Candy Expo highlights gourmet, premium and organic products

By Linda Rano

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Mars incorporated, Chocolate, Wrigley

The All Candy Expo currently taking place in Chicago is
highlighting gourmet, premium and organic products, which
organisers say is the fastest growing segment in the confectionery
and snack market.

These more upmarket products are given their own space in the newly expanded Gourmet Marketplace, where new premium confectionery and snack products can be seen and sampled and confectioners demonstrate their craft. Premium innovations and organic and ethically sourced products continue to pour onto the market as consumers see chocolate as a rewarding and luxurious treat and become more concerned about the provenance of their confectionery. In March this year, Nestlé announced the establishment of a research and development centre dedicated entirely to dark and premium chocolate. In addition, reflective of its continued popularity, organic chocolate brand Green & Black's (part of Cadburys) has just been awarded three prizes by readers of UK Good House Keeping in the magazine's Food Awards for best organic product available in a supermarket, favourite Fairtrade product and favourite comfort food. Gourmet Marketplace ​ Green & Black's USA is present in the Gourmet Marketplace, conducting interactive tastings and pairings. Another company there is Chuao Chocolatier, represented by their master chef Michael Antonorsi, who is demonstrating truffle making and conducting a bonbon tasting. According to Chuao Chocolatier's website, it is the first Venezuelan Chocolatier based in the US, and is Southern California's "premier artisan chocolatier​." The company, founded in 2002, says it uses unusual and unexpected flavours and Venezuelan chocolate. One offering is Chevere which comprises a dark chocolate bonbon filled with a goat cheese and pear buttercream with a touch of crushed black peppercorns. The organisers say that there is a tasting of new Dove chocolate editions, including Dove Origins and Dove Extra Dark Chocolate, with selected wines and champagne. Barry Callebaut recently promoted its origin chocolate range in the same way, linking them with different wine varieties. Origin chocolate is made with beans harvested in one country only, which can mean the finished product has a taste that is distinctive and unique to beans produced in that place. Mars and premium products ​ Mars Snackfood US said in a statement yesterday that its growth in premium products has been largely fuelled by Dove chocolate, in the past year the premium chocolate category increased more than 9 per cent. The company also announced changes for Dove's tablet bar collection, which will feature 3 individually wrapped pieces in a recloseable pack "addressing consumers' desire for portion control, portability, share-ability and freshness​." Mars Snackfood US also announced yesterday that it has launched M&M Premiums, which the company called "the brand's entry in redefining the premium chocolate category​". Mars has also announced that M&Ms can now also be printed with customers' faces, available through a dedicated website, mymms.com. Images can be combined with 2 to 3 custom messages "creating a powerful and personalised story-telling experience​." Something completely different ​ Wrigley's has also announced two new products which are being showcased at the exhibition, Eclipse gum and mints, which are the first in the US to include magnolia bark extract (MBE). Wrigley says that MBE is a natural ingredient proven to kill the germs that cause bad breath. Wrigley scientist Dr Michael Greenberg said in a statement: "Wrigleys research pertaining to MBE…demonstrated that MBE helps kill the bacteria that cause bad breath and also Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria involved in tooth decay. It can be fully incorporated into food-based mints and chewing gum.That was a major step forward in enabling us to further develop these…germ-killing products​." According to Wrigley, MBE is isolated from the stem bark of Magnolia officinalis and is used in traditional Chinese medicines for a number of treatments. Wrigley said that the MBE gum will appear on retail shelves this summer in Spearmint, Winterfrost, Polar Ice, Peppermint and new Fresh&Cool flavours. MBE mints will be available in 4 flavours from September.

Related topics: Markets, Candy, Premium

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