulls, made with premium milk chocolate. They’re perfect as a hosting gift, table décor and a conversation piece.
Christmas Elf with Ugly Sweater
This elf loves his ugly sweater, and so will consumers. He’s made with premium milk chocolate and is hand-decorated. The packaging also includes ‘To:’ and ‘From:’ spaces and room to write holiday greetings.
Godiva’s newest creation proves that simplicity and craft make a winning combination. These individually-wrapped chocolates are available in single-flavor bags and an assortment for the holidays. Varieties include Milk Chocolate Caramel Lion of Belgium, Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Oyster and Dark Chocolate Ganache Heart.
S.R.P.: (5 oz.) $3.99
Featuring the most popular chocolate pieces at Godiva boutiques, these red and gold holiday boxes are sure to stand out. They’re available in four sizes: 5 pieces, 9 pieces, 15 pieces and 22 pieces.
S.R.P.: (22 pieces) $19.99
DeMets Turtles Penguins
DeMets has reintroduced the signature Turtles Eggs as penguins and polar bears for the holidays. Each milk chocolate egg is filled with caramel and pecans and is wrapped in foil featuring a friendly penguin or polar bear.
S.R.P.: (1.2 oz.) $1
Werther’s Original assorted caramels
This holiday assortment is sure to please any caramel lover. It includes Werther’s Original favorites such as soft caramels, hard caramels and the brand’s newest creation, the Cocoa Crème Soft Caramels, in a festive box.
Merci gift card box
The Merci gift card box makes showing loved ones a little sweetness even easier. The box, which features eight Merci chocolate flavors, has a slot for a gift card and “to” and “from” spaces to write names of the recipient and gifter.
Santa Monica, Calif.
Muddy Bears coffin box
These chocolate-covered gummy bears are available in a spooky coffin-shaped box for Halloween. The box includes 12 0.5-oz. packages. Flavors include Apple, Strawberry and Pineapple.
S.R.P.: (6 oz.) $5.99
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Macarons
Peppermint essential oil freshens these macarons, which also have unique shape, texture (smooth inside and crunchy outside) and color (natural).
S.R.P.: (177 g) $4.99
Made with Salpa cocoa from Ecuador, these chocolate bars feature unique fillings and inclusions. New flavors include Dark Chocolate Peppermint (with essential peppermint oil); Blond Chocolate Dulce de Leche; Blond Chocolate with Matcha, Milk Chocolate Mango and Milk Chocolate Banana.
S.R.P.: (85 g) $3.99
Rich, melty chocolate is ready for dipping after two minutes in the microwave. Perfect for fruit, cookies or even ice cream, the three-pack comes with 8.81-oz. tubs of 54 percent Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate and Milk Chocolate with Wafers.
S.R.P.: (26.45 oz.) $14.99