ECRM hosted its annual Candy Planning: Christmas & Halloween event at the Hilton Chicago in February.
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 Union League Boys and Girls Club 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.
ECRM Kid’s Choice WINNERS!
Best New non-chocolate
Perfetti Van Melle, Inc.
Airheads White Mystery Bites
These chewy, bite-sized pieces come in a mix of flavors, but without the signature Airheads colors, consumers get a surprise each time they pop one into their mouths. They’ll be available starting in May.
Best New novelty
Bazooka Candy Brands
New York, N.Y.
Baby Bottle Pop with Popping Powder
Like the original Baby Bottle Pop, consumers can dip a baby bottle-shaped lollipop into sweet powder, but in this product, the powder offers a mouth-tingling pop. They’re available in four flavors: Blue Raspberry, Strawberry and Watermelon.
Best New chocolate
DeMet’s Candy Co. /Star Brands North America
Flipz Minis Milk Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Flipz Minis are a sweet and salty, rich and crunchy snack that’s sure to please the youngest — and most discerning — consumers.
Check out these new products from the ECRM Show!
Holiday Box Buddies
These cheerful, festive buddies are made from boxes filled with 4 oz. of hard candy and air-filled balloons. They’re available in Snowman, Elf, Santa and Reindeer varieties.
Halloween laydown bags
Now available in 12-oz., Halloween-themed bags, these treats are sure to thrill. Varieties include Peanut Butter Bones, Peanut Butter Eyeballs and Chick-O-Stick ghosts.
Caramel laydown bags
Atkinson’s Caramels are now available in 10-oz. laydown bags. Flavors include Classic Vanilla, Pumpkin Spice and Caramel Apple, as well as Gingerbread and Chocolate Peppermint.
Great American Fudge Co. Gourmet Fudge Bites
These squares of smooth, rich fudge are individually wrapped for easy sharing. Seasonal flavors include Chocolate Peppermint and Pumpkin Pie.
Alien Head Sours
Each tin is filled with 1 oz. of alien head-shaped, Green Apple sour candies. These are packed 12 tins to a display.
Each tin is filled with lemon-flavored, emoji-shaped candy sours. These are packed 12 to a display.
Surprise Candy Pals
CandyRific has launched Surprise Candy Pals, which include a four-inch plastic ball container with a scented plush animal toy, a collector’s sheet and 0.35 oz. of dextrose candy inside.
The first series includes six characters and scents: Sprinkles Star (candy-scented), Louie Lolli-pup (Cherry), Khloe Kitty (Bubble Gum), Annie Oinksley (Grape), Hannah Banana (Banana), and Ellie Berry (Strawberry).
A holiday series is also available. It includes six different styles and scents: Mindy Mouse (Mint), Dotty Scarlet (Strawberry), Penelope Pony (Watermelon), Phoebe Peeps (Bubble Gum), Bella Bunny (candy-scented), and Claus Fuzzbert (Vanilla).
These shelf-stable cream cones are topped with candy pieces. Konz come wrapped with a container that holds a figurine one-eighth of an inch above the chocolate. For winter, available figurines include a polar bear, a seal and a penguin with a hat.
Silver Spring, Md.
Jacquot Filled Chocolate Bars
These filled chocolate bars come in a mix of classic and innovative flavors. They include:
- Milk Chocolate with Creamy Caramel
- Dark Chocolate Truffle with Raspberry Crumble
- Dark Chocolate with Mango and Passion Fruit
- Dark Chocolate with Mint
- Dark Chocolate with Coconut
S.R.P. (4.23-4.76 oz.): $3.49
Jacquot Cocoa-Dusted Truffles
These truffles, inspired by French gastronomy, come in three flavors: Raspberry Crumble, Lemon Meringue Pie and Cocoa Nibs. Each cocoa-dusted truffle features inclusions that offer a delightful variation in texture.
S.R.P. (5.29-oz.): $4.99
Cémoi Single-Origin Premium Chocolate Bars
Each 3-oz. bar represents the full-bodied, naturally-distinct flavor profiles and aromatic notes of its unique origin. Cémoi’s bean-to-bar chocolate is made using the company’s proprietary roasting processes and crafted to deliver an indulgent tasting experience. Varieties include:
- Ecuador 50% (with caramel, dried fruits, woody tasting notes)
- Sao Tome 66% (with tasting floral, cinnamon, roasted tasting notes)
- Dominican Republic 70% (with honey, prunes, dried wood tasting notes)
- Ecuador 80% (with jasmine, dried fruits, woody tasting notes)
- Ivory Coast 90% (with coffee, roses, slightly bitter tasting notes)
Holiday, Halloween lollipop assortments
These fun and festive bags are sure to sweeten up any celebration. Available in sugar skull and jack-o-lantern designs for Halloween and stocking and Santa designs for Christmas, these peg bags contain an assortment of Mara lollipops.
S.R.P.(5-6 oz.): $0.99-$1.30
Grand Junction, Colo.
