Creative Packaging, Fun Flavors for Candy

Innovation in the candy category has meant new flavors and size variation in recent months, giving convenience retailers additional category-management decisions in right-sizing sets across both chocolate and nonchocolate segments.

According to Mintel’s confectionery report of 2018—one that continues to hold trend sustainability in early 2020—U.S. chocolate buyers have established a firm wish list: They want to see chocolate in mini bars or bites (49%). And 75% of chocolate buyers said single-serve or bite-sized chocolate is a good way to ensure portion control, according to Chicago-based Mintel.

Total U.S. sales of nonchocolate confections have grown 15% since 2012, reaching an estimated $8 billion by 2018 and driven by chewy candy, the fastest-growing segment, according to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD).

“Chocolate confectionery is available in nearly infinite forms, flavors and combinations, but many chocolate purchasers gravitate to what they know,” said John Owen, senior food and drink analyst for Mintel. “While bite-sized chocolate may get credit for being a good way to limit consumption, the 'munchability' and shareability of mini-sized products might actually make the form a good way to drive increased consumption, with consumers reaching for an extra handful.”

Click through for a snapshot of seven recently launched confections across both chocolate and nonchocolate formats.

Photograph: Shutterstock

1. Jelly Belly

Jelly Belly introduced the BeanBoozled Fiery Five line on its website in January, with a retail rollout to follow. The five flavors are made from a chile puree and include Sriracha, cayenne, habanero, jalapeno and Carolina Reaper.

Photograph courtesy of Jelly Belly

2. Kit Kat

Hershey’s Kit Kat has added Kit Kat Raspberry Creme Miniature to its line of new flavors. The product consists of the same crisp wafers but rather than being covered in classic milk chocolate, they’re coated in raspberry-flavored white creme, resulting in what’s described as “a pretty pink chocolate candy.” Also available: Kit Kat Lemon Crisp.

Photograph courtesy of Hershey

3. CandyRific

In December, CandyRific expanded its license for Trolls characters to coincide with the debut of DreamWorks Animation’s "Trolls World Tour." Related launches include Trolls Character Fans, Light & Sound Wands, Fanimation Fans and a redesigned Poppy Character Dispenser. Fanimation Fans (SRP $5.99) offer an animated LED display as the novelty fan changes due to light turning on and off as it spins. Trolls Character Light & Sound Wands feature Trolls characters Poppy and Queen Barb in light and sound wands (SRP $4.99 each), while Poppy Character Dispensers allow users to pull down the princess’ arm to dispense gumballs (SRP $14.99).

Photograph courtesy of CandyRific

4. Topps

Launched for Christmas but with a longer life span, Baby Bottle Pop Candy Canes from Bazooka Candy Brands/Topps Co. Inc. hit the market in December. They include a pack of six candy canes in Strawberry and Raspberry flavors, with each featuring its own sweet powder for dipping. Juicy Drop Candy Canes combine a mix of sweet and sour, with each pack containing six individual candy canes: three Apple Attack and three Knockout Punch. Each comes with its own sour gel for dipping.

Photograph courtesy of Topps Co.

5. Espeez

Espeez Frozen Ice Rock Candy from S.P. Enterprises Inc. is available in several package options, including a six-count acetate case, an 18-count acetate and a 36-count tub. The six-count case comes with a snowflake wand, while the 18-count case comes with three wands.

Photograph courtesy of Espeez

6. Yowie

Yowie’s surprise-inside Chocolate Eggs, Yowie Bites and Yowie Gummies are now available in Walmart stores and on Amazon Prime, allowing the company year-round distribution for the first time. Additional retail extensions are expected. The “surprise inside” items feature collectible versions of endangered animals to spur “conversations about ecological conservation.”

Photograph courtesy of Yowie

7. Hi-Chew

Morinaga’s Hi-Chew recently debuted a 17-pound bucket containing 1,200 chews in the U.S. after a successful partnership with Major League Baseball teams. The Japanese brand hopes to build on its growing cult status in the U.S., bolstered by fans known as the “Chew Crew,” says Kayleigh Westerfield, brand marketing manager. Assorted bulk products include individually wrapped pieces of Strawberry, Green Apple, Grape and Mango. Bags are filled by weight, not by product or flavor type. There are approximately 1,200 pieces in the box.

Photograph courtesy of Hi-Chew