This display features 16 boxes of Peppermint Bark, 16 boxes of Milk Chocolate Toffee and 16 boxes of Dark Chocolate Toffee, which features new, dark brown packaging to differentiate it from the milk chocolate variety.
Pecan Caramel Raptures Ornament tin
This 16-piece tin is for those who like to keep things interesting. It features the perfect blend of chopped pecans, copper-kettle caramel and delicious milk chocolate.
Crème Liqueur Ornament tin
This 16-piece tin features gourmet, liqueur-infused chocolates.
Peppermint candy pieces are mixed into slabs of white chocolate and drizzled with dark chocolate before being broken into shareable chunks. They’re packaged in festive holiday box and tied neatly with a bow.
Dark chocolate almonds
Delicious roasted almonds are covered in rich, smooth dark chocolate. They’re packaged in festive holiday box and tied neatly with a bow.
S.R.P. (6 oz.): N/A
Fort Knox Unicorn Coins
Playing off the popularity of the unicorns, these gold foil-wrapped Belgian chocolate coins now come with unicorn stickers, which feature seven different characters. They’re available in 1.47-oz. bags.
Paradise Delights Holiday Boutique Bag
The Paradise Delights Holiday Boutique Bag contains an assortment of individually-wrapped AlohaMacs in milk and dark chocolate and Maui Caramacs. Made with hand-selected, tropically grown macadamias, this boutique bag’s seasonal design is ideal for gifting, entertaining or sharing with friends.
S.R.P. (15 oz.): $10.99
Alohamacs Holiday Boutique Bag
The AlohaMacs Milk Holiday Boutique Bag contains deluxe, dry roasted and tropically grown macadamias covered in creamy milk chocolate. This festive bag is perfect for gifting and sharing.
S.R.P. (4.5 oz.): $4.59
This building brick-shaped box contains 4D 3D + Delicious gummies, perfect for building and sharing.
Imaginings 3 - Flix Candy
Oh Poop! Halloween candy dispensers:
Building off the success of the Oh Poop! line, Flix has introduced poop-shaped candy dispensers dressed as a witch and a pumpkin. When wound up, the dispensers drop fruity dextrose balls. They can be refilled with any small round candy.
Nightmare Before Christmas Pop Ups
Jack, Sally and Oogie Boogie from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” are Flix’s newest Pop Ups. They’ll be available in blisters with three Chupa Chup pops (S.R.P.: $2.99) and a single Chupa Chup pop.
S.R.P. (Single Pop): $1.50
Naughty or Nice Candy Cane Game
This interactive game is an easy way to find out who’s naughty and who’s nice. When the arrow lands on a color, the player can select a candy cane matching that color. It’s either a nice flavor — Cherry, Green Apple, Blue Raspberry — or a naughty flavor — Fish, Dirty Socks and Onion. There are 20 canes in each 2.82-oz. box.
Warheads Candy Canes
These super-sour canes are sure to electrify any holiday celebration. The 6-oz. box contains 12 Wildberry-flavored candy canes
Walled Lake, Mich.
Keep everyone smiling during the holidays with Zolli Canes. They’re delicious, tooth-friendly, vegan, non-GMO and made without sugar, nuts and gluten. Available in Strawberry and Peppermint flavors, they’re made with natural flavors and colors. Jars and bulk are also available.
S.R.P. (3-oz. standup pouch): $4.99
Zollipops Clean Teeth Pops
Keep those little fangs clean this Halloween with Zollipops, available in 5.2-oz., Halloween-themed packages. These tooth-friendly lollipops come in six natural fruit flavors. They’re also vegan and kosher, and free of sugar, nuts, gluten and artificial colors.
Zaffi Taffy Clean Teeth Taffy
This chewy, teeth-friendly treat is available in 5-oz., Halloween-themed packages. Zaffi Taffy comes in five natural fruit flavors. They’re also vegan and kosher, and free of sugar, nuts, gluten and artificial colors.
This treat blends classic, salty-sweet peanut brittle and smooth, creamy fudge for a truly unique texture in treat. It’s available in 4-oz. window boxes and 3.7-oz. standup pouches (S.R.P.: $3.99).
S.R.P (4.oz.): $4.99
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Butlers Gunpowder Irish Gin Bar and Truffles
These Butlers milk chocolate truffles and this 3.52-oz. milk chocolate bar (S.R.P.: $3.99) are flavored with another Irish delicacy, Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin. Produced at The Shed Distillery in County Leitrim, Drumshanbo Gin is distilled with 12 different botanicals.
S.R.P. (4.41-oz. box of truffles): $7.99
The Grown Up Chocolate Company bars
Sometimes it pays to be a grown-up. The Superb Salted Peanut Caramel bar features salted caramel enveloping a row of peanuts on a bed of peanut praline, all encased in milk chocolate. The Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Spice & All Things Nice Bar features everything that’s great about the holidays.
S.R.P. (2.5 oz.): N/A
Riegelein Confiserie Santa To Go Piggy Bank
This slender Santa, made with Fairtrade chocolate, fits into a festive tube that can later be used as a piggy bank.
S.R.P. (2.6 oz.): $3.99
Thomas Kinkade Musical Tins
These exclusive Thomas Kinkade-licensed LED musical tins feature lights that dance to classic Christmas music. Inside each tin is an assortment of Original Gourmet’s Fusion cookies, crisp and delicious biscuits covered with rich European chocolate. Assorted flavors include: Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Peppermint and Cookies & Cream.
Festive Lollipop Boxes
These festive lollipop boxes highlight limited-edition holiday flavors: Peppermint Bark, Sugar Cookie and Candy Cane.
PEZ Christmas Cane tubes
PEZ Christmas Cane Tubes make the perfect stocking stuffer. The Christmas Tree PEZ dispenser joins an all-new reindeer dispenser, as well as Santa Claus, Penguin, Elf and Angel dispensers. Each Christmas Cane includes seven PEZ candy refills with two rolls of the new seasonal flavor: Sugar Cookie. They’re available in 18-ct. display tray.
S.R.P. (3.6 oz.): $2.49-$3.69
Jurassic World Gift Tin
In anticipation of the release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, PEZ is introducing the Jurassic World Click & Play Gift Tin. The set will include four dispensers: Blue the Raptor, T-Rex, Triceratops and Mosasaurus. Each dispenser top can be removed from its base to play in a board game within each gift tin. The set also includes six Sour Blue Raspberry PEZ candy refills.
S.R.P. (14 oz.): $11.99-$14.99
The Gummi Factory Gummi Fun Mixes
Now gummy candy lovers don’t have to choose which shapes to enjoy — they can get them all in one package. The Gummi Party mix features up to 18 varieties, including gummy bears and gummy worms. The Sour Party mix features up to 16 varieties, including sour gummy bears, sour worms and sour tape.
S.R.P. (5 oz. peg bag): $1.49-$1.79
Welch’s Superfruit Fruit Snacks
Like their counterparts, these Welch’s fruit snacks are made with real fruit, and they’ve been given a boost with superfruit — blueberry, blackberry, star fruit, pomegranate, kiwi and dragon fruit, among others. They’re also made with colors from natural sources.
S.R.P. (5 oz.): $1.29-$2.99
Des Moines, Iowa
Available in an ornament-shaped blister pack, these squishy characters have an interior capsule filled with 0.7 oz. of candy. They also come with a coloring poster, a collector’s booklet and a clip for hanging on a backpack or purse. Holiday varieties include a Christmas tree, Santa, a penguin, an elf, a reindeer and a gift box.
Available in an ornament-shaped packaged, these festive dispensers come with 0.7 oz. of candy and twist-off tops that can be mixed and matched with other Twistz. The dispenser also comes with a poster and a collector’s booklet.
Jesus our Shining Hope Star tins
These 3.5-oz. tins are available in two varieties. The red tins are filled with soft mints that are individually wrapped with scripture. The green tin comes with 10 milk chocolate squares, also individually wrapped with scripture.
Jesus Sweetest Name I Know soft mints
These individually-wrapped, old-fashioned soft mints each feature scripture on each piece.
S.R.P. (10 oz.):
Joy in Jesus Star Pop
This 0.7-oz., star-shaped lollipop comes with a bookmark featuring scripture and a coloring page.
Italian destination tins
These pastel, 3.52-oz. tins capture the sights and tastes of Italy. Each tin, named for a famous Italian city, features that city’s landmarks, as well as pralines with a classic Italian flavor. They include:
- Milano: Milk chocolate pralines with cappuccino-flavored cream
- Napoli: Dark chocolate pralines with limoncello-flavored cream
- Palermo: Milk chocolate pralines with coffee-flavored cream
- Roma: Milk chocolate pralines with Tiramisu-flavored cream
- Venezia: Milk chocolate pralines with hazelnut cream and nougat
Available year-round, YumEarth’s candy corn is USDA organic, non-GMO and free of nuts, gluten, high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors, flavors and dyes. Packages of loose candy corn are available in 2.5 oz., 5 oz., and 8 oz. YumEarth will also have Halloween-themed bags of 10- and 24-ct. (S.R.P.: $9.99) 7-oz. snack packs.
S.R.P. (10-ct.): $6.99
Halloween, Christmas gummies
YumEarth is introducing gummy fangs and bats for Halloween and snowflakes for the winter season. All of YumEarth’s gummies are USDA organic, non-GMO, vegan and free of gluten, soy, dairy, nuts, egg, high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors, flavors and dyes. They’ll be available in 10- and 24-ct. (S.R.P.: $9.99) snack packs.
Candy Cane Pops
YumEarth’s candy cane pops give consumers the taste of a candy cane without the mess. They’re USDA organic, non-GMO, vegan and free of gluten, soy, dairy, nuts, egg, high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors, flavors and dyes.
S.R.P. (10 ct.): $6.99
YumEarth is introducing organic candy canes in full and fun sizes. Free from major allergens, these canes will be sure to brighten up any candy lover’s Christmas